Richmond nips Akron, 7-6
The Richmond Flying Squirrels (61-60) grinded out a, 7-6, win over the Akron Aeros (56-65) in front of 6,036 at The Diamond on Tuesday night. The Squirrels are 12-2 in their last 14 ballgames, and have pulled within 3 ½ games of Western division-leading Harrisburg.
Squirrels’ lefty Chris Gloor retired the first five batters of the ballgame, but ran into trouble with two outs in the second inning. Tyler Holt notched a seemingly harmless single to get the Aeros started. Giovanny Urshela followed with a double to left field and Holt scored from first base for a 1-0 lead. Alex Monsalve then doubled up the third-base line to bring in Urshela. Matt Lawson then capped the inning with an RBI single to left field for a 3-0 lead.
Richmond came roaring back in the bottom of the second, plating three runs against Akron right-hander Brett Brach to draw back even. With Jarrett Parker and Juan Ciriaco aboard, Kelby Tomlinson sent a two-run double down the left-field line. Ryan Lollis then tied the ballgame, knocking in Tomlinson with a single to center field.
The Squirrels forged ahead with a pair of unearned runs against Brach in the third inning. Brach set the table for Richmond with a pair of walks issued to Mark Minicozzi and Parker. Ciriaco sent a ball on the ground behind third base that Jose Ramirez was able to stop. However, he threw wildly to first base. Both runners scored for a 5-3 lead on the error.
Lawson brought the Aeros back within a lone run in the fifth inning. Leading off against Gloor he launched a solo-home run to left field. Lawson’s second of the season trimmed the Richmond advantage to 5-4.
Brach worked into the sixth inning, but retired after hitting Parker to start the inning. Right-hander Shawn Armstrong followed and Ciriaco greeted him with a single to center field. Tyler LaTorre then bunted the runners to second and third with one out. Tomlinson struck out, but Lollis walked to load the bases with two outs. Joe Panik followed and cracked a two-run double to left-center field to give the Squirrels a 7-4 lead.
Brach (7-9) was charged with six runs – four earned – over five innings. He conceded six hits, walked two, hit two and registered no strikeouts as he took his ninth loss of the season.
Gloor worked into the seventh inning, leaving with two runners aboard and one out. Left-hander Josh Osich came on in relief and quickly got the second out. Jesus Aguilar was able to dump a soft-single into right field however, plating the fifth run of the ballgame for Akron.
Gloor (9-5) was charged with five earned runs on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. He permitted nine hits, walked one and struck out three. He left with the lead and earned his ninth win of the year.
Osich returned for the eighth inning and recorded the first two outs. However, Alex Monsalve rifled a double to right-center field leading to the departure of Osich. Right-hander Cody Hall entered and walked Lawson. Ramirez then coaxed a handle-shot single into left-center field to plate Monsalve to make it a one-run ballgame.
Hall got the first two outs of the ninth inning before walking Holt. He was lifted in favor of right-hander Edwin Quirarte. Urshela singled to put the tying run at third base, but Quirarte popped out Monsalve to end the ballgame. Quirarte earned his ninth save of the season.
Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday night at The Diamond. Richmond RHP Craig Westcott (5-11, 4.12) will make the start against Akron RHP Will Roberts (7-9, 4.06). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup will begin on Sports Radio 910, www.sportsradio910.com and IHeart Radio at 6:35 p.m.