Curve offense struggles in loss at Akron

From Mirror reports

AKRON, Ohio – The Curve continue to get production from the middle of the batting order – no surprise given the experience there – but the rest of the lineup is finding out why Double-A is so tough.

Adalberto Santos and Matt Curry both hit solo homers, but the Curve struggled the rest of the evening in a 5-3 loss to Akron on Monday at Canal Park. Altoona has dropped two in a row and has managed only eight hits in the two games, including five Monday.

Santos went 2-for-4 and is hitting .444, the same kind of sizzling start he got off to last season when he finished up at .340. Curry was 1-for-4 and is hitting .273 while Andrew Lambo was 1-for-4 and is at .333.

Most others in the order have yet to hit their stride in the early going, especially at the bottom of the order. Stefan Welch was 0-for-3 Monday and is hitless in 11 at-bats, while Gift Ngoepe was 0-for-2 and also is 0-for-11, although he did have his second sacrifice fly of the season.

Carlos Paulino has been one bright spot among the newcomers as he was 1-for-3 Monday and is hitting .333 (4-for-12) so far.

Santos homered for the game’s first run in the second, but Akron answered with two in its next at-bat to take the lead for good off Altoona starter Tyler Waldron. Former Curve outfielder Quincy Latimore was in the middle of that action as he singled and scored the go-ahead run for Akron on a groundout by Matt Lawson.

Waldron (0-1) gave up two more runs in the fifth for a 4-1 Aeros lead. Paulino doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ngoepe in the eighth to make it 4-2, but Akron scored in its half of the eighth for an insurance run.

Curry hit his first homer of the season in the ninth, and Lambo just missed going back-to-back as he hit a shot that was just foul.

Akron starter Toru Murata (1-0) was terrific early, striking out nine through four innings. He ended up going seven innings and didn’t have any more strikeouts but he allowed two runs on just three hits and didn’t walk a batter.

Waldron (0-1) gave up four runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out three with one walk. Jose Flores pitched the ninth for Akron to earn his first save.

SUBHD: Game recap

Key player: Akron RHP Toru Murata struck out nine and allowed two runs on three hits over seven innings for the win.

Key play: An RBI single by 3B Matt Lawson and RBI triple by 1B Chun Chen gave Akron a 4-1 lead in the fifth.

Key stat: Nine of the Curve’s first 12 outs through four innings were strikeouts.

SUBHD: How they scored

Top 2nd: Santos solo homer (1-0).

Bottom 2nd: Perez hit by pitch, scored on Rodriguez single (1-1); Latimore singled, scored on Lawson groundout (1-2).

Bottom 5th: Rodriguez tripled, scored on Lawson single (1-3); Ramirez walked, scored on Chen triple (1-4).

Top 8th: Paulino doubled, scored on Ngoepe sacrifice fly (2-4).

Bottom 8th: Perez solo homer (2-5).

Top 9th: Curry solo homer (3-5).