Sampson struggles in defeat

From Mirror reports

AKRON, Ohio – Curve pitcher Adrian Sampson had enjoyed a strong beginning to his Double-A career through four starts, but his fifth start Sunday didn’t go too well and didn’t last too long.

Sampson was pulled after just 1 2/3 innings because of a high pitch as Akron scored twice in the second inning. The RubberDucks used that early edge to go on and defeat the Curve, 6-4, at Canal Park.

Sampson entered the game ranked third in the Eastern League with a 1.17 ERA, but that figure rose to 1.82 after his tough outing. He threw only eight pitches in an easy first inning but, after throwing 31 in the second, Curve manager Carlos Garcia decided to pull him.

The Pirates have long had a policy that Double-A pitchers can’t get too far above 30 pitches in a single inning, and getting to 31 with still an out to go in the second cost Sampson a chance to stay in the game longer.

Sampson (3-2) gave up a double, walk and single to the first three batters in the second inning, and he was helped out when right fielder Andy Vasquez threw out a runner at the plate. But Sampson then allowed a walk, RBI single and sacrifice fly to the next three batters, falling behind 2-0 and elevating his pitch count.

The RubberDucks added a run in the third for a 3-0 lead before the Curve offense tried to fight back. Elias Diaz had an RBI double and scored on Drew Maggi’s single to cut the margin to 3-2.

Akron answered, though, with two runs in the fifth off reliever Matt Benedict to go back up by three.

Gift Ngoepe hit a solo homer for the Curve in the eighth, and Alen Hanson had an RBI triple in the ninth.

Joe Colon (1-2) won for Akron, allowing two runs on three hits in six innings. Tyler Sturdevant retired the final four outs for his first save.

SUBHD: Game recap

Key player: 3B Giovanny Urshela went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run for Akron.

Key play: The RubberDucks chased Curve starter Adrian Sampson in the second with two runs on three hits, two walks and a sacrifice fly.

Key stat: The Curve have dropped two in a row to fall back below .500 at 10-11.

SUBHD: How they scored

Bottom 2nd: Wendle walked, scored on Smith single (0-1); Myles singled, scored on Rodriguez sacrifice fly (0-2).

Bottom 3rd: Lindor doubled, scored on Urshela double (0-3).

Top 4th: Howard walked, scored on Diaz double (1-3); Maggi single scored Diaz (2-3).

Bottom 5th: Urshela doubled, scored on Hanson error (2-4); LaHair singled, scored on Wolters single (2-5).

Top 8th: Ngoepe solo homer (3-5).

Bottom 8th: Naquin reached on Ngoepe error, scored on Urshela double (3-6).

Top 9th: Vasquez doubled, scored on Hanson triple (4-6).