RICHMOND, Va. - The Curve will have a losing season, and they've matched their season low point of 13 games below .500 with just 11 games remaining.
The good news is the club showed a lot of fight in the ninth inning Thursday night in rallying at Richmond, but the Curve couldn't catch up and fell, 9-7, at The Diamond.
The bad news is there are still seven games left on the current road trip, and with just a 27-37 road record, the losing ways aren't likely to end over the next week.
Altoona has dropped three in a row and six out of seven, and Thursday it squandered a 3-0 lead to lose. The Curve scored twice in the first and once in the fourth, only to see Richmond rally with nine unanswered runs for a 9-3 lead.
The Flying Squirrels took the lead for good with five runs in the fourth off Curve starter Eliecer Navarro. Eight consecutive batters reached base for Richmond, including pitcher Jack Snodgrass, whose two-run single got his team on the board.
The Curve appeared to have no shot after Richmond scored twice in the eighth for a 9-3 lead. But Altoona's offense, which had been shut out in the two previous games and scored only seven runs total in the previous six games, put together a rally that nearly pulled the team all the way back.
The Curve scored four runs off reliever Jose Valdez and chased him. Down 9-7, Altoona had the bases loaded with two outs, and Carlos Paulino worked a full count against reliever Ryan Bradley.
The runners were off on the 3-2 pitch, and the Curve would have tied the game with a single. The rally fell short, though, as Paulino grounded out to second to end the game.
Snodgrass (11-4) picked up the win, while Navarro (4-6) took the loss. Bradley earned his first save.
Alen Hanson went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs for Altoona, while Jarek Cunningham and Mel Rojas Jr. had two hits apiece. Javier Herrera, Adam Duvall and Skyler Stromsmoe each had three hits for Richmond, which piled up 17 hits.
Key player: 3B Adam Duvall went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a run for Richmond.
Key play: Eight consecutive batters reached base as the Flying Squirrels scored five times for a 5-3 lead in the fourth.
Key stat: The Curve have tied their season low at 13 games below .500 and, with 11 games to go, are guaranteed to have a losing season.
How they scored
Top 1st: Hanson singled, scored on Polanco sacrifice fly (1-0); Maggi doubled, scored on Dickerson sacrifice fly (2-0).
Top 4th: Cunningham singled, scored on Snodgrass wild pitch (3-0).
Bottom 4th: Parker hit by pitch, Stromsmoe singled, both scored on Snodgrass single (3-2); LaTorre walked, scored on Panik single (2-3); Herrera single scored Snodgrass (3-4); Lollis walked, scored on Duvall bases-loaded walk (3-5).
Bottom 6th: Herrera doubled, scored on Duvall single (3-6).
Bottom 7th: LaTorre reached on fielder's choice, scored on Lollis single (3-7).
Bottom 8th: Herrera singled, scored on Duvall double (3-8); LaTorre single scored Duvall (3-9).
Top 9th: Rojas Jr. singled, Santos singled, both scored on Hanson triple (5-9); Vasquez single scored Hanson (6-9); Cunningham sacrifice fly scored Hanson (7-9).