Curve Lose Early Lead; Howard Homers

Pirates’ lower minor leaguers in action on Thursday:

Richmond Flying Squirrels  7,  Altoona Curve  3
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The Curve had a good start to their game, but lost their early lead in the 6th inning.  LF Quincy Latimore drove in 2 runs in the top of the 1st.  2B Brock Holt and C Tony Sanchez had both walked, and with 2 outs, Latimore grounded to shortstop, where a throwing error let both runs score.   Sanchez and Latimore both singled in the 3rd, with Latimore driving in Sanchez, who had moved up to second base on a ground out.  

Curve starter Aaron Thompson allowed just 2 singles over the first 5 innings of the game.  Things changed in the 6th inning, though.  A single, a bunt, and another single gave the Squirrels runners on the corners.  Thompson balked, allowing the runner from third to score.  A stolen base and a walk put Squirrels on the corners again.  This time, Thompson threw a wild pitch to let the runner from third score.  Another walk and a single loaded the bases, and sent Thompson to the showers.  Anthony Claggett came in from the bullpen to relieve Thompson.  The first batter Claggett faced grounded to second, forcing out the runner coming from first base, as the runner from third scored.  A walk loaded the bases again, and a fielding error by 1B Miles Durham let the fourth run of the inning score.  Thompson was responsible for all 4 runs, 3 of which were earned.  

Mike Colla took over for the 7th inning, when he gave up a lone single.  Then in the bottom of the 8th, Colla gave up a walk and a single, and the lead runner scored when Sanchez made a throwing error on a steal attempt.  Another walk and two singles drove in two more runs.  

After the 3rd inning, the Curve could not push another run across the plate.  They hurt themselves on base running plays, when Holt singled and was caught stealing in the 4th, and Sanchez walked and was caught stealing in the 5th.  SS Jordy Mercer doubled in the 5th, and Durham singled in the 8th, but were left on base.  Pinch hitter Kris Watts singled in the Curve’s last chance in the 9th, but he was left stranded when a ground out ended the game.   

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