Five-run fourth sinks Squirrels

richmond flying squirrelsThe Altoona Curve (19-16) erupted for five runs in the fourth inning on Tuesday, grounding the Flying Squirrels (20-17) by a finale of 5-1 at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Will Craig launched a three-run homer in the difference-making inning to back a superb outing by Pittsburgh Pirates’ top prospect Mitch Keller. Luigi Rodriguez collected two more hits in the loss for Richmond, raising his league-leading batting average to .416.

One unlucky inning felled Shaun Anderson and the Squirrels on Tuesday. Anderson missed a pair of close two-strike pitches and walked the first two batters of the fourth inning. Anderson once again got a pair of strikes on the next hitter Will Craig, but could not put him away. Craig lifted a three-run homer just over the wall in centerfield for a 3-1 Curve lead. Altoona’s Jordan George, Logan Hill and Christian Kelley all continued the rally with singles (two infield hits) and Stephen Alemais lifted a sacrifice fly into right for a 5-1 Curve lead

The five-run inning supported the outing of Keller, who worked seven innings for the third time this year. The Pittsburgh Pirates top prospect allowed just four hits and two walks on 95 pitches. Keller struck out seven and departed with ah 5-1 advantage.

Altoona’s Jesus Liranzo tossed the final two innings to even the series at one game apiece.

The Flying Squirrels plated the game’s first run, scoring with two outs in the third. Luigi Rodriguez lofted a high fly ball into centerfield that skimmed over the glove of Jason Martin, resulting in a triple. Aramis Garcia followed with an RBI double up the right field line for a 1-0 Richmond lead. Garcia has doubled in both games of the series so far.

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Anderson survived through the fourth and finished five innings on the night while suffering the loss. Anderson allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out six on 93 pitches. Reliver Dan Slania authored a pair of scoreless innings and Caleb Simpson worked out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth.

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