DURHAM DELIVERS WALK-OFF WIN TO CURVE, 3-2
Squirrels First Lose Lead, then Series in 10 Innings
ALTOONA, PA – Miles Durham doubled home Hector Gimenez in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Altoona Curve walked off with a, 3-2, victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels on Saturday night at Blair County Ballpark.
With Gimenez on first and two outs in the 10th inning, Durham pulled a double just fair inside the third-base line to bring around Gimenez with the winning run. Squirrels’ closer Rafael Cova (0-6) was charged with the loss after conceding both the tying run in the ninth and the winning run in the 10th.
Three consecutive singles to start the ballgame put the Squirrels in a great spot against Curve left-hander Jeff Locke. However, with the bases loaded and nobody out, Richmond managed just a lone run, courtesy of a Brad Boyer sacrifice fly to center field. Brock Bond, Sharlon Schoop and Conor Gillaspie had supplied the singles to start the rally, and Bond scored for a 1-0 lead.
Squirrels’ right-hander Mike MacDonald made that advantage stand up during his five innings. He worked five scoreless innings, scattering six hits, walking two and striking out three. However, he didn’t factor in the decision as the Squirrels lost the lead in the sixth.
Altoona knotted the ballgame with an unearned run against right-hander Ronnie Ray in the sixth inning. With one out, Brad Boyer threw away a grounder from Matt Hague. Hague reached second base on the miscue and scored on a single back up the middle from Jim Negrych.
Richmond grabbed the lead back with a run in the eighth. With right-hander Michael Dubee on in relief, Schoop collected a lead-off single. An out later, Thomas Neal singled into center field to move Schoop into scoring position. Boyer then delivered the lead with a single back through the box to score Schoop for a 2-1 advantage.
The Squirrels led to the ninth inning where they handed the ball to Cova. He hurriedly walked Anthony Norman on four pitches to start the inning. Jose de los Santos bunted him to second base and Cova walked Chase d’Arnaud. Josh Harrison then poked a single to right field to plate Norman with the tying run. It marked the sixth blown save of the season for Cova.
Left-hander Daniel Moskos (3-1) earned the win for Altoona, having worked a scoreless top of the 10th inning.
The finale of the four-game series is scheduled for 6 PM on Sunday night at Blair County Ballpark. LHP Clayton Tanner (9-8, 3.42) will make the start for Richmond against RHP Jared Hughes (12-7, 4.22) for Altoona.+ posts
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.