Squirrels starter Clayton Blackburn kept the Curve hitters off balance through the first four innings and did not allow a hit until Elias Diaz broke through and singled with one out in the fifth. Blackburn (1-1) ended up going a Double-A high 6.1 innings and did not allow a run while striking out three batters.
Richmond scored their two runs off Nick Kingham (1-1) in the third inning thanks to a pair of errors. Tyler Graham reached on an Alen Hanson error to start the inning before Skyler Stromsmoe singled through the right side to allow Graham to go first to third. Jarrett Parker followed with a fielder’s choice that scored Graham from third and put the Squirrels in front. Kingham then attempted to pick Parker off at first but the throw went by Allie and Parker went first to third. Angel Villalona followed with a sac fly to bring home the second run of the inning, both of which were unearned to Kingham.
Kingham ended up just allowing the two unearned runs across five innings while striking out three and walking three.
Altoona put two on with less than two down in the fifth and in the seventh inning but couldn’t get that hit to get on the board. Allie’s homer, which was his second of the season, was a towering shot to left-center field to start the ninth. Mel Rojas, Jr. and Willy Garcia were both retired following Allie’s homer before a strong at bat from Diaz that resulted in a walk. Keon Broxton was called upon to pinch hit for the pitcher spot but grounded out to end the game.
Joan Montero and Brandon Mann combined for four scoreless innings out of the Curve bullpen to keep the game close. Diaz was 2-for-3 in the losing effort for the Curve to lead the offense.
----Curve Media Relations
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