Curve rally, win series with Richmond
The win also netted the Curve the series, having taken two of three games from the Squirrels. Altoona scored the final eight runs in the ballgame after the Squirrels had enjoyed a 3-0 lead.
Right-hander Daryl Maday took the brunt of the Altoona uprising in the eighth inning. On for his first inning of relief, Maday conceded a one-out single to Kelson Brown. After a sacrifice-bunt, Richmond elected to intentionally walk Robbie Grossman. Elevys Gonzalez followed and sent an infield-single back to the mound that loaded the bases. Adalberto Santos then delivered the game-winner, slapping a 3-2 pitch from Maday just fair down the right-field line. It cleared the bases and put the Curve in front, 6-3. Altoona capped the scoring with RBI-singles from Matt Curry and Ramon Cabrera. Maday (0-1) was saddled with his first loss of the year.
After a day off, the Squirrels got started quickly in the first inning. Wildness from Curve left-hander Aaron Poreda helped set the table as he issued back-to-back walks to Gary Brown and Ryan Cavan to start the ballgame. While Cavan was batting, Brown stole both second and third base. Daniel Mayora made it 1-0 Richmond with an RBI-single sprayed into right field.
Poreda was again erratic in the third, and the Squirrels were able to scrape across a pair of runs. With two outs in the inning, Poreda walked Wes Hodges. He also issued a walk to Juan Perez to put two aboard. Ehire Adrianza shot a liner into right field to bring in Hodges and move Perez to third base. Eliezer Zambrano then tapped a ball softly to the third-base side of the pitcher’s mound. Poreda fumbled the ball, and Perez came in for a 3-0 lead.
Poreda retired to a no-decision after five innings. He surrendered three runs – two earned – on four hits. He walked five, hit another, and struck out three.
Squirrels’ starter Craig Westcott cruised through the first five innings, but ran into trouble and was lifted in the sixth. Brock Holt led off the inning with a single and Westcott walked Aldalberto Santos to put two aboard with nobody out. Matt Curry then cracked an RBI-double off the wall in left field, plating Holt and pushing Santos to third base. Ramon Cabrera made it a one-run ballgame with a groundout to Cavan that brought in Santos. Westcott walked Jeremy Farrell to put runners at the corners and then conceded a single to Quincy Latimore that tied the ballgame, 3-3. Farrell took third on the play with Latimore into second on the throw from Chris Dominguez that went to third base. Westcott was lifted in favor of right-hander Austin Fleet. Fleet came on and Kelson Brown to bounce out for the second out of the inning. He then ended the threat and kept the ballgame tied when he fanned Anthony Norman.
Westcott didn’t register a decision, working 5 1/3 innings. He was charged with three runs on four hits. He walked five and struck out one.
Right-handers Kyle Cofield, Vic Black and Duke Welker subdued the Squirrels over the final four innings of the ballgame. Welker (1-0) earned his first victory of the season, working the final inning-and-a-third.
The Squirrels will travel to Reading, PA, on Sunday night. They will have an off day on Monday before opening a three-game series with the Reading Phillies (Philadelphia Phillies) on Tuesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.