Flying Squirrels return home after sweep on the road

The following comes directly from the Richmond Flying Squirrels:

Altoona, PA– The Altoona Curve (15-9) hit a pair of home runs early and pulled away late to down the Flying Squirrels (9-14), 9-2 on Wednesday morning. Altoona RHP Tanner Anderson held the Squirrels to a pair of runs over five innings of work and the Curve bullpen was nearly flawless to preserve the win. Hunter Cole extended his hitting streak to season-high 11 games in the loss for Richmond. The Squirrels return home to begin a seven-day, eight game homestand starting on Thursday with Star Wars night and In-Your-Face Fireworks. A full preview of the homestand can be found here. 

Once again the Altoona Curve opened up an early lead against Richmond and starting pitcher Jordan Johnson. Elvis Escobar singled in the first inning and Kevin Kramer was hit by a pitch, placing runners at first and second. With two outs, Chase Simpson lined a ball off the base of the right field wall to bring home both Escobar and Kramer for a 2-0 advantage. Simpson was thrown out trying to stretch the double into a triple to end the inning.

Johnson allowed one more run in the second inning to fall behind 3-0. Jordan Luplow drilled a solo home run over the left field wall to lead off the inning. Johnson then retired the next three batters tokeep it a 3-0 deficit. Johnson used 47 pitches through the first three innings and 93 overall.

After 19 consecutive innings without scoring, the Squirrels offense finally came to life with a pair of runs in the second. Miguel Gomez singled to open the frame and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Dylan Davis then delivered a single to left field to plate Gomez for a 3-1 score. Hunter Cole followed with a double to the gap in right center field to score Davis and trim the deficit to one, 3-2. Cole was not granted an RBI on the play due to the ball being bobbled in right field. He did however extend his hitting streak to a team-high 11 games with a pair of hits in the contest.

Altoona’s Anderson (2-1) allowed just the two runs in the fourth and finished his outing by retiring the last three batters of the fifth. The Harvard product allowed the two runs on five hits with three strikeouts in the win. The Curve bullpen finished off the game and allowed only one hit over the final four innings.

Johnson lasted into the sixth inning and struck out the last batter he faced. Johnson yielded his second home run of the contest, a solo shot to Connor Joe, but stayed in the game to get the next two outs. Johnson reached his pitch limit at 93 and was replaced by Carlos Alvarado to finish out the inning. Overall, Johnson tossed 5 2/3 innings and allowedfour runs on four hits in taking the loss. He struck out four and walked three in his third start of the season.

Altoona took a 5-3 lead into the seventh inning and ran away with the contests over the last two innings of the game. The Curve plated one run against D.J. Snelten in the seventh and four more off of Luis Pino in the eighth. Richmond concluded the road trip with a 2-3 record over the five contests.

The Squirrels will return to The Diamond for an action-packed homestand beginning on Thursday, May 4 for Star Wars Night and In-Your-Face-Fireworks presented by Steak ‘n’ Shake.Left-handed pitcher Andrew Suarez (1-3, 3.48) will make the start for the Squirrels against the Bowie Baysox LHP Brandon Barker (1-1, 5.09).