Altoona Curve �7, � Richmond Flying Squirrels �6 (box)
The Curve cut short late inning rallies by the Squirrels to take the win in Richmond. �Derek Hankins earned his 3rd win with 6 innings of work. �He worked around a triple in the 2nd and two runners in scoring position after a single and a double in the 3rd. �Richmond scored one run in the 4th, when Hankins gave up a walk, and a passed ball by C Kris Watts moved the runner to second base. �A double drove in the run. �The Squirrels scored twice more in the 6th. �A fielding error put the first batter on base, then a hit batter and a single loaded the bases. �A ground out scored one run, and an RBI single brought in another. �Hankins allowed a total of 6 runs and 3 runs (one earned), with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.
The Curve did their big scoring in the early innings. �2B Josh Harrison led off the 2nd with a bunt, and reached second base when the Richmond pitcher made a throwing error. �Back-to-back singles by RF Miles Durham and LF Alex Presley brought in Presley (RBI for Durham), and a fielding error in center field put runners on second and third. �Kris Watts’ ground out plated Durham, and the third Richmond error of the inning let Presley score. �Curve 3, Squirrels 0.
Miles Durham’s 2-run homer after Josh Harrison’s walk gave the Curve a 5-0 lead after three innings. �Alex Presley doubled immediately after the homer, and Kris Watts walked, but Presley was picked off second base and a strikeout ended the inning. �The Curve added another run in the 5th, on a walk to 1B Matt Hague, a single by Harrison, and an RBI grounder by Presley. �The fourth Richmond error of the game in the 6th helped the Curve score their 7th run. �3B Jordy Mercer singled with two outs, then the error put Hague on base. �Harrison singled, and Mercer scored from second base. �Curve 7, Squirrels 3.
Dustin Molleken relieved Hankins to begin the 7th inning. �He worked around a runner on base due to a fielding error by SS Shelby Ford and a single to keep the Squirrels from scoring in the 7th. �Trouble found Molleken in the 8th, though. �He began the inning with a walk, a strikeout, a double, and a sacrifice fly to bring in one run. �Ronald Uviedo replaced Molleken, but Uviedo began with a wild pitch, scoring the runner from third base. �That run was also charged to Molleken. �Uviedo gave up a walk, two consecutive stolen bases, and another walk, but those two batters were left stranded when the inning ended. �Uviedo was not charged with any runs. �The Squirrels had crawled closer, bringing the score to 7-5.
Presley collected his third hit of the afternoon, a single, in the top of the 9th, but he was left on base. �In the bottom of the frame, Danny Moskos took the mound for the Curve. �With one out, he gave up back-to-back doubles, letting the Squirrels get within one run of the Curve. �But Moskos buckled down and got a strikeout and a pop out to end the game and earn his 8th save of the season.
Alex Presley’s 3-for-5 afternoon, with one RBI, lifts his batting average to .371, and .410 for the month of May. �That puts him at the top of the Eastern League by 19 points. �Presley has had only 3 games this season (out of a total of 34) in which he came to the plate and did not get a hit. �He leads the EL with 46 hits.
Curve reliever Jeff Sues has been placed on the DL with a left intercostal strain (rib cage muscles), retroactive to Thursday. �That opens a roster spot for Bryan Morris.
Bradenton Marauders �3, �Dunedin Blue Jays 2 (box)
Jeff Locke and the Marauders must have had a ship to catch, because they finished this game in just one hour 48 minutes. �Of course, it doesn’t take long to get through innings if you don’t let anyone get on base. �Locke let only 5 batters reach base against him — 4 hits and one hit batter. �The batter he hit was Toronto Blue Jays’ Edwin Encarnacion, who is with Dunedin on a rehab assignment. �One single and the plunking of Encarnacion came in the 1st inning, and Locke picked the batter who got the hit off first. �He retired the Blue Jays in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, then gave up a lead-off homer in the 4th. �Locke also struck out Encarnacion in the 4th. �The Jays’ third hit, another single, also came in the 4th inning, and that runner was erased in a double play. �Locke gave up only one more hit over his last three innings, leaving that runner stranded on base.
Diego Moreno relieved Locke for the 8th inning. �He gave up a solo home run for the Blue Jays’ other run. �Noah Krol pitched a perfect 9th inning to earn his 9th save, including striking out Encarnacion again.
The Marauders also had just 5 hits, but they also walked twice and took advantage of an error by Dunedin. �Four of the hits happened in the 4th inning. �LF Quincy Latimore and DH Tony Sanchez led off with back-to-back singles. �3B Jeremy Farrell tried to bunt them up one base, but his bunt was a foul pop for an out. �Then C Eric Fryer took care of all of the Marauder’s scoring with a 3-run blast over the right field wall. �A walk to CF Austin McClune and a line drive single by 2B James Skelton followed the home run, and with a throwing error by the Dunedin right fielder, the runners moved to second and third bases. �A ground out ended the inning, with the runners still on base, but it would turn out to not matter, as the Blue Jays would not catch up.
Fryer had the other Marauders’ walk in the 2nd inning, and SS Brock Holt had singled in the 3rd inning. �After the runs scored in the 4th, only one Bradenton batter reached base for the remainder of the game — Sanchez was hit by a pitch in the 8th inning.
OF Starling Marte will have his injured left hand examined by a hand surgeon in Pittsburgh on Monday.