Squirrels drop series opener

richmond flying squirrelsRight-hander Kyle Crick turned in his finest performance as a member of the Flying Squirrels but Richmond (26-41) was defeated by Portland (23-43), 3-1 on Friday night at The Diamond.

Crick hurled a Double-A career best, seven innings and allowed just one run on five hits in the no-decision. The Sea Dogs broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning on an Andrew Benintendi double and added the third and final run in the ninth on a solo homer from Cody Decker. The losspushes the Squirrels to just 1-3 against Portland this season.

Squirrels righty Kyle Crick was sharp at the outset to bein his 11th start of the season. Crick used just 10 pitches to retire the side in the first inning. He worked around a two-out single in the second and struck out the side in the third inning.

Portland right-hander Mitch Atkins was also sturdy in his second consecutive start against Richmond. The veteran faced one over the minimum in the first two innings but was touched up for a run in the third. Ali Castillo drove a triple down the right field line and scored on a base it from Darren Ford for a 1-0 Squirrels advantage.

The Sea Dogs responded with a runoff of Crick on the top of the fifth to tie the game, 1-1. Jake Romanski doubled to open the inning and moved to third on a ground out. Rainel Rosario then delivered a soft base hit to left field to plate Portland’s first run.

Crick was able to overcome the blip in the fifth and turned in his longest outing of the season and his longest as a member of the Flying Squirrels. Crick punched out a pair of hitters in the sixth and set down the side in order in the seventh. Tie righty hurled seven innings and allowed just the one run on five hits with five strikeouts in the no-decision.

Richmond threatened to give Crick the lead but could not convert in the sixth. RyderJones doubled and Hunter Cole walked with tow-outs to force Atkins from thegame. Williams Jerez then entered and struck out Tyler Horan to end the inning. Atkins received a no-decision in the outing and finished with 5 2/3 inningspitched.

Crick was replaced by reliever Chase Johnson in the eighth inning. Johson allowed a run on an RBI double from Andrew Benintendi for a 2-1 Sea Dogs lead. Cody Decker added a run for Portland in the ninth on a solo homer. Sea Dogs reliever Williams Jerez (1-1) earned the win buy pitching 2 1/3 scoreless innings ofrelief.

The Sea Dogs responded with a runoff of Crick on the top of the fifth to tie the game, 1-1. Jake Romanski doubled to open the inning and moved to third on a ground out. Rainel Rosario then delivered a soft base hit to left field to plate Portland’s first run.

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