Altoona takes two from Richmond Flying Squirrels

richmond-squirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels (5-9) endured a rough final day of their week-long road trip, falling in the completion of Tuesday night’s suspended ballgame before also dropping the finale of a three-game set with the Altoona Curve (6-7) on Wednesday afternoon.  After the Curve walked off with the win in game two of the series, they held off the Squirrels, 4-3, to claim the series win.  The Squirrels limp home following the series, having gone just 1-6 on their first road trip of the season.

The Squirrels were one strike away from defeating the Curve on Tuesday night.  However, the Curve rallied to tie the ballgame before heavy rains arrived at the ballpark.  The game was then suspended, tied 1-1, heading to the 10th inning.

After both teams had golden scoring chances in the 10th inning and were turned aside, the Squirrels went quickly in the top of the 11th inning.  In the bottom of the 11th, Richmond right-hander Fabio Castillo committed an error on a slow-roller up the first-base line.  That allowed Charlie Cutler – the hero from the night prior – to reach safely.  Castillo walked Mel Rojas Jr. to move Cutler to second base and a batter later, Andrew Lambo pulled a single through the hole on the left-side of the infield to give Altoona the walk-off win, 2-1.

Left-hander Chris Gloor returned from the Disabled List to make the start for Richmond in the series finale.  He labored in the first inning, as the Curve plated a pair for a 2-0 lead.  Runs scored in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Andrew Lambo and an RBI groundout from Drew Maggi.

Gloor settled in after the uprising in the first inning and retired 14 consecutive batters through the fifth inning.  Gloor didn’t find trouble again until the sixth inning, when the Curve chased him from the ballgame.  Rojas Jr. opened the inning with a double off the top of the wall in left field.  A batter later, Lambo drove in another run with an RBI single.  Maggi added his second run batted in for the game with a single a batter later.  That run made it 4-0 Curve and chased Gloor from the game.  Gloor (0-1) suffered his first setback of the season over 5 2/3 innings.

Meanwhile, right-hander Jameson Taillon (2-1) was outstanding over seven scoreless innings.  After issuing a pair of walks in the first inning, he faced little trouble.  He allowed the Squirrels just two hits, walked three and struck out five in his longest outing of the season.  He earned his second win of the year.

Left-hander Nate Baker followed Taillon and had difficulty with his command.  He issued back-to-back walks to Ehire Adrianza and Joe Panik that opened the door for the Squirrels in the eighth inning.  Javier Herrera followed the free passes and crushed a three-run home run to left field to pull the Squirrels within a run, 4-3.

Richmond got no closer however, as right-hander Jeff Inman came on for Baker and retired the next five batters to close out the win for Altoona. Inman earned his first save of the season, striking out three.  Right-handers Omar Javier and Jose Valdez turned in scoreless appearances in relief for Richmond in a losing effort.

The Squirrels return to Richmond to open a week-long homestand and a four-game series with the Reading Fightin’ Phils (Philadelphia Phillies) on Thursday night at The Diamond.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. as RHP Justin Fitzgerald (0-0, 2.25) will make the start for Richmond against RHP Seth Rosin (1-0, 1.80) for the Fightin’ Phils. Pregame coverage begins on SportsRadio 910, and IHeart Radio at 6:05 p.m.

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