BOWIE, Md. - Curve outfielder Willy Garcia has been a bright spot on what has been dismal year for the team.
Garcia enjoyed a stellar month in June with season highs in batting average (.313), home runs (5) and RBIs (15). He also had eight multi-hit games during the month.
Monday night, Garcia registered his second multi-homer game of the season as the Curve dropped to a season-high 24-games below .500 with a 7-6 loss to Bowie at Prince George's Stadium.
The last time Garcia hit two homers in a game was May 22 in a 7-3 win against Akron. He joined Stetson Allie as the only other Curve player to accomplish the milestone.
Garcia hit a two-run homer in the second and a solo shot in the sixth, both times pulling the Curve within one. It marked the third time he rounded the bases twice in a game during his career.
Garcia and Allie are tied for the team lead with 12 homers apiece, and both have driven in a team-high five runs in a game.
Covering the bases
LEADING OFF: Before Monday's game C Ralph Henriquez was placed on the disabled list with a left ankle injury. C Carlos Paulino was activated and took Henriquez's spot on the roster. Paulino had been out since May 2 with right knee inflammation and completed a minor league rehab assignment with the GCL Pirates.
SAFE AT FIRST: 1B Stetson Allie was a late scratch from the lineup because of illness. He was originally going to bat fourth but was replaced by Kelson Brown.
STEALING SECOND: 3B Jarek Cunningham's .255 batting average is the highest it has been deep into a season with the Curve. The last two seasons he had hovered around .220 for much of the summer.
ROUNDING THIRD: Following this series, the Curve return for a seven-game homestand beginning Friday against Harrisburg.
HEADING HOME: Former Curve CF Mel Rojas Jr. hit his first Triple-A home run Monday in Indianapolis' loss against Toledo.
- Matt Michelone
Through the first three months of the season, Garcia has hit .256 with 38 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .500.
The outfielder also leads the team in batting average with runners in scoring position, hitting .379 with three homers and 17 RBIs.
Garcia has also played a pivotal role in the field as well. His 12 outfield assists are just six shy of the franchise record, set by Starling Marte in 2011, and eight shy of his career-high 20.
Garcia and his teammates were involved in a back-and-forth affair Monday. The Baysox scored three runs in the first inning, only to see the Curve respond with three of their own in the second.
Both teams would respond with three runs again before Bowie's Niuman Romero drove in John Ruettiger for the game-deciding run in the sixth.
Altoona starter Joan Montero was shelled, allowing six runs - three earned - on nine hits. He was replaced by Emanuel De Leon (1-2), who took the loss, giving up a run on two hits.
Bowie reliever Jason Gurka (3-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings for the victory.
Baysox closer Oliver Drake pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two, to pick up his Eastern League- leading 20th save.
Key player: Bowie RF Kyeong Kang went 2-for-4, with two doubles and RBI and two runs.
Key play: 1B Kelson Brown grounded into a fielder's choice with runners at first and second in the seventh, and C Elias Diaz popped up to second base in the eighth with the same situation as the Curve failed to tie.
Key stat: OF Willy Garcia hit two homers in a game for the second time this season.
How they scored
Bot 1st: Kang doubled, scored on Alvarez single (0-1); Walker walked, scored on Marrero single (0-2); Alvarez scored on Ohlman groundout (0-3).
Top 2nd: Broxton singled, scored on Garcia homer (2-3); Cunningham doubled, scored on Hanson single (3-3)
Bot 2nd: Rosa reached on throwing error, scored on Kang double (3-4); Kang scored on Walker single (3-5).
Bot 3rd: Adams doubled, scored on Rosa single (3-6).
Top 5th: Diaz homered (4-6).
Top 6th: Garcia homered (5-6); Cunningham walked, scored on Maggi single (6-6).
Bot 6th: Ruettiger doubled, scored on Romero double (6-7).