Shorebirds' Curran breaks out on five-hit day

Orioles infielder belts ninth long ball of year, drives in four runs

Seamus Curran missed almost all of the 2017 season with a knee injury before heading to Delmarva. (Ken Inness/MiLB.com)

By Tyler Maun / MiLB.com | May 28, 2018 5:55 PM ET

Seamus Curran was feeling good about himself at the plate. That vibe taught him to stay humble.

The Baltimore infield prospect posted his first five-hit day as a professional, homering and doubling twice as Class A Delmarva fell to Lakewood, 9-8, in 10 innings Monday at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.


Gameday box score


"I kind of just made everything simple," Curran said. "Sometimes I get a little too big. You feel too good and try to do a little more movement at the plate, look flashy. I kind of just went back to just keeping it simple and just landing with a good base, putting good swings on balls. It felt good to hit the ball hard."

Baltimore's 2015 eighth-round pick handled his first month in the full-season ranks admirably with a .280/.337/.451 slash line through 21 games. His average dipped to .256 in May, but his OPS jumped to .870 on the strength of a .537 slugging percentage for the month.

Curran started on a run-producing note Monday, driving in two runs with a double to left field in the first inning. After singling to center in the third, he led off the sixth with a double to right and hammered a two-run homer to center in the eighth.

Video: Curran slugs HR to dead center

The big Memorial Day showing also came thanks in part to a tweaked two-strike approach that helped Curran adjust to the very thing that's stood out most to him about the full-season level.

"Definitely the off-speed," he said. "The off-speed's been the biggest thing. I missed almost all last year with a knee injury, and it's just recognizing off-speed, sitting on off-speed. I'm still learning that. I'm young. I don't have that many at-bats under my belt, but recognizing off-speed and being able to sit on that has helped me a lot."

Patience became the key and the 6-foot-6, 245-pound first baseman capitalized on his ability to stay still.

"Before, I'd get caught on my front side a little bit sometimes and get caught diving at offspeed," Curran said. "I just changed my two-strike approach, and I think I had three two-strike hits today. I'd credit my day to the new approach and kind of being able to see the ball and being balanced, because even if it's a flat-ground swing, I have enough power to drive it.

"You just don't let the guy beat you. I usually have kind of a leg kick. And then two strikes, I went to a toe tap which worked in Spring Training. With the better off-speed I started to see, I was kind of struggling with it. I kind of just went flat-ground and did a coil, and it's been working the past few days. Hopefully, I just don't get too far in front, don't get fooled."

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Curran's first four knocks had something else in common, they all came against southpaws.

"I knew we were facing lefties and they have some pretty good arms over there. I think [David Parkinson] had a 1-something ERA," he said of the Lakewood starter, who entered with a 1.85 mark. I haven't been my normal self against lefties. I've kind of been struggling against them this year. I usually hit them pretty good, and it was just good to have a day like this where I saw the ball off lefties pretty good and put together some good at-bats."

Working on his first four-hit game since last June 23 with Class A Short Season Aberdeen, Curran added his final hit on a single in the 10th off of righty Addison Reed. It marked Delmarva's first five-hit game of the season.

"I know I can drive the ball out of the ballpark," he said. "I know a lot of people around the organization can see that. My big thing is just cutting the strikeouts down and just putting the ball in play. I think that's why I gave myself a good opportunity."

Curran's homer helped Delmarva pull even in the eighth, 6-6, but Lakewood pushed across three in the 10th for the win. Kevin Markham keyed the frame by doubling a run and then crossing the plate on a single by Josh Stephen.

Tyler Maun is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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