Given little room for error, the RubberDucks’ pitching staff shut down the Erie SeaWolves’ for a 2-0 victory. Xzavion Curry threw six innings of shutout ball, before the bullpen shut down the Erie offense the rest of the way.
The Seawolves’ starter, aptly named Adam Wolf, struggled with his control, finding the strike zone on half of his 56 pitches. He walked four Akron batters in his three innings of work, but was not punished severely.
Akron couldn’t convert with the bases loaded in the first inning, as Marcos Gonzalez struck out to end the threat. He got the opportunity to redeem himself with the bases loaded and one out in the third inning, but rolled a ball towards Wolf, who converted an inning ending 1-2-3 double play.
His day only got worse in the seventh, when he came to bat with every base occupied, but struck out once again to end the inning. To add irony to injury, Gonzalez singled in his only at bat that came with the bases empty.
Akron grappled to an early lead when Will Brennan brought home Jose Tena with an RBI groundout in the third.
Erie’s relief of Wolf was equally deficient in their command, combining for another five walks before the night was done, three of which were drawn by Bo Naylor. Tena got himself back on the scoresheet one inning later when his sacrifice fly scored Jonathan Engelmann.
Engelmann was put in position by a pair of walks and a sacrifice bunt, but the small ball strategy wasn’t all success. RubberDucks were caught stealing on two separate occasions, including in the seventh inning. That allowed Erie’s Gerson Moreno to not give up a single run despite walking four in less than an inning of work.
The offense was otherwise ineffective, finishing with just six hits, and 0-7 with RISP.
Xzavion Curry wasn’t flashy by any means either, but couldn’t have put up better numbers. He gave up just two hits in six innings of work, both to Erie’s Kerry Carpenter.
Striking out five and walking a pair, the right-handed Georgia Tech product topped out with a 92 mph fastball, but buckled Erie hitters with a curveball in the low 70s.
Easily his best performance of the season, Curry has put together a pair of high-caliber starts after a tough April.
“Honestly, it felt great, to put the team in position to get a win,” Curry said, “Every week I’m always trying to work and get better and to correct the mistakes that I made in the previous outings.”
His first win of the season is also likely to inspire some future confidence, but he remains focused on the team’s success.
“It does feel good to settle down and throw up a couple zeros for the team.”
Tim Herrin was just as effective as Curry, striking out the side in the 7th inning, and drawing a double play to get him through the eighth.
Nic Enright sealed the game in the ninth, with a pair of strikeouts to complete the shutout and secure his fourth save of the season.
The Ducks will try and complete a pass on Erie in the standings when they meet again Wednesday night. Jaime Arias-Bautista is slated to make his Double-A debut for Akron.
P Xzavion Curry: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 5 K, 0 ER
C Bo Naylor: 0-1, 3 BB
RF George Valera: 1-2, 2 BB
P Tim Herrin: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 4 K, 1 BB
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