Home Richmond Flying Squirrels drop first-half finale

Richmond Flying Squirrels drop first-half finale


richmond-squirrelsThe Trenton Thunder (50-40) waltzed past the Richmond Flying Squirrels (45-43), 7-1, in the finale of a four-game series and unofficial first half of the Eastern League season on Monday afternoon at ARM & Hammer Park.

Lefty Adalberto Mejia got off to a rough start and walked the first two batters of the first inning.  Rico Noel and Brendan Ryan drew those walks and were aboard an out later when Tony Renda sent a tailor-made double-play ball to shortstop Juan Ciriaco.  Ciriaco played it well to second base, but Austin Slater threw wildly into the Trenton dugout on the relay.  The error allowed Noel to score the game’s first run.  Ali Castillo followed with an RBI single to give Trenton a 2-0 advantage.

The wheels fell off for Mejia in the third, which he did not survive.  Jake Cave started the inning with a single.  Two outs later, Mejia walked Mark Payton.  Cito Culver notched an RBI single before Eddy Rodriguez delivered the big blow in the ballgame, a three-run home run to left field.  Rodriguez’s second home run of the series made it 6-0 Trenton.  Mejia walked two more batters before he was lifted.

Mejia (4-1) took his first loss of the season over just 2 2/3 innings.  He was charged with six earned runs on five hits, walked a season-high five and struck out just one.

Meanwhile, lefty Caleb Smith (8-4) was cruising.  He worked six scoreless innings, and allowed the Squirrels just three hits.  He walked one, struck out three and earned his eighth win of the year.

Richmond finally cracked the scoreboard off righty Johnny Barbato in the seventh.  Slater supplied a one-out single and took second on defensive indifference.  Eliezer Zambrano knocked him in with a single to right field.

Barbato recovered to work a scoreless eighth inning.  Richmond right-hander Tyler Mizenko delivered a strong three-inning performance out of the bullpen.  Trenton right-hander Conor Mullee worked a scoreless ninth inning to finish the win.

The Squirrels will enjoy the Eastern League All-Star Break on Tuesday and Wednesday.  They will return to action at The Diamond on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.



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