CURVE, Pa. -- The Altoona Curve were burned by two early Wilson Garcia homers and struggled to find footing against Akron RubberDucks starter Eli Morgan in a 5-1 loss on Friday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Sean Brady (Loss, 2-5) started for the Curve (27-30) and was greeted rudely by his former team in his first start against the RubberDucks (31-28) since signing with the Pirates in early May. In the first, the 'Ducks sent eight men and Garcia hit the first of his two homers, a three-run shot to left. Brady fought through six innings for the fifth time in a row but also allowed 10 hits for the third time in his last five outings. He allowed five runs with three strikeouts, one walk and twice hit Longo with a pitch.
Garcia got Brady again in the third, ripping a line-drive, solo homer to left lead off the inning, adding to Akron's lead. Garcia later added a single and finished 3-for-5. The 'Ducks tacked on one more run in the fourth on Mitch Longo's RBI single to right-center to go up 5-0.
Morgan (Win, 4-0) ran with the early run support and limited the Curve to two hits and one walk through the first four innings. Morgan never allowed more than one baserunner in an inning and held the Curve scoreless over 6.2 innings, his longest Double-A outing, while allowing five hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
Altoona put men on first and third with two outs in the seventh against Morgan, but Robert Broom entered in relief to get the final out of the inning, stranding both runners. In the eighth, Broom, who was making his Double-A debut for Akron, struck out the side and sat down the first two hitters in the ninth.
Bligh Madris kept the game alive with a two-out triple off the right-field wall and scored on a single to left by Brett Pope to break the shutout. However, Broom worked the induced a game-ending fly out of Bralin Jackson to secure the 'Ducks win.
Yeudy Garcia and Vicente Campos combined for three scoreless innings in relief of Brady. Garcia worked the seventh and eighth, scattering three hits while recording two strikeouts. Campos hit a batter before rolling an inning-ending double play in the ninth to finish his fourth scoreless outing in his last five.
Madris, who recorded the only extra-base hit of the night for the Curve, and Pope each had two hits in the loss. Hunter Owen extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a fourth-inning single and has now reached base safely in 13 straight games.
The Curve and RubberDucks continue their four-game series on Saturday with a double-header starting at 4:30 p.m. The Curve will send left-hander Domingo Robles (0-1, 4.09) to the mound in the first game against RubberDucks right-hander Evan Mitchell (0-3, 10.43). In the second game, James Marvel (4-5, 3.92) gets the ball for the Curve while Akron has not announced its starter.
Gate's for Saturday's double-header open at 3:30 p.m. Fans can enjoy live pregame music from Zach Wade and the Good Grief, presented By Unlimited Cycle Center, as part of the Curve concert series. It's Huntingdon County Night at the ballpark and the night will be capped off with Queen Theme FIREWORKS, presented by Gorilla House Gym, SPE Federal Credit Union, Healthcare First Credit Union & UPMC Rehab Services.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.