Curve silenced by Altoona, 4-1
The Altoona Curve downed the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 4-1, on Sunday afternoon at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The win netted the Curve the series as Altoona took three of the four games played over the weekend. The Flying Squirrels scored just three runs over the final 24 innings of the series.
After three scoreless innings, the Curve broke through first against Richmond left-hander Mike Kickham in the fourth inning. Kickham’s fourth walk of the ballgame proved costly, as he put aboard the lead-off batter, Tony Sanchez. A batter later, the Curve orchestrated a perfect hit-and-run as Jeremy Farrell punched a groundball through the right-side of the infield. Sanchez moved to third on the single. Charlie Cutler followed with an RBI single into right field giving Altoona a 1-0 lead. Farrell advanced to third on the single for Cutler and scored for a 2-0 advantage when Quincy Latimore lifted a sacrifice-fly to center field.
The Curve chased Kickham and added their third run in the fifth. Robbie Grossman delivered a one-out single to center field. Kickham recorded the second out of the inning, but Sanchez singled to put runners on the corners with two outs. Matt Curry pulled a single into right field to put Altoona ahead, 3-0, and signal the end of Kickham’s day.
Kickham (1-3) took the loss over 4 2/3 innings, conceding three earned runs on five hits. He walked four and struck out two as he fell to the Curve for the second time.
The Squirrels had little going against Curve right-hander Brandon Cumpton through the first five innings as Altoona led, 3-0, into the sixth inning. However, Richmond got on the board as Cumpton departed in the sixth. Gary Brown led off with single and advanced to second base on a balk from Cumpton. Cumpton retired the next two batters, but was removed in favor of right-hander Kris Harvey. Daniel Mayora greeted Harvey with a double into the right-field corner, plating Brown.
The run in the sixth was charged to Cumpton (4-2), but was the only he allowed through 5 2/3 innings. He earned his second win of the season over Richmond, conceding just three hits, walking one and striking out four.
Right-hander Kris Harvey followed Cumpton and kept the Squirrels at bay through the seventh inning. Right-hander Jhonathan Ramos handled the eighth and right-hander Tim Alderson worked the ninth to finish off the Squirrels. Alderson earned his second save of the series and third of the season.
Pinch-hitter Ramon Cabrera delivered a pinch-hit single in the bottom of the eighth inning to bring in Latimore and cap the scoring in the ballgame.
The Squirrels will travel to Harrisburg, PA, following Sunday’s game to meet the Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals) in a three-game series. The series will open on Monday night at 7 PM. RHP Justin Fitzgerald (1-1, 3.41) will make the start in the opener for Richmond against Harrisburg LHP Mike Ballard (1-1, 3.14). Pregame coverage will begin on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com at 6:30 PM.