Strong seventh inning lead Curve past Squirrels


J.T. Brubaker worked eight solid innings as the Altoona Curve used three seventh-inning runs to top the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 3-1, on Monday night at The Diamond.
The Curve (11-10) were held to just five hits but the Flying Squirrels (14-9) went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position for the night.
Brubaker (Win, 2-1) set a new regular-season career high with eight innings pitched, allowing one run on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. His season ERA now sits at 1.45.
Trailing 1-0 in the seventh, Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled and Jordan George walked with one out to chase Richmond starter Jordan Johnson (Loss, 2-3). Facing reliever Caleb Simpson, Will Craig clubbed a go-ahead, two-run double and later scored on a single by Elvis Escobar to put the Curve ahead, 3-1.
In the bottom of the ninth, Richmond got runners to second and third, but Jesus Liranzo (Save, 1) struck out the final two batters to close out his first save as a member of the Pittsburgh organization.
Richmond scored its lone run in the third inning with a solo homer by Johnson, who became just the second Flying Squirrels pitcher ever to record multiple home runs in a season.
That run snapped a streak of 13.2 consecutive scoreless innings pitched by Brubaker dating back to April 17. The streak matched Dario Agrazal for the longest scoreless streak by a Curve pitcher this year.
Hayes finished the night 2-for-4 with a run scored. Escobar went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk.
The Curve and Flying Squirrels play the second of the three-game series on Tuesday night. Right-hander Dario Agrazal (1-0, 1.45) will start for Altoona, opposed by Richmond right-hander Mike Connolly (1-0, 0.00), who will make his first start of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at The Diamond in Richmond.

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