RICHMOND, VA – The Richmond Flying Squirrels (20-20) plated the final three runs of the ballgame to overtake the Altoona Curve (19-23) and claim a, 5-3, win in front of 7,178 at The Diamond on Saturday night. With the win, the Squirrels pulled even in the three-game series.
Richmond lefty Chris Gloor looked as though he was going to enjoy a quick first inning, retiring the first two batters. However, he walked Adalberto Santos and Andrew Lambo followed with a two-run home run to right field. Lambo’s eighth of the season put the Curve in front, 2-0.
An error on Curve right fielder Alex Dickerson in the bottom of the first inning allowed the Squirrels to respond against rehabbing Pirates’ righty Jeff Karstens. With one out, Joe Panik sent a deep fly ball to right field. Dickerson went back to the warning track to field it, but dropped the ball, allowing Panik to reach second base. An out later, Mark Minicozzi lined a single into center field to score Panik. Ricky Oropesa then singled and Andrew Susac walked to load the bases. Karstens then walked Ehire Adrianza, forcing home Minicozzi to tie the ballgame, 2-2. Both runs were unearned against Karstens.
Both pitchers settled in, and the ballgame remained tied into the fifth inning. Once again, Gloor got the first two outs of the inning before the long-ball hurt him. Gift Ngoepe clocked his second home run of the season to left field to put Altoona in front, 3-2.
Karstens’ rehab appearance lasted four innings. He left to a no-decision, having conceded two unearned runs on two hits, walked two and struck out four. He used 62 of his allotted 65 pitches, throwing 40 for strikes.
Right-hander Ethan Hollingsworth came on and held off the Squirrels in the fifth inning. However, a second costly Curve error allowed Richmond to pull even in the sixth inning.
Gloor (2-1) turned in his longest outing of the season, working seven innings. He left with the ballgame tied, 3-3, but was turned into the winner as the Squirrels rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out three.
That rally came against Hollingsworth (1-3) and was started by Jarrett Parker, who delivered a one-out single. He stole second base and advanced to third on an infield-single from Javier Herrera. Herrera also stole second base and Minicozzi cracked a two-run double into left-center, plating the decisive runs in the ballgame. Minicozzi finished the night two-for-four with three RBIs. Hollingsworth was doomed to the loss for Altoona.
Richmond lefty Tom Vessella handled an uneventful eighth inning, and right-hander Daryl Maday dispatched the Curve in order in the ninth to nail down the win. Maday earned his eighth save of the season.
The finale of the three-game series is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond. Richmond LHP Jack Snodgrass (3-0, 2.60) is expected to return from the disabled list to make the start against Curve RHP Jameson Taillon (2-4, 2.82). Pregame coverage begins on Sports Radio 910, SportsRadio910.com and IHeart Radio at 1:35 p.m.
# SQUIRRELS #