AKRON, Ohio - The Curve put up little resistance against one of the minor leagues' best knuckleball pitchers Friday night, and once again they failed to get a victory when they had a chance to climb back to .500.
Akron's Steven Wright shut down Altoona's hitters for six no-hit innings before allowing a leadoff single in the seventh and departing. The Curve managed just two more hits and were shut out for the ninth time this season in a 3-0 loss at Canal Park.
Wright is third in the Eastern League with a 2.46 ERA, even though he does struggle with his control, as most knuckleball pitchers do. He walked five in his six-plus innings Friday, but he was able to work around those with his six hitless innings.
Adalberto Santos broke up the no-hit bid with a single to left-center to start the seventh inning. Wright (7-6) was then lifted for reliever Bryan Price, who pitched two scoreless innings before Preston Guilmet finished off the shutout in the ninth to earn his 13th save.
Brock Holt and Ramon Cabrera had the Curve's other two hits. Cabrera singled with one out in the seventh to give Altoona two baserunners with one out, but Jeremy Farrell grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Curve starter Kyle McPherson (1-4) saw his rough season continue as he allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings. He did strike out seven with only one walk.
Tonight: Altoona at Akron, 7:05 p.m.
Pitching matchups: Curve RHP Gerrit Cole (2-1, 4.63) vs. Aeros LHP Giovanni Soto (5-6, 4.09).
Tyler Holt's RBI double gave Akron a 1-0 lead in the third, and McPherson allowed two runs in the fourth, including a leadoff homer to Thomas Neal.
Robbie Grossman drew a walk to start the game, extending his on-base streak to 25 contests for the Curve. The franchise record is 33 games, set by Ronny Paulino in 2004.
The Curve still haven't been able to climb back to .500 for the first time since April 16, when they were 5-5. They've had three opportunities to reach the break-even mark since July 3 but have lost each time.
Key player: Akron RHP Steven Wright had a no-hitter for six innings before giving up a leadoff single in the seventh.
Key play: The Aeros scored twice in the fourth for a 3-0 lead, sparked by a leadoff homer from Thomas Neal.
Key stat: CF Robbie Grossman has reached base safely in 25 straight games for the Curve.
How they scored
Bottom 3rd: Perez singled, scored on Holt double (0-1).
Bottom 4th: Neal solo homer (0-2); Diaz hit by pitch, scored on Perez sacrifice fly (0-3).