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Three-run eighth lifts Richmond past Reading

richmond-squirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels (41-43) used a three-run eighth inning to prevail, 7-4, over the Reading Fightin Phils (37-47) in the finale of a three-game series on Wednesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.  The win allowed the Squirrels to avoid a Reading three-game sweep.

The Squirrels got started quickly against Reading righty Seth Rosin in the first inning.  Joe Panik slapped a one-out single into left field and Ryan Lollis followed with a bunt-single.  Adam Duvall was nicked by a pitch to load the bases and Angel Villalona lofted a sacrifice fly to center field for a 1-0 lead.

Reading’s response came quickly in the bottom of the inning.  Albert Cartwright led off the ballgame with a solo-home run to left-center off of Richmond left-hander Carlos Teller.  His seventh home run of the year knotted the ballgame, 1-1.

Duvall triggered a three-run inning for the Squirrels when he doubled into the left-field corner with one out in the third.  Angel Villalona sent a single to the same spot, and Duvall came in for a 2-1 lead.  Jarrett Parker then doubled into the right-field corner to put runners at second and third.  After an intentional walk to Mark Wagner, Teller aided his own cause with a ground ball to the right side of the infield.  Cartwright, the second baseman, made a great effort on the ball, but his throw was dropped by first baseman Jim Murphy.  Villalona and Parker both scored on the play for a 4-1 lead.

The Fightins again responded hurriedly.  Derrick Mitchell led off the bottom of the third with a double off the left-field wall.  He swiped third base and scored on a sacrifice fly from Cartwright to trim the Richmond lead to 4-2.

Reading pulled even and chased Teller in the fifth inning.  Teller walked Anthony Hewitt to start the inning.  An out later, Mitchell laced a line-drive home run to left field.  The two-run shot leveled the ballgame, 4-4.

Neither Teller nor Rosin factored in the decision.  Rosin worked four innings, while Teller lasted 4 1/3.  Both were charged with four runs, two were unearned for Rosin.

The Squirrels took control of the ballgame for good in the eighth inning.  Reading brought on right-hander Hector Neris.  He conceded an inning-opening double to Parker.  Ehire Adrianza moved him to third with a groundout to the right side.  Neris recovered to strike out Wagner, but Mark Minicozzi delivered a pinch-hit single into left-center field to give Richmond the lead back, 5-4.  Javier Herrera cranked a double off the wall in left field and Panik punctuated the inning with a two-run single to center field.  Neris (3-3) was saddled with the loss for the Fightins.

Right-hander Jose Valdez (2-2) earned the win for the Squirrels, working 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief behind Teller.  Righty Cody Hall handled the final two innings, earning his second save in as many appearances in the Eastern League.

The Squirrels return home to open a five-game series with the Akron Aeros (Cleveland Indians) at The Diamond on Thursday night.  First pitch of the opener is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. as Richmond RHP Taylor Rogers (5-5, 6.02) makes the start against Akron RHP Brett Brach (4-4, 4.89). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup will begin on Sports Radio 910, SportsRadio910.com and IHeart Radio at 6:05 p.m.

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