Richmond Flying Squirrels go deep three times in win over Curve

richmond flying squirrelsRyan Howard, Jalen Miller and Jonah Arenado all hit home runs to lead the Richmond Flying Squirrels to an 8-4 win over the Altoona Curve on Thursday night in front of 7,959 fans at The Diamond.

Leading 5-3 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, Richmond (6-8) used two home runs to extend its lead. Miller led off the frame with a solo blast to left—his team-leading third homer of the season—to make it 6-3. Four batters later with a runner on first and two outs, Arenado connected on moonshot down the left-field line to put the Flying Squirrels ahead, 8-3.

Altoona (6-8) started the scoring, taking an early lead against left-hander Conner Menez (Win, 1-1) in the top of the first inning, when Logan Hill singled in Jared Oliva to make it 1-0.

Richmond (7-5) battled back with two runs in the bottom of the second. After Heath Quinn singled and Jacob Heyward drew a walk, Arenado drilled an RBI double off the left field fence to tie the game. Next, Hamlet Marte gave the Flying Squirrels the lead with a sacrifice fly.

The Curve tied the score in the very next half-inning when Stephen Alemais singled, moved to second on a passed ball, and scored on a single from Bligh Madris.

With the Flying Squirrels and Curve tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the third, Howard smacked the first home run of the game for Richmond, sending a 1-0 pitch from Scooter Hightower (Loss, 0-2) over the left field fence to give the Flying Squirrels a 3-2 lead.

Richmond tacked on two more in the bottom of the fourth. Following back-to-back singles from Heyward and Arenado, Marte came through by punching an RBI single through the left side. Menez followed with a sacrifice fly to bring in Arenado and extend Richmond’s lead to 5-2.

Menez polished off his outing by retiring six of the last seven batters he faced. The left-hander struck out a season-high eight batters across five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits with one walk to earn his first win of the year.

Conner Overton tossed two innings in relief, yielding a run in the seventh on a triple from Arden Pabst and a fielder’s choice groundout.

The Curve tried to rally in the ninth, scoring on run on an RBI single from Stephen Alemais. On the play, however, Chris Shaw combined with Marte to throw out Bralin Jackson at third to end the game.

The Flying Squirrels continue their series against the Curve on Friday at 7:05 p.m., when left-hander Garrett Williams (0-0, 3.00 ERA) starts for Richmond against Altoona right-hander Pedro Vasquez (1-0, 2.45 ERA). Coverage begins on Sports Radio 910 the Fan with the Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup presented by Air Force Reserve at 6:35 p.m.

Friday’s game is the second game at The Diamond this season where Richmond will transform into las Ardillas Voladoras as part of Minor League Baseball’s “Copa de la Diversión” initiative, designed to engage with and embrace the local Latinx/Hispanic communities in cities across Minor League Baseball. The first 1,000 fans 15 and older will receive a luchador mask featuring the Ardillas Voladoras logo.

Every Friday home game at The Diamond also features happy hour drink specials from 6-8 p.m. Specials include $2 12-ounce domestic beers at all concession stands, Beer Express carts and The Thirsty Acorn, as well as $2 fountain sodas at the Pepsi Fountain (located on the main concourse, first base side. Following the game, children 14 and younger can run the bases presented by Richmond Family Magazine.

For tickets or more information, call 804-359-3866 (FUNN), visit SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets or stop by the Flying Squirrels box office.

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