Altoona blanks Richmond, 2-0

richmond-squirrelsAll-Star second baseman Max Moroff continued his dominance of Richmond in a 2-0 Altoona win on Saturday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.

Moroff snapped the scoreless affair with a home run to right field in the sixth inning and added a highlight reel catch in the ninth inning to prevent the tying run from stepping to the plate. Moroff has now collected 23 hits against the Squirrels this season, including two homers and five doubles.  The Squirrels (57-55) have lost five consecutive games against division rival Altoona (61-53), all decided by three runs or less. Richmond will attempt to avoid the sweep as they conclude the series on Sunday night.

Moroff’s home run backed another stellar outing for Altoona starting pitcher Steven Brault. The lefty Brault (6-3) kept the Squirrels off the board through seven innings to earn his fifth consecutive win. Brault allowed five hits and struck out seven before handing the ball to the Altoona bullpen. Brett McKinney faced the minimum in the eighth inning to earn the hold and Johndaniel Medina locked down the ninth for the save.

Joan Gregroio battled Brault through six solid innings of work in the loss. Gregorio (1-2) hurled a season-high six innings and allowed just the one run on four hits. He needed just 79 pitches in his 6th start of the season.  Jose Casilla entered in the seventh inning and allowed a pair of doubles to create a 2-0 deficit. Derek Law hurled a scoreless eighth inning of relief.

Brault worked around some early traffic to keep the game scoreless. Hunter Cole and Juan Ciriaco connected on base hits to put runners on the corners in the second. Brault then cracked the bat of Jackson Williams to create a groundball double play. The Squirrels put two more runners on in the third but could not deliver the go-ahead hit.

Hunter Cole extended his hitting streak to nine games in the loss. The Squirrels have been shut out on 14 occasions this year, matching Portland for the most in the Eastern League.

The Squirrels conclude a three game series in Altoona on Sunday evening. Richmond has not yet announced a starting pitcher while the Curve will throw LHP Zack Dodson (5-9, 3.98). First pitch is set for 6:00 PM with the Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup starting at 5:30 PM on Fox Sports 910 and FoxSportsRichmond.com.

– Source: Richmond Flying Squirrels


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