Watson Waves Wand, Stymies Squirrels, 5-0

WATSON WAVES WAND, STYMIES SQUIRRELS, 5-0

Curve Lefty Baffles Richmond in Game Two

ALTOONA, PA – Spurred by seven sterling innings from left-hander Tony Watson, the Altoona Curve rolled over the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 5-0, on Friday night at Blair County Ballpark.  The Curve have claimed the first two games of the series, in the process posting the 10th shutout of the season against the Squirrels.

Altoona struck first against Squirrels’ right-hander Felix Romero in the second inning.  With two outs, Romero walked Jim Negrych.  Miles Durham followed and lofted a high-arching fly ball to center field.  Ryan Lormand chased it to the track but couldn’t reel it in, as Negrych raced around on the triple for a 1-0 lead.

The Curve struck again for two more in the third.  Josh Harrison led off against Romero and belted a triple off the top of the wall in left-center field.  A batter later, Hector Gimenez made it 2-0 with an RBI double.  Negrych supplied the third run when he cracked a two-out double off the wall in right field to score Gimenez.

Romero (4-3) departed to the loss after just four innings, having conceded three earned runs on five hits.  He walked three — all in the second inning — and struck out one.

Meanwhile, Watson (6-2) was rolling.  After struggling with his command in the first inning and walking two, he allowed just two additional baserunners over his seven innings.  He finished his outing by retiring the final 12 batters that he faced.  He blanked the Squirrels on just two hits — one a bunt single — walking two and striking out a season-high nine.  He earned his sixth victory of the season overall and second against the Squirrels.

The Curve picked up a pair of runs against right-hander Mitch Lively in the eighth inning to cap the scoring.  Right-hander Tom Boleska came on to finish the ballgame for Watson, working the final two innings to record his third save of the season.  Boleska retired the first five batters he faced, extended the string of futility that Watson started to 17 batters.

Game three of the series is scheduled for 7 PM on Saturday night at Blair County Ballpark.  RHP Mike MacDonald (4-8, 4.21) will make the start for Richmond against LHP Jeff Locke (3-1, 2.89) for Altoona.

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