Chen goes 8 strong innings to lead Curve over Flying Squirrels

RICHMOND, Va. – Po-Yu Chen delivered a career-long eight innings in a 3-1 Altoona Curve victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels Friday night at The Diamond.

Chen retired 15 straight hitters after a second-inning single to Andy Thomas and his lone blemish, a solo homer by Carter Howell in the fifth. Chen struck out a season-high nine batters, three shy of matching his career high, and walked just one batter to earn his first Double-A win. Chen walked just one batter and tossed 87 pitches, 62 for strikes.

Altoona took the lead with an RBI single from Joe Perez in the third inning. A run-scoring single from Carter Bins in the sixth inning added to the Curve lead. Working against the Flying Squirrels bullpen in the eighth, pinch-hitter Yoyner Fajardo drew a bases-loaded walk to force in a critical insurance run for the Curve.

Tyler Samaniego earned his first save of the season to polish off the well-pitched victory for Altoona. Samaniego threw 19 pitches, 17 for strikes, and finished the game with a strikeout of Andy Thomas with a runner at second in the ninth.

The Curve continue a six-game series Saturday night against the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Altoona will send right-hander Sean Sullivan to the mound against right-hander Hayden Birdsong for the Flying Squirrels.