Curve cap difficult first half

HARRISBURG – The first half has been one the Curve would like to forget.

Monday afternoon, the good and the bad about the Curve was on display as they fell to Harrisburg, 5-4, in 10 innings at Metro Bank Park.

They have gone 37-61 heading into the All-Star break, and have been as many as 25 games below .500. That margin could’ve been larger if not for a six-game winning streak to start the month.

This year, the Curve bullpen has blown 18 blown saves in 36 attempts. The only other team to match that mark is New Hampshire, with Erie just one shy of the dubious mark.

Curve pitchers have put up an ERA of 4.21, eighth overall in the league. Following their 2.95 mark in April, they’ve posted a terrible 5.31 total in July.

The offense has risen from 11th to seventh best, but has only posted a team batting average of .259, despite leading the league with 88 home runs.

Quincy Latimore drove in the winning run when he singled on a grounder to right field, scoring Matt Skole, to give the Senators their third straight win against the Curve.

Jeff Inman blew his first save opportunity when Jose Lozada belted a RBI single in the ninth, scoring Cole Leonida, to send the game to extra innings.

Curve starter Thomas Harlan went five innings, giving up just three runs – two earned – on five hits, and didn’t receive a decision in his second outing.

The offense managed three long balls from Jarek Cunningham, Andy Vasquez, and Gift Ngoepe to account for three of the runs.

Ngoepe has hit .304 so far with three home runs and seven RBIs in July. That is in contrast to what was a terrible June, when he hit .189.

For the year, he is hitting .239 with seven homers and 32 RBIs, and has a combined 26 extra base hits. It’s a huge improvement over his .177 batting average, three homers, and 16 RBIs he amassed just a year ago.

Jason Townsend (0-1) allowed the game-winning hit and took the loss.

Derek Self (1-2), gave up just two hits in his one frame, before picking up his first win of the year.

Game recap

Key player: LF Quincy Latimore knocked in the game-winning run for Harrisburg in the 10th inning.

Key play: Latimore’s base hit was the deciding play in the game.

Key stat: The Curve have blown 18 saves.

How they scored

Bot 3rd: Latimore singled, scored on Ramsey single (0-1).

Top 5th: Vasquez homered (1-1); Cunningham homered (2-1).

Bot 5th: Leonida doubled, scored on Sanchez homer (2-3).

Top 6th: Ngoepe homered (3-3).

Top 7th: Paulino singled, scored on double (4-3).

Bot 9th: Leonida singled, scored on Lozada single (4-4).

Bot 10th: Skole doubled, scored on Latimore single (4-5).