The league’s best team started the game with three straight hits off Joely Rodriguez (3-5) in the first with the third hit coming from Blake Swihart to score leadoff man Derrik Gibson. Sean Coyle grounded out to score Deven Marrero and then former Curve IF Stefan Welch singled to bring in Swihart. After five batters, the Curve trailed, 3-0.
Portland added a run in the third and one more in the sixth to build up a 5-0 lead.
Altoona’s bats were kept quiet by Sea Dogs starter Brian Johnson (4-1), who was making his seventh start of the season. Through five innings, the Curve had two hits (both doubles) but had not plated a run. Things changed in the sixth when Drew Maggi singled to start the inning. Hanson followed with a single of his own to put runners at the corners. Keon Broxton hit into a 6-4-3 double play but Maggi scored to put the Curve on the scoreboard at 5-1.
Rodriguez finished six innings in the loss on Tuesday, giving up five runs on 10 hits with two strikeouts. Matt Benedict pitched two scoreless innings before Ryan Beckman pitched a scoreless ninth.
Elias Diaz walked and was 1-for-3 with a double to run his current hit streak to six games, which matches his season high.
The Curve (24-39) and Sea Dogs (42-22) will meet for the second game of the series at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
On the bump for the Curve on Wednesday will be Adrian Sampson (4-3, 2.07), who seeks his fifth win of the season and also to remain among the league leaders in ERA. He’ll be opposed by Portland’s Keith Couch (7-1, 2.49), who’s tied for the league lead in wins.
-Curve Media Relations
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