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Akron pushes past Richmond, 6-2

richmond-squirrelsThe Akron Aeros (42-45) sped past the Richmond Flying Squirrels (41-45), 6-2, in front of 9,104 at The Diamond on Friday night.  The Aeros have grabbed the first two games of a five-game series and also jumped over the Squirrels in the Western Division standings.

The Squirrels opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning against Akron righty Jordan Cooper.  Mark Minicozzi led off with a single and Cooper followed by hitting Angel Villalona with a pitch to put two aboard.  Jarrett Parker then laced a single into right field to load the bases.  Skyler Stromsmoe lined a single into left field to plate Minicozzi for a 1-0 lead.  Jesus Navarro then grounded into a double play.  Villalona came across for a 2-0 lead.

Richmond lefty Chris Gloor held off the Aeros for the first two innings, but they responded to the Squirrels’ uprising with one of their own in the third.  Quincy Latimore led off and launched a solo-home run to left field.  Jose Ramirez followed the home run with a double and Ronny Rodriguez put two aboard with a single.  Jesus Aguilar tied the ballgame with an RBI single and Carlos Moncrief pulled the Aeros ahead, 3-2, with another single.

Gloor (6-4) departed the ballgame to the loss after five innings.  He was charged with three earned runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out five.  It marked the first time in 11 starts that Gloor failed to last at least six innings.  He endured his fourth defeat of the season.

The Aeros jumped all over Gloor’s replacement, right-hander Jose Valdez, in the sixth inning.  Giovanny Urshela opened the inning with a broken-bat single.  It was the first of five consecutive hits for Akron.  Ramirez doubled into the left-field corner to put two aboard.  Ronny Rodriguez knocked in two runs with another double into the same corner.  Tyler Holt singled and Jesus Aguilar capped the inning with a double off the wall in field.  Valdez was lifted after just two-thirds-of-an-inning with the Squirrels trailing 6-2.  Left-hander Tom Vessella entered and cleaned up the inning with no further damage done.

Cooper (6-4) settled in after his early troubles.  He meandered through seven innings, holding off the Squirrels after the second inning.  He was charged with two earned runs on five hits.  He walked one and struck out four, collecting his sixth win of the year.

Right-handers Shawn Armstrong and Jose Flores each worked one scoreless inning of relief to finish the ballgame.  Armstrong handled the eighth and Flores nailed down the Akron win by striking out the side in the ninth.

Game three of the five-game series is scheduled for Saturday night at 6:05 p.m.  Richmond RHP Craig Westcott (3-9, 4.15) makes the start against Akron RHP Will Roberts (5-6, 4.90). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup will begin on Sports Radio 910, SportsRadio910.com and IHeart Radio at 5:35 p.m.

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