Curve offense goes flat, stays there

From Mirror reports

RICHMOND, Va. — The Curve scored just minutes into Monday night’s game at Richmond, then fell flat the rest of the night.

The Flying Squirrels scored twice in the eighth inning to snap a tie and beat Altoona, 3-1, at The Diamond. The Curve managed only four hits — two each in the first and eighth innings — and wasted a strong outing by pitcher Alex McRae.

The right-hander tossed seven innings, giving up just one run on six hits with four strikeouts and one walk. He departed with the game tied, turning things over to Luis Heredia in the eighth inning.

Heredia ran into immediate trouble, giving up a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Carlos Garcia and bunt single to Slade Heathcott to put runners at the corners with no outs.

Ali Castillo put Richmond on top with a sacrifice fly, and Chris Shaw later singled home Heathcott for an insurance run.

Heredia (0-1) took the loss, while D.J. Snelton (4-0) picked up the win in relief for the Flying Squirrels. Reyes Moronta pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

Altoona took a quick 1-0 lead when Elvis Escobar led off the game with a double and came home on a two-out double by Edwin Espinal. The Curve offense fizzled after that, however, as Richmond starter Jordan Johnson allowed only the one run on two hits in six innings.

The lone run allowed by McRae came in the fourth inning as Miguel Gomez singled and came in on a double by Shaw.

Game recap

Key player: 1B Chris Shaw went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Richmond.

Key play: A leadoff double by Carlos Garcia and bunt single by Ali Castillo to start the eighth led to Richmond scoring the go-ahead runs.

Key stat: The Curve had only four hits — two each in the first and eighth innings.

How they scored

Top 1st: Escobar doubled, scored on Espinal double (1-0).

Bottom 4th: Gomez singled, scored on Shaw double (1-1).

Bottom 8th: Garcia doubled, scored on Castillo sacrifice fly (1-2); Heathcott bunt single, scored on Shaw single (1-3).

Next stop

Tonight: Altoona at Richmond, 6:35 p.m.

Pitchers: Curve RHP Tanner Anderson (2-1, 1.98) vs. Squirrels LHP Andrew Suarez (1-3, 2.93)

Record: 17-11

Covering the bases

LEADING OFF: San Francisco Giants SS Brandon Crawford is rehabbing with Richmond and went 1-for-3 Monday night. Crawford is on the major league DL with a groin injury. His sister, Amy, is married to Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole.

SAFE AT FIRST: 2B Kevin Kramer went 1-for-4 Monday and has reached base in 25 consecutive games. He has reached base in every game he’s played.

STEALING SECOND: The Curve had been 4-1 against Richmond this season before Monday’s loss.

ROUNDING THIRD: Altoona is 86-68 all-time against the Flying Squirrels, bolstered primarily by a 53-28 record at home. It’s been a different story on the road, with Richmond holding a 40-32 edge at The Diamond.

HEADING HOME: These teams play tonight and Wednesday afternoon, then the Curve return home Thursday for a week-long homestand.

— Cory Giger