Altoona jumps ahead early, pulls away late to send Richmond to 9-4 loss
The Curve (16-9) posted three runs in the third and four runs in the eighth inning for their second win of the series. The Flying Squirrels (15-11) did not register a hit until the fifth inning.
Altoona attacked early in the first inning with a two-run homer from Oneil Cruz, giving the Curve a 2-0 advantage. It was Cruz’s third home run in his last five games.
The Curve added on to their lead with a three-run third inning. After a leadoff walk, Cruz hit an RBI single, then Cal Mitchell collected a two RBI double to vault the Curve ahead, 5-0.
Richmond broke the scoring drought in the fifth inning courtesy of a two-run homer from Ryan Howard, cutting the deficit to 5-2. It was Howard’s first home run of 2021.
David Villar put the Flying Squirrels within a run, 5-4, in the sixth inning, thanks to his fifth home run of the year, a two-run blast to left field. Villar leads the Flying Squirrels in home runs and leads the squad with RBIs.
All of Richmond’s four runs came off home runs.
The Curve pulled away in the eighth with Jose Marte on the mound, scoring four runs and extended the lead to 9-4. Altoona received an RBI triple by Jonah Davis, RBI singles from Raul Hernandez and Cruz along with a sacrifice fly from Mason Martin. The runs were the first against Marte this season in eight outings.
Richmond starter Trenton Toplikar (Loss, 0-1) went 2.1 innings, surrendering five runs off four hits and four walks with two strikeouts.
Curve starting pitcher Travis MacGregor (Win, 1-1) allowed only one hit over 5.0 innings, the home run from Howard.
The Flying Squirrels face the Curve Thursday for Peanut-Free Night and In-Your-Face Fireworks after the ballgame. Right-hander Caleb Kilian (0-0, 2.25) will start for Richmond opposed by right-hander Noe Toribio (1-1, 4.67) for Altoona. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. with gates opening at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets are available online at SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets, by phone at 804-359-3866 or in person at the Flying Squirrels offices.