Navarro instrumental again as Squirrels take two from Bowie
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Behind a tremendous outing from Edwin Escobar and continued timely hitting from Jesus Navarro, the Richmond Flying Squirrels (65-60) took a pair of ballgames from the Bowie Baysox (62-62) at Prince George’s Stadium on Friday night. Richmond earned the win of a completed game that was suspended on July 21st (Recap in Italics at bottom of story). They then hurled their collective 13th shutout in a 3-0 blanking of the Baysox in the opener of a three-game series. The Squirrels have now won six consecutive ballgames and 15-of-17. They rest one game out of playoff position in the Western Division.
The Squirrels struck first in the top of the second inning against right-hander Tyler Wilson. Mark Minicozzi led off and singled back through the middle to get things started. Angel Villalona struck out, but Jarrett Parker singled to right field. Juan Ciriaco then flared a soft-single to right to load the bases with one out. Navarro then launched a two-run double off the wall in left-center field. Minicozzi and Parker scored for a 2-0 Richmond lead.
Wilson (7-2) held off the Squirrels through five innings, but battled to do it. His pitch escalated quickly and he called it a night after five innings. He conceded two runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out three. Wilson lost for just the second time on the year and fell to 3-1 against the Squirrels.
Bowie right-hander Clay Schrader came on in relief and worked a scoreless sixth inning. However Javier Herrera led off the seventh and tacked a run onto the Squirrels lead. He cracked a low-flying solo-home run to left field for a 3-0 lead. Herrera also tied the Richmond franchise record for home runs in a season, matching the 16 that Roger Kieschnick connected on in 2011.
Escobar (4-3) was once again outstanding for the Squirrels, twirling seven scoreless innings for the win. He scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out five. It marked the third outing in the last four that Escobar has not conceded a run.
Lefty Phil McCormick came on to relieve Escobar in the eighth inning. He quickly conceded back-to-back base hits to Trayvon Robinson and Buck Britton. McCormick got the first out of the inning, but was then lifted in favor of right-handed closer Cody Hall. Hall eased out of harm’s way by striking out Caleb Joseph and Lew Ford. He then blew through the Baysox in the bottom of the ninth inning to preserve the shutout and the win. Hall, who struck out four, was rewarded with his seventh save of the year.
July 21st Completion: Prior to the opener of the three-game series, the two teams completed a game that had been suspended at The Diamond on July 21st. The game was tied, 5-5, in the bottom of the 10th inning upon the restart. It lasted into the 11th inning before the Squirrels were able to claim the win. In the 11th inning, Bowie right-hander conceded a one-out single to Angel Villalona. He was forced at first base by Navarro, but Jarrett Parker singled to right field to put runners at the corners. Brett Krill then won the ballgame for Richmond with an infield-single that was chopped over the mound. The Squirrels claimed the victory, 6-5.
Right-hander Edwin Quirarte (2-5) had already worked two scoreless innings of relief in the ballgame prior to the resumption. He added a third scoreless inning and earned the win, his second of the season. The Squirrels scored the run against right-hander Matt Bischoff (4-2), who took the loss.
Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Prince George’s Stadium on Saturday night. Richmond RHP Jose Valdez (3-2, 5.48) will make the start against Bowie RHP Daniel McCutchen (0-0, 0.00). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup will begin on Sports Radio 910, www.sportsradio910.com and IHeart Radio at 6.05 p.m.