Bullpen Shines During Monday's Win in Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. - Beau Sulser pitched three scoreless innings and knocked in the go-ahead RBI during a three-run seventh for the Altoona Curve before Matt Eckelman locked down the 5-2 win over the Richmond Flying Squirrels at The Diamond on Monday.
Sulser (Win, 6-0) struck out the side when he took over in the fifth for starter Brandon Waddell. The right-hander worked around one of his two walks for a shutout sixth inning and hit for himself in a tie game, 2-2, after the Curve (38-34, 3-2) loaded the bases against Flying Squirrels (27-46, 4-2) reliever Frank Rubio (Loss, 0-1). Sulser bounced into and reached base on a fielder's choice that scored Jerrick Suiter from third, who led off the three-run inning with a single.
Mitchell Tolman followed Sulser's go-ahead RBI with an RBI single to center moments before Sulser came in to score on a ground out by Chris Sharpe.
After Sulser completed a scoreless seventh, Angel German fired a shutout eighth frame while the offense left a pair of runners in scoring position in the top of the ninth to hold the score at 5-2.
Eckelman (Save, 11) picked up a quick lineout to second base before Richmond's Johneshwy Fargas connected on a single to left. However, the Curve closer retired his next two, including a game-ending strikeout of Jalen Miller, and earned his 22nd Double-A save. Eckelman now ranks tied with Justin Kaye and Tate Scioneaux for the fifth-most career saves in team history.
The Curve drew first blood in the second inning after Robbie Glendinning tripled to left-center and came home on a sacrifice fly by Bligh Madris. Richmond responded with two of their in the home half of the second against Waddell when they started the inning with a lead-off walk, an RBI double by Brett Austin and a run-scoring single off Brandon Van Horn's bat. It became a new game with two outs in the fifth when Bralin Jackson came through with a pinch-hit, RBI single to score Brett Pope, who doubled after the first two hitters of the inning when down against Carlos Navas.
A pair of Eastern League All-Stars headline the pitching matchup in game two of the series on Tuesday. With first pitch set for 6:35 p.m., right-hander James Marvel (7-5, 3.36) takes the hill for Altoona opposite left-hander Caleb Barager (2-0, 2.49) for Richmond.
The Curve are back at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Thursday, June 27 for a five-game, four-day series against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies featuring a giveaway or fireworks each day of the homestand. For tickets or more information about upcoming promotions, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office. Additionally, the Stockyard Team Store is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., during every home game and online 24/7/365.
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