The Sea Dogs pounded out 14 hits and outscored the Squirrels 22-9 in the weekend series sweep. Ray Black provided a bright spot for Richmond in relief by striking out the side in the eighth inning and Tyler Rogers extended his franchise-record scoreless streak to 23 2/3 innings in the ninth.
Andrew Suarez earned the start for Richmond, his second consecutive against the surging Sea Dogs offense. The lefty worked around a pair of base runners in the first inning but was dinged up for a run in the second. Anuery Tavarez led off the frame with a single, stole second base and scored on a flare base hit to left field form catcher Danny Bethea. Bethea had three hits in the assault for Portland.
Richmond responded with a three-run bottom of the second off Portland starting pitcher Teddy Stankiewicz. Ricky Oropesa and Hunter Cole opened the inning with singles and Tyler Horan tied the game with a bloop base hit to left. Carlos Moncrief then gave Richmond a 2-1 lead with a double high off the right field wall. Ali Castillo made it a 3-1 affair by grounding home Horan.
Suarez then moved through the Sea Dogs lineup by retiring six of seven hitters in the third and fourth innings. He ran into trouble again in the fifth and was forced from the game with two outs in the inning. Danny Bethea doubled to start the fifth and Sean Coyle walked to start the inning. Ryan Court then advanced Bethea with a fly ball to right and Andrew Benintendi brought him home with a sacrifice fly. Portland tied the game, 3-3 via a passed ball to score Coyle from third base. Cody Decker and Nate Freiman continued the inning with hits and Anuery Tavarez gave the Sea dogs the lead with a base hit to right field. The Tavarez single forced Suarez from the game with two runners aboard. Tyler Mizenko replaced Suarez and finished the inning but allowed an inherited runner to score for a 5-3 Portland lead. Suarez (2-4) received the loss and hurled 4/23 innings in the outing. The lefty allowed five run on eight hits with three strikeouts in the defeat.
Ryder Jones pulled Richmond to within a run in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run to right centerfield. Jones worked a ten-pitch at bat before drilling his eighth homer of the season to make it a 5-4 deficit. That’s as close as the Squirrels could get, as Portland pulled ahead 8-4 with three runs in the sixth inning. Cody Decker dealt the big blow with a two-run single. Sea dogs added another run in the seventh on a Ryan Court single.
Ray Black was impressive in relief for Richmond, striking out the side in the eighth inning. Tyler Rogers also looked sharp as he extended his scoreless innings streak to 23 2/3.