The Richmond Flying Squirrels (64-41) held off the Erie SeaWolves (50-55) and posted their sixth straight win, 4-3, at Jerry Uht Park on Thursday night. The victory marked a franchise-record 33rd road win of the year for the first-place Squirrels. They also established a new franchise-mark for games over .500 (23).
Kelby Tomlinson sparked the Richmond offense immediately when he led off the ballgame with a triple to the right-field corner. Lefty Josh Turley then walked Tyler Graham to put runners at the corners. Graham was caught stealing for the first out, but Matt Duffy grounded out to bring in Tomlinson for a 1-0 lead.
The Squirrels were back on the bats for a two-out rally in the third. Graham got things started with a broken-bat single to right field. Duffy followed and bounced a ground-rule double over the left-center field fence. jarrett parker then made it 3-0 with a two-run single to right-center field.
Richmond tacked on a run in the fourth. Turley issued a one-out walk to Oropesa. An out later, Eliezer Zambrano lined a single to right field to put runners at the corners. Ryan Lollis then made it 4-0 with a single through the hole on the right-side of the infield.
Erie got on the board for the first time in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jason Krizan led off with his second single of the night. Lefty Kelvin Marte then walked Ramon Cabrera on four pitches. Steven Moya followed with a single to right field to load the bases with nobody out. Corey Jones then lifted a sacrifice-fly to right field. Erie cut the Richmond lead to three runs and also snapped a string of 21 consecutive innings by Richmond starting pitchers.
Turley (1-1) was lifted after five innings. He was charged with four earned runs on eight hits. He walked three, struck out none and absorbed his first loss at the Double-A level.
The SeaWolves got back into the ballgame with a pair of runs in the sixth inning. Moya started the uprising with a one-out single. Jones followed with a single to put two aboard. Francisco Martinez then cranked a two-run double through the alley in left-center field to bring Erie within a run, 4-3.
Marte (8-3) turned in a quality start across six innings. He allowed three runs on six hits, walked three and struck out two. He earned his eighth victory of the season.
Left-hander Steven Okert entered for the seventh inning. He bridged the ballgame to the ninth inning with two scoreless innings. Right-hander Hunter Strickland then worked the ninth to earn his sixth save of the season. He stranded the tying run at third base in so doing.
Game two of the four-game series is scheduled for 7:05 on Friday night at Jerry Uht Park. Richmond RHP Kyle Crick (6-4, 3.21) will make the start against Erie RHP Warwick Saupold (6-8, 5.53). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup begins at6:35 p.m. on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.