ALTOONA, PA – The Richmond Flying Squirrels (17-18) let one slip through their fingertips, dropping the finale of a four-game set, 2-1, to the Altoona Curve on Sunday afternoon at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The Curve plated the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning courtesy of a walk and a defensive error. Altoona also grabbed the series, taking three-of-four from the Squirrels as Richmond’s road record dropped to 5-12.
An inning-opening walk from Richmond lefty Phil McCormick opened the door for the Curve in the bottom of the ninth inning. Andrew Lambo drew that walk and stood at second base with two outs in the inning. Charlie Cutler pinch-hit and sent a fly ball to center field. Jarrett Parker tracked the ball to the edge of the warning track and was in position to make the catch. However, he dropped the ball, and the error allowed Lambo to score the winning run. McCormick (1-2) was doomed to the loss due to the miscue.
Curve right-hander Jameson Taillon was outstanding over six scoreless innings, conceding just two hits to the Squirrels. He walked three, but struck out eight, departing to a no-decision. In two starts against the Squirrels at Peoples Natural Gas Field, the highly-heralded righty has worked 13 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits.
Richmond lefty Chris Gloor was even better, but also didn’t factor in the decision. In his finest outing of the season, Gloor worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits. He walked two and struck out three, departing in favor of right-hander Jose Valdez to a no-decision in the seventh inning.
Valdez cleaned up the seventh for Gloor, and the Squirrels finally broke through in the top of the eighth inning. Left-hander Jhonathan Ramos issued back-to-back walks to Javier Herrera and Joe Panik. He was removed for righty Ethan Hollingsworth who promptly walked Mark Minicozzi to load the bases. Andrew Susac then put Richmond in front, 1-0, with a sacrifice fly to left field. The run for the Squirrels was charged to Ramos and came without the benefit of a base hit.
Altoona answered to tie the ballgame with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Valdez walked Andy Vasquez to start the inning and he advanced to second on a wild pitch. Gift Ngoepe bunted Vasquez to third base and he scored when Neil Walker singled to left field to level the ballgame, 1-1.
Hollingsworth (1-2) earned the win for the Curve, working 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
The Squirrels continue their week-long road trip to the state of Pennsylvania as they travel to Harrisburg, PA. They will open a three-game series with the Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals) from Metro Bank Park at 7 p.m. on Monday night. Richmond LHP Carlos Teller (0-0, ---) will make the start against Harrisburg RHP Blake Treinen (3-3, 4.89). Pregame coverage begins on Sports Radio 910, SportsRadio910.com and IHeart Radio at 6:30 p.m.
# SQUIRRELS #