Squirrels lose series opener in Altoona

Richmond Flying SquirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels fell behind early and lost to the Altoona Curve, 16-5, in the series opener on Tuesday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.

The Flying Squirrels (49-48) homered twice in the game, moving their season total to a new franchise record with 110, but the Curve (51-44) scored 16 runs on 20 hits.

In the bottom of the first inning, the first seven Curve batters reached base against Flying Squirrels starter Michael Plassmeyer (Loss, 2-7), leading to four runs. Rodolfo Castro hit a three-run homer and Diego Castillo drove an RBI single to open a 4-0 lead for Altoona.

In the second, Oneil Cruz scored on a wild pitch and the Curve picked up RBI singles by Cal Mitchell, Ji-Hwan Bae and Arden Pabst to extend their lead to 9-0.

Richmond cut into Altoona’s lead in the third. Simon Whiteman hit an RBI double and Diego Rincones followed with a two-run homer, closing the gap to 9-4. Richmond stranded the bases loaded in the inning.

Mitchell hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third inning to extend the Curve’s lead to 10-4.

In the bottom of the fourth, Andres Angulo lifted a solo home run to left to bring Richmond back within five runs. His homer was the 110th of the season for the Flying Squirrels, breaking the previous single-season franchise record of 109 from the 2013 season.

Altoona scored three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to push the lead to 16-5.

The Curve’s 20 hits was the most allowed in a game by the Flying Squirrels since 2012.

Luis Amaya retired all nine batters he faced over the final three innings with five strikeouts.

Altoona reliever Steven Jennings (Win, 3-0) allowed one run over three innings of work. Oddy Nunez (Save, 1) pitched three scoreless innings to finish the game.

The Flying Squirrels continue the series against the Curve Wednesday with a first pitch scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

The team returns to Richmond for their final home series of 2021 from Sept. 7-12 against the Akron RubberDucks, Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Tickets are available online at SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets, by phone at 804-359-3866 or in person at the Flying Squirrels offices.

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