Curve bounce back against Squirrels


 The Altoona Curve received seven brilliant innings from Mitch Keller and Will Craig kickstarted the offense with a three-run homer in Tuesday’s 5-1 win over the Richmond Flying Squirrels at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Keller’s (Win, 4-2) seven innings for the Curve (19-16) matched a regular-season career-high while he struck out seven members of the Flying Squirrels (20-17) lineup. Keller allowed Richmond’s lone run, walked two and allowed four hits, which were all extra-base knocks.
With the Curve down 1-0, Craig’s home run sparked a five-run fourth and made Shaun Anderson (Loss, 4-2) pay for two walks to begin the inning. Craig has homered in two straight games against Richmond and five times this season to match Logan Hill and Jason Martin for the team lead.
Altoona followed Craig’s blast with three singles in a row by Jordan George, Hill and an infield hit by Christian Kelley. George scored on Kelley’s single after a throwing error by Richmond shortstop Ryan Howard. The next batter, Stephen Alemais, knocked in the Curve’s fifth run of the fourth on a sacrifice fly.
Richmond scored first in the ballgame during the second inning against Keller. With two outs, Luigi Rodriguez struck a triple to center field and scored on an RBI double by Aramis Garcia. The Flying Squirrels entered Tuesday’s action 17-3 when they scored the first run of the game.
Jesus Liranzo used three strikeouts to record the final six outs in relief despite having runners at second and third with one out in the eighth. Richmond stranded five of their seven total men left on base in scoring position.
In addition to his home run, Craig added a double in the sixth and finished 2-for-3 with a walk. Martin extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single in the eighth inning.
The Curve complete their three-game series against the Flying Squirrels on Wednesday. Left-hander Taylor Hearn (1-3, 5.17) is scheduled to take the mound for Altoona and Richmond will send right-hander Jordan Johnson (4-1, 2.31) to the hill. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Fans will have a chance to win prizes from the PA Lottery on Winning Wednesday in Curve, PA. On the field, the Curve will wear their digital camo jerseys, presented by the Altoona Mirror. The ballpark gates will open at 5 p.m.

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