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MLB’s Vogelsong leads Richmond to another win

richmond-squirrelsBehind a strong rehab start from right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, the Richmond Flying Squirrels (55-59) grabbed an 8-3 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (54-58) on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond.  The Squirrels took the series with the win and finished the six-game home stand with a record of 5-1.

Richmond struck first in the bottom of the first inning, plating a run against right-hander Drew Hutchison.  Ryan Lollis sparked the inning when he led off with a double up the right-field line.  Joe Panik followed and flared a single into left field to put runners at the corners.  Hutchison then walked Javier Herrera to load the bases.  Hutchison struck out Mark Minicozzi, but Angel Villalona lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to score Lollis for a 1-0 lead.

The Squirrels picked up an unearned run against Hutchison for a 2-0 lead in the third inning.  Lollis was once again the catalyst, singling to start the inning.  Panik followed and reached on an error to put two aboard.  Herrera forced Panik to put runners at the corners.  As Minicozzi struck out swinging, Herrera broke for second and beat the throw.  As he did, Lollis streaked into score, stealing home plate.

Hutchison (0-1) reached his pitch count and was lifted after recording the first out of the fifth inning.  He took the loss over 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs – one earned.  He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out seven.

The Richmond lead grew by three runs following Hutchison’s departure in the fifth inning.  Righty Dustin Antolin entered and conceded a one-out single to Lollis – his third hit of the day.  Panik followed with a single before Herrera forced Panik to put runners at the corners.  Minicozzi provided a hit-and-run single to right field to score Lollis.  Villalona then beat out an infield-single to bring in Herrera.  Adam Duvall capped the inning with a single to center field that plated Minicozzi for a 5-0 lead.

Vogelsong (2-0) was in complete control through the first five innings.  The only blemish on his day came in the sixth inning when Andy Burns connected for a lead-off solo-home run to left field.  Otherwise, Vogelsong cruised through his final rehab start.  He earned his second win over six crisp innings.  He allowed just the lone run on five hits.  He walked one and struck out five, throwing 85 pitches for the day.  He is expected to rejoin the Giants on their upcoming East Coast swing.

The Fisher Cats got back into the ballgame in the seventh inning against right-hander Taylor Rogers.  Rogers issued two walks and allowed a single as the Fisher Cats loaded the bases with nobody out.  Jack Murphy then cracked a two-run double into the right-field corner to pull New Hampshire within two runs, 5-3.

However, Tyler LaTorre put the game out of reach in the eighth inning.  With Villalona and Jarrett Parker aboard, LaTorre launched a three-run home run to right field.  His first of the year capped the scoring for the afternoon.

Rogers recovered to work a rapid eighth inning and lefty Josh Osich finished the ballgame with a scoreless ninth.

The Squirrels will enjoy an off day on Monday.  The team will travel to Portland, ME, to open a three-game series with the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox) on Tuesday night.  First pitch of the opener is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Hadlock Field.

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