RICHMOND, VA - The Richmond Flying Squirrels (4-5) were shutout for the first time on the year by left-hander Nate Baker and the Altoona Curve (4-3), 6-0, in front of 8,169 on Friday night at The Diamond.
Pitching controlled the early portion of the ballgame, but wildness from Richmond right-hander Chris Heston allowed Altoona to break through first in the top of the fourth. Heston issued walks to each of the first two batters in the inning, Robbie Grossman and Brock Holt. Jarek Cunningham laid down a successful sacrifice-bunt and Heston threw wildly past first base to allow Grossman to come around and score. Holt scored for a 2-0 lead on a groundout from Andrew Lambo. Tony Sanchez made it 3-0 when he doubled into the left-field corner.
Meanwhile, Curve left-hander Nate Baker (2-0) was cruising on his way to his second victory of the season. He posted six scoreless innings, limiting the Squirrels to two singles, walked three and struck out one. Heston (0-1) endured his first loss of the year despite a quality start. He also lasted six innings, conceding three runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out four.
The Curve put the game out of reach with a three runs in the seventh inning off of right-hander Jake Dunning. The big blow in the inning came from pinch-hitter Ramon Cabrera, who delivered a two-run single back up the middle. The final run of the night scored on a groundout from Grossman.
Altoona right-handers Vic Black and Tim Alderson finished the shutout for the Curve. Black worked the seventh inning while Alderson handled the eighth and ninth. Right-hander Edwin Quirarte worked two scoreless innings of relief in the loss for Richmond.
Game three of the series is scheduled for 6:35 at The Diamond on Saturday night. LHP Mike Kickham (0-0, 0.00) will make the start for the Squirrels against RHP Brandon Cumpton (0-1, 10.38) for the Curve. Tickets are available and can be purchased at SquirrelsBaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.