RICHMOND, Va. - A pair of games did not go well for the Altoona Curve in Richmond on Thursday night as a ninth-inning comeback fell one run short in Game 1, 5-4, before a three-run walk off homer in extras during Game 2 sunk the Curve, 6-3. After starting off the road trip 2-0, the Curve went on to lose six straight to finish the trip, 2-6.
In the resumption of the suspended game, Richmond wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard with four runs in the bottom of the fifth that were all charged to Tyler Sample (3-3). Sample restarted the game for the Curve and walked three while giving up two hits without recording an out.
It looked as if the Curve would go quietly in the first game but they made some noise in the ninth off reliever Cody Hall with the Squirrels up, 5-1. Jarek Cunningham doubled to start the inning before pinch hitter Matt Curry struck out. Gift Ngoepe singled before Alen Hanson struck out and the Curve were down to their final out. Mel Rojas, Jr. had other ideas and mashed a three-run homer down the line in right to bring the Curve within one. Elias Diaz struck out to end the game.
In the second game, starter Joely Rodriguez gave up two early runs but eventually settled in to finish 5.1 innings. It was Cunningham who gave the Curve the lead in the fourth inning with a three-run homer, his first home run overall since April 8 vs. Akron.
That lead stayed for the Curve until the sixth inning when the Squirrels loaded up the bases off Rodriguez. With the bases loaded, Rodriguez walked in the tying run to knot the game at three.
Neither team scored again in regulation and the game went to extra innings before Ricky Oropesa hit a one-out, walk-off three run homer that downed the Curve.
Rodriguez took a no decision in the game, tossing 5.1 innings and giving up three runs. Keon Broxton reached base three times in each of the losses, combining to go 4-for-6 with a pair of triples and a pair of walks.
Done with the road for a week, the Curve (20-33) now return home to the friendly confines of Peoples Natural Gas Field at 6:30 p.m. Friday night to welcome in the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA - Blue Jays) for the first of three. Postgame fireworks will follow the game with New Hampshire on what is also a free game exclusively for those members of the Junior Engineers Club. Following the game, all kids can run the bases.
On the bump for the Curve in the lid lifter will be RHP Adrian Sampson (3-3, 2.26), who nearly found his fourth win of the season last time out in Erie. He'll be opposed by former Major Leaguer Radhames Liz (0-0, 0.00) on Friday.
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. while airtime on ESPN Radio 1430, WVAM and the Curve Radio Network is scheduled for 6 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the box office at Peoples Natural Gas Field.