Curve drop finale
BOWIE, Md. — The Curve closed the regular season with a massive thud, getting clobbered by Bowie and setting a dubious franchise record.
None of it figures to matter much, though, except for maybe to one player.
Starter Dario Agrazal got pummeled for 10 runs on 13 hits and five home runs in three-plus innings as the Curve lost to Bowie, 17-6, Sunday afternoon at Prince George’s Stadium.
The Baysox also hit two homers off relief pitchers, and the seven home runs were the most ever allowed in a game by Altoona.
The Curve already had clinched a division title and home-field advantage over Akron in this week’s playoff series. They also finished the regular season with the Eastern League’s best record at 78-60 (a .565 winning percentage, compared to .564 for Trenton, which went 79-61).
As bad as Sunday’s loss appeared, it shouldn’t have much impact on the Curve, who had won the first three games of the series.
The loss could, however, have an impact on Agrazal, who may be needed to win one or two games in the playoffs if the Curve are to win the EL championship.
Agrazal had a solid season and entered his start Sunday with a 3.05 ERA, but getting crushed the way he did could impact affect him for the postseason. It wasn’t just the one rough game, either, as he also gave up five runs on 10 hits over seven innings his previous time out in a loss to Trenton.
Bowie scored four runs in the first inning off Agrazal, getting a three-run homer from Aderlin Rodriguez followed by a solo shot from Anderson Feliz. Agrazal gave up back-to-back homers again in the third inning, to Ademar Rifaela and Martin Cervenka.
Agrazal (5-6) gave up another three-run homer to Rodriguez in the fourth before getting pulled while trailing, 10-2.
The Curve got back in the game with four runs in the fifth inning to pull within 10-6, with Ke’Bryan Hayes hitting a three-run triple. But Bowie scored seven runs in the sixth inning off relievers Sean Keselica and Tate Scioneaux for a 17-6 lead.
Rifaela hit his second homer of the game, a three-run shot, and Austin Hays also belted a three-run blast in the sixth. Bowie finished with 20 hits, and 16 of its 17 runs came from homers.
Zach Pop (1-1) won in relief for the Baysox, who finished the season 67-71 and in fourth place in the division behind Altoona, Akron and Harrisburg. Erie finished fifth and Richmond last.
Hayes, Cole Tucker, Jin-De Jhang and Stephen Alemais had two hits apiece for the Curve. Will Craig drove in a run to finish with 102 RBIs, second most in franchise history behind Adam Hyzdu’s 106 in 2000.
Hayes finished with the highest recorded fielding percentage (.978) in Eastern League history for a third baseman. He had just six errors in 116 games. Defensive stats for the league go back to 1959, and prior to that, reliable stats are not available.
The Curve finished the season with only 74 errors, easily breaking the record for fewest in a season in franchise history. The previous record was 105, set each of the last two seasons.
SUBHD: Game recap
Key player: 1B Aderlin Rodriguez went 4-for-5 with two three-run homers and seven RBIs for Bowie.
Key play: The Baysox hit seven home runs, most ever allowed by the Curve, including back-to-back shots in the first and third innings.
Key stat: The Curve finished the regular season 78-60 for the best record in the Eastern League.
SUBHD: How they scored
Bottom 1st: Bannon singled, Mountcastle singled, both scored on Rodriguez three-run homer (0-3); Feliz solo homer (0-4).
Top 2nd: George singled, scored on Tucker single (1-4).
Bottom 3rd: Feliz doubled, scored on Rifaela two-run homer (1-6); Cervenka solo homer (1-7).
Top 4th: Reynolds reached on fielder’s choice, scored on Jhang single (2-7).
Bottom 4th: Bannon walked, Mountcastle doubled, both scored on Rodriguez three-run homer (2-10).
Top 5th: Kelley singled, Alemais singled, Tucker singled, all three scored on Hayes triple (5-10); Craig single scored Hayes (6-10).
Bottom 6th: Rodriguez singled, Feliz walked, both scored on Rifaela three-run homer (6-13); Cumberland singled, Salcedo reached on Craig error, both scored on Hays three-run homer (6-16); Mountcastle singled, scored on Rodriguez double (6-17).
Next game: Wednesday at Akron, 6:35 p.m., Game 1 Western Division playoffs
Pitchers: TBD for both teams
Final record: 78-60