RICHMOND, Va. - Everyone knows that walks come back to haunt a team. Well, there was an awful lot of haunting going on Saturday night for the Curve.
Altoona pitchers set a franchise record with 12 walks, plus they hit three other batters. That turned into 15 free baserunners for Richmond, and it ultimately led to a 4-3 win for the Flying Squirrels at The Diamond.
Despite the wildness, the Curve still had a chance to win the game, pulling even at 3-3 on an RBI triple by Willy Garcia in the eighth. But the erratic pitching continued in the bottom half of the inning and helped Richmond score the decisive run.
Reliever Ryan Beckman hit Ryan Lollis with one out, walked Matt Duffy, then hit Jarrett Parker to load the bases. Mario Lisson hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Lollis with the go-ahead run.
Beckman (0-1) took the loss, while Richmond reliever Edwin Quirarte (2-1) earned the win. Derek Law pitched the ninth to earn his first save.
Curve starter Tyler Sample walked six over four innings and allowed two runs on two hits. Joan Montero followed and walked four while hitting another in just 1 innings, and he gave up one run. Brandon Mann walked one and didn't allow a run in 1 innings.
Covering the bases
LEADING OFF: The previous record for walks in a game by Curve pitchers was 10, which had been done eight times.
SAFE AT FIRST: RHP Tyler Sample walked six, but that wasn't a team record. LHP Adrian Burnside walked eight during an outing in 2002.
STEALING SECOND: 2B Gift Ngoepe is off to a solid start, hitting .308 (11-for-26). That is leaps and bounds above last year, when he hit only .177 in 72 games for the Curve.
ROUNDING THIRD: CF Mel Rojas Jr. also is off to a good start, hitting .296 (8-for-27) with three RBIs.
HEADING HOME: The Curve wrap up their series at Richmond this afternoon, then head to Harrisburg for three games.
- Cory Giger
The final walk, by Beckman, along with the two hit batsmen hurt the most.
Duffy and Lisson each walked three times.
The pitching staff has been solid for the Curve in the early going, and they lead the Eastern League with a 2.70 team ERA. But the bullpen has faltered the past two nights, and the 12 walks Saturday left the team with a poor 47 to 38 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Key player: RF Jarrett Parker went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a walk for Richmond.
Key play: Curve RHP Ryan Beckman hit two and walked one in the eighth, loading the bases to help the Flying Squirrels score the go-ahead run.
Key stat: The Curve walked a franchise-record 12 batters.
How they scored
Top 1st: Ngoepe walked, scored on Rojas Jr. double (1-0).
Bottom 1st: Graham singled, scored on Parker single (1-1); Duffy walked, scored on Schroder sacrifice fly (1-2).
Top 2nd: Vasquez doubled, scored on Schroder passed ball (2-2).
Bottom 6th: Villalona walked, scored on Parker bases-loaded walk (2-3).
Top 8th: Ngoepe singled, scored on Garcia triple (3-3).
Bottom 8th: Lollis hit by pitch, scored on Lisson sacrifice fly (3-4).