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."
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.