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Richmond Flying Squirrels fall to Reading in series opener

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richmond-squirrelsThe Reading Fightin Phils (10-5) defeated the Richmond Flying Squirrels (10-7), 7-3, on Monday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.  The Fightins scored seven of the final eight runs scored in the ballgame to take the upper-hand in the three-game series.

For the 10th time in 11 road games, the Squirrels scored first, collecting an unearned run off right-hander Luis Paulino in the top of the first inning.  Tyler Graham led off the ballgame with a double yanked up the third-base line.  He moved to third on a fly out from Brett Krill and scored for a 1-0 lead when third baseman Carlos Alonso misplayed Matt Duffy’s ground ball.

Ricky Oropesa extended the Squirrels’ lead to 2-0 in the second inning.  He drilled a Paulino pitch over the left field wall for his first home run of the season.  It was the Squirrels first home run as a team since April 13th, when Angel Villalona homered against Altoona at The Diamond.

Lefty Kelvin Marte held off the Fightins in the first two innings, but conceded back-to-back singles to Albert Cartwright and Paulino to start the third.  Alonso bunted the pair into scoring position, and the Fightins cracked the scoreboard when Cesar Hernandez grounded into a fielder’s choice.

Former Flying Squirrels’ catcher Tommy Joseph victimized his former team to give the Fightins their first lead in the fourth inning.  With Aaron Altherr aboard, Joseph lined a two-run home run to field off of Marte.  Joseph’s second of the season put Reading in front, 3-2.

Reading added a pair of runs and chased Marte in the fifth inning.  Marte started his own trouble with a one-out walk issued to Alonso.  An out later, Cam Perkins cranked a double off the wall in left-center field.  Alonso scored on the double for a 4-2 lead.  Kelly Dugan then lined a single into right field.  It scored Perkins and chased Marte.

Marte (1-1) departed to the loss after 4 2/3 innings.  He was charged with five earned runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out none.

Paulino (2-0) earned the win over five innings.  He surrendered two runs – one earned – on five hits.  He walked two and struck out three.

The Squirrels picked up a run off Paulino’s successor, right-hander Mike Nesseth, in the sixth inning.  Angel Villalona and Oropesa each recorded singles before Kelby Tomlinson made it 5-3 with a single to the right side.

The Fightins iced the game against lefty Josh Osich in the seventh inning.  After Osich walked Alonso, Perkins blasted a two-run home run to left field for a 7-3 Reading advantage.  It was Perkins’ second of the season – both of which have come against the Squirrels.

Nesseth handled two innings of relief before handing it off to hard-throwing right-hander Kenny Giles.  Giles took it the rest of the way without incident, hitting 101 on the stadium radar gun on two occasions during his outing.

Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.  Richmond LHP Ty Blach (1-1, 2.30) will make the start against Reading RHP Perci Garner (2-0, 3.00).  Pregame coverage will begin on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com at 6:05 p.m.

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