Owen Leads Curve Offense in Rout of Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. – Hunter Owen led the Altoona Curve with four RBIs in a 9-2 drubbing of the Richmond Flying Squirrels on Thursday at The Diamond.

(Photo courtesy of the Altoona Curve)

Owen doubled in three in the fourth to put the Curve (13-13) in the lead for the first time and added a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. Owen’s four-RBI performance ties him for the Eastern League lead with Harrisburg’s Rhett Wiseman in that category.

Trailing 1-0, the Curve loaded the bases in the fourth with a pair of infield singles and a catcher’s interference call, one of four Flying Squirrels (10-14) errors in the game. Richmond starter Brandon Lawson faced the minimum through three but came out of the game after Jared Oliva started the fourth with a line-drive single off his lower leg. Brett Pope recorded an infield single against reliever Ryan Halstead (Loss, 1-2) and Bligh Madris got aboard when his bat made contact with the glove of catcher Hamlet Marte.

The Curve tacked on six more runs over the next four innings. Pope singled in a run in the fifth as the Curve loaded the bases later in the inning against Halstead but left them full when Tyler Cyr struck out Hill and Owen to finish the inning. In the sixth, Jerrick Suiter hit the first pitch on the ground into right field and reached third base on the play after an error by Heath Quinn. Mitchell Tolman made the mishap count with an RBI single over the head of the shortstop on the next pitch. Suiter later chipped in with an RBI double to left-center to cap a two-run seventh for Altoona. In the eighth, Altoona scored twice on a wild pitch to bring in Pope from third and an RBI single by Hill.

Richmond scored first and made Pedro Vasquez (Win, 2-0) pay for a two-out walk in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. Jonah Arenado worked the free pass before Hamlet Marte drove a first-pitch double to right-center and scored Arenado all the way from first base. Vasquez walked a second hitter in the second after Levi Michael’s lead-off double but worked around the two baserunners to keep the game 1-0.

Vasquez went on to pitch five innings and struck out five before giving way to Beau Sulser out of the bullpen. Sulser worked swiftly through two perfect innings, requiring just 11 pitches. Tate Scioneaux threw a scoreless eighth on eight pitches and added a strikeout. Richmond got to Vicente Campos in the ninth for an unearned run as Arenado singled home Ryan Howard, who reached on an error by Owen.

The pitching quartet of Vasquez, Sulser, Scioneaux and Campos retired 12 straight Richmond hitters from the fifth into the ninth inning.

Pope, Hill, Suiter and Arden Pabst all recorded two hits apiece while Madris scored a game-high three runs.

The series in Richmond continues on Friday with at 7:05 p.m. at The Diamond. Right-hander Yeudy Garcia (0-0, 1.84) will start for the Curve against Flying Squirrels righty Alfred Gutierrez (0-1, 4.61).

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