The Curve’s hot bats didn’t carry over from Saturday night’s double header, as Flying Squirrels starter Edwin Escobar scattered four hits over 6.1 innings, and two Squirrel relievers worked the final 2.2 frames to combine for the shutout.
Alen Hanson led the game off with a single up the middle, but was left stranded as Escobar retired the next three hitters, including Gregory Polanco on what amounted to a swinging bunt off the end of Polanco’s bat. Hanson advanced to second, but the inning ended on Jarek Cunningham’s strikeout. Hanson would be the only Curve runner to advance past first base.
Polanco, making his third consecutive start in right field, finished 1-for-4, singling up the middle in his third at bat. Cunningham’s bat cooled considerably, and he finished hitless for the first time in the four-game series, striking out twice. Alex Dickerson was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game, but entered in the bottom of the seventh as part of a double switch. He went 0-for-1. Drew Maggi and pitcher David Bromberg accounted for the Curve’s other two hits.
Bromberg was the tough luck loser, falling to 6-11 on the year. He worked six innings, allowing eight hits and two walks while striking out four, but was the victim of the longball. Squirrels right fielder Jarrett Parker crushed a two run homer to right field in the bottom of the fourth, and third baseman Adam Duvall added a solo shot to right in the sixth to account for all the damage. Zack Thornton relieve Bromberg, working two hitless innings.
Escobar was the story of the day in Richmond, striking out six in route to improving to 5-3. The Curve continue their road trip Monday at Harrisburg, where Nate Baker (3-3, 6.59 ERA) is scheduled to face Nathan Karns (8-6, 3.32 ERA.)
SS Alen Hanson finished 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak to six games. The single was well hit back up the middle, but was the only hard hit ball Hanson had during the day. He nearly legged out a slow roller to short in his second at bat, but was called out on a bang-bang play. Hanson failed to execute a sacrifice bunt attempt in his third at bat, popping it foul into catcher Tyler LaTorre’s mit. He struck out on a ball in the dirt in his final at bat against a tough sidearm pitcher Edwin Quirarte. Hanson again struggled defensively, committing an error in the bottom of the third as he attempted to backhand a ball to his right. He atoned for his mistake on the very next pitch, initiating a 6-4-3 double play.
RF Gregory Polanco went 1-for-4 with a hard hit single up the middle. He hit two weak rollers and struck out in his other three plate appearances. Polanco saw his first real action in right field, as both home runs and a 1st inning double from Javier Herrera headed his way. He didn’t look like he read the double cleanly, but there was no chance of making a play. The solo shot off the bat of Duvall may have been catchable at the fence in another ballpark, but even with Polanco’s height, he had little hope of scaling the wall for a miraculous play.
LF Alex Dickerson didn’t start for the second consecutive outing, but entered during a double switch in the bottom of the seventh. He went 0 for the series, and is mired in a month-long slump to finish off his 2013 campaign. He’s hitting just .203 this month and hasn’t homered since August 3rd.