AKRON, Ohio - Five walks in the eighth inning led to three runs as the Altoona Curve lost to the Akron RubberDucks, 4-1, on Monday night at Canal Park.
The Curve (6-3) dropped the series opener despite hold the RubberDucks (4-4) to just four hits in the game.
With the game tied 1-1 in the eighth, Jake Brentz walked the first three batters he faced before Bobby Bradley hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly to put Akron ahead, 2-1. Brentz followed with two more walks, including a bases-loaded, run-scoring walk to Connor Marabell to extend the lead to 3-1.
Jesus Liranzo replaced Brentz to make his season debut and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Tyler Krieger for the second out and stranded a pair of runners on base with a inning-ending flyout by Daniel Salters.
The Curve opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly by Ke'Bryan Hayes in the fourth inning.
Altoona starter Mitch Keller worked 5.2 innings and allowed one run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Akron evened the score at 1-1 in the sixth inning. With two outs, Sicnarf Loopstok hit a go-ahead triple to bring home Willi Castro.
Yeudy Garcia stranded Loopstock at third to finish the inning for Keller, and totaled 1.1 scoreless frames for his night.
Hayes went 3-for-3 with an RBI. Cole Tucker went 1-for-3 with a walk to extend his on-base streak to 25 games dating back to August 19, 2017, the longest active streak in the Eastern League.
Akron starter Shao-Ching Chiang allowed one run over six innings on five hits. Dominic DeMasi (Win, 1-0) worked the final 1.1 innings without allowing a run.
The Curve and RubberDucks continue the series on Tuesday night. Left-hander Taylor Hearn (0-0, 0.00) will start for Altoona, opposed by Akron right-hander Shane Bieber (1-0, 0.00). First pitch at Canal Park is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Canal Park.
The Curve return home to open a three-game series against Richmond on Friday night. For tickets or more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.