altoona completes sweep richmond flying squirrels
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Altoona completes sweep of Richmond Flying Squirrels

richmond-squirrelsThe Altoona Curve (50-66) completed a four-game sweep of the Richmond Flying Squirrels (66-49) with a, 6-3, win on Sunday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.  It marked just the third loss on a Sunday for the Squirrels (15-3) and the first time they have been swept in a four-game series this season.  They have also lost five consecutive games for the first time.

The Squirrels grabbed a quick lead in the first inning off of righty Angel Sanchez.  Skyler Stromsmoe got the Squirrels started with a one-out single.  Ricky Oropesa followed and delivered a hit-and-run single to put runners at the corners.  Sanchez then threw over to first base, but his attempted pick-off throw broke through the webbing of first baseman Stetson Allie’s mitt.  Stromsmoe scored on the error for a 1-0 lead.

Altoona responded immediately against right-hander Clayton Blackburn.  Alen Hanson led off the first inning with a triple through the alley in right-center field.  Blackburn then walked Gift Ngoepe to put two aboard.  Dan Gamache then tied the ballgame, 1-1, with a sacrifice-fly to left field.  Ngoepe proceeded to swipe second base.  He scored to give Altoona a 2-1 lead when Andy Vasquez laced a single to left-center field.

Richmond caught back up in the third.  With one out, Mario Lisson blasted a solo-home run to left-center field off of Sanchez.  Lisson’s team-leading 13th of the season leveled the score, 2-2.

Neither starter factored in the decision.  Blackburn departed after 4 2/3 innings, while Sanchez lasted five.  Both were charged with two earned runs.  Blackburn allowed four hits, walked two and struck out four.  Sanchez permitted six hits, walked two and struck out three.

The Curve forged in front for good with a pair of runs off righty Edwin Quirarte in the seventh inning.  Keon Broxton and Carlos Paulino supplied back-to-back singles to start the inning and put runners on the corners with nobody out.  Kelson Brown then hit into a double play.  However, Broxton scored on the play for a 3-2 lead.  Quirarte then walked Hanson and balked him to second base.  Ngoepe then provided the deciding run with a double to the right-field corner.  Quirarte (9-5) was saddled with the loss, his fifth.

Lefty Johnathan Ramos (3-5) earned the win, working two innings of scoreless relief.  Richmond got a lone run back off righty Jeff Inman in the eighth, but the Curve capped the scoring with a pair against lefty Steven Okert in the bottom of the frame.

Righty Kenn Kasparek worked an incident-free ninth to earn the save, his 10th of the season.

The Squirrels will enjoy a day off on Monday.  They open a three-game series against the Binghamton Mets (New York Mets) at The Diamond on Tuesday night.  First pitch of the opener is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. as Richmond LHP Adalberto Mejia (5-6, 5.24) will make the start against Binghamton RHP Tyler Pill (6-5, 4.03).  The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup begins at 6:35 p.m. on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.

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