The Erie SeaWolves took the field at UPMC ballpark for the first time in 2018, however, the result was much of the same as had been on the road. The Howlers dropped the home opener 6-2 to Altoona Curve, sending them to their fifth straight loss.
"We didn't get the big hit when we needed it," said SeaWolves manager Andrew Graham. "We had the bases load and we need the big hit like they got."
The SeaWolves took a 2-1 lead in the third inning and then had the bases loaded just three batters later. Jake Robson though grounded out to end the inning, failing to plate the insurance runs.
Altoona then with the same scenario the very next half inning cashed in on their chance with the bags full.
Curve right fielder Elvis Escobar lined a one-out triple to right, plating three runs to put Altoona ahead 4-2. The Curve never surrendered the lead after the fourth.
"They had some clutch hitting there with that triple," said SeaWolves right fielder Jake Robson. "Credit to that guy. [Spencer] Turnbull has really good stuff and he had it today for sure. They kind of hit him in the right spots today."
The SeaWolves had just two hits over the final six innings of work after taking a 2-1 lead.
Erie starter Spencer Turnbull lasted just 4.1 innings in his first home start of the year, with the big fourth inning handing the first decision to a SeaWolves starter in seven games.
"He's got stuff that moves everywhere. He's got good stuff to get guys out," said Graham. "Unfortunately at times, he looks to like he's trying to be too fine and he's trying to pitch away from contact. We need him really to start pitching to contact and get those double-plays when we need them rather than try to punch everyone out."
The SeaWolves get a quick chance to end the five-game skid as they take the field for Game 2 of the series against Altoona Saturday at 1:35 p.m.