The Richmond Flying Squirrels exploded for four runs in the fifth inning but could not climb out of an early deficit in a 7-4 loss to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies Saturday night at Mirabito Stadium.
Richmond (21-22), the Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, has lost each of its last three games against Binghamton (21-22), the Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets.
The Rumble Ponies stormed ahead, 4-0, in the bottom of the second inning with a pair of home runs against Richmond starter Mason Black. After a leadoff single, Luke Ritter launched a two-run homer and Agustin Ruiz pelted a two-run blast later in the inning.
Tanner Murphy drove Binghamton to a five-run lead with an RBI double in the fourth inning and Rowdey Jordan upped the advantage to 6-0 with a run-scoring single.
The Richmond offense erupted for four runs in the fifth inning to cut the deficit to 6-4. With the bases loaded and no outs, Marco Luciano brought home plated Robert Emery with a sacrifice fly.
Andy Thomas and Carter Aldrete followed with back-to-back RBI singles to move the Flying Squirrels within three runs. Riley Mahan capped the scoring with an RBI groundout to bring home Thomas from third base.
Ruiz padded the Binghamton lead to 7-4 with his second home run of the night, launching a solo shot to right field, in the bottom of the eighth inning.
In the ninth inning, Thomas lined a one-out single against major-league rehabber Jimmy Yacabonis (Save, 1) but was victim of a game-ending double play.
Binghamton starter Dominic Hamel allowed four runs and eight hits but totaled eight strikeouts over five innings.
The loss moved Richmond’s record under .500 for the first time this season. After starting the season 14-7, the Flying Squirrels are 7-15 in their last 22 games.
The Flying Squirrels conclude the road trip against the Rumble Ponies Sunday night with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. from Mirabito Stadium. Right-hander Kai-Wei Teng (0-2, 3.90) will start for Richmond opposed by Binghamton right-hander Junior Santos (1-4, 6.81).