RICHMOND, Va. - Both of the Curve's troubling early season trends continued Thursday in their first road game.
Altoona fell behind early once again, marking the fifth time in six games that's occurred, and had another shaky game defensively with four errors. Richmond capitalized on the defensive miscues and won, 7-3, before 9,560 fans in their home opener at The Diamond.
The Flying Squirrels scored three runs in the second inning and two in the third off Curve starter Mike Colla to take command. They were helped out in both innings by an Altoona error.
Manager P.J. Forbes already has expressed concern several times after game's about his team's defense, but the problem has persisted in the early going. The Curve lead the Eastern League with 13 errors, and Thursday was the third time in six contests they've committed at least three.
The poor defense has made it tough on the pitchers, and Altoona leads the EL in the dubious category of unearned runs allowed (12).
Colla (0-1) also struggled on his own Thursday, giving up six runs - four earned - on nine hits with two strikeouts and one walk in five innings.
Tonight: Altoona at Richmond, 6:35 p.m.
Pitching matchups: Curve LHP Nathan Baker (1-0, 1.80) vs. Flying Squirrels RHP Chris Heston (0-0, 0.00)
Covering the bases: B3
Richmond starter Jason Stevenson (1-1) gave up two unearned runs and five hits while striking out five with two walks in seven innings for the win. He also had an RBI single that brought home his team's first run of the game in the second inning.
Curve shortstop Brock Holt committed a fielding error in the second, and Colla walked in a run with the bases loaded.
A throwing error by third baseman Elevys Gonzalez, which came after back-to-back doubles, helped Richmond score another run in the third.
Catcher Tony Sanchez had a tough night with two throwing errors. One came on an errant throw trying to get a runner stealing second in the sixth inning and the other on a wild throw to first after a strikeout and ball in the dirt in the eighth.
The Curve scored twice with the help of a throwing error by the pitcher Stevenson in the fourth. His wild throw to first base allowed Holt to come around all the way from first to score and let Jarek Cunningham get to third. Andrew Lambo drove home the run with a groundout, and he also doubled home Sanchez in the ninth for Altoona's final run.
Key player: Richmond 1B Wes Hodges went 2-for-4 with a homer and two runs.
Key play: An error by Curve SS Brock Holt in the second inning loaded the bases with no outs for Richmond, which went on to score three runs.
Key stat: The Curve lead the EL with 13 errors and have committed at least three miscues in three of their six games.
How they scored
Bottom 2nd: Perez singled, scored on Stevenson single (0-1); Hodges singled, scored on Brown bases-loaded walk (0-2); Mayora reached on Holt error, scored on Adrianza sacrifice fly (0-3).
Bottom 3rd: Monell doubled, scored on Perez double (0-4); Mayora sacrifice fly scored Perez (0-5).
Top 4th: Holt singled, scored on Stevenson error that let Cunningham reach (1-5); Lambo groundout scored Cunningham (2-5).
Bottom 5th: Hodges solo homer (2-6).
Bottom 6th: Brown hit by pitch, scored on Dominguez double (2-7).
Top 9th: Sanchez walked, scored on Lambo double (3-7).