Kelvin Marte pitched the Richmond Flying Squirrels (56-52) to a second consecutive shutout during a 3-0 win over the Fisher Cats (55-51)on Tuesday night at The Diamond. Relievers Stephen Johnson and Derek Law retired the final six batters secure the opener of the three game series. The Squirrels pitching staff has worked 21 consecutive scoreless innings and have not allowed a run since the sixth inningon Saturday against the B-Mets. Squirrels left-hander Matt Gage will attempt to continue the trend on Wednesday night in the middle game of the series.
Squirrels lefty Kelvin Marte picked up the win with seven shutout innings. Marte (9-3) tossed a season-high 114 pitches and allowed six hits with three walks and four strike outs. The outing lowered Marte’s ERA to a sterling 2.11 on the year. Johnson earned the hold with a pair of strikeouts in the eighth and Law closed the door to secure his sixth save in as many opportunities.
Richmond snapped a scoreless contest with three runs in the sixth inning to knock New Hampshire starting pitcher Scott Barnes from the game. Eliezer Zambrano, Engel Beltre and Rando Moreno all singled to open the frame. Moreno brought in the first run when he looped a base hit to short right field. Barnes was subsequently removed from the game for reliever Dustin Antolin and Austin Slater promptly lined a base hit to right for a 2-0 Squirrels advantage. Mitch Delfino capped the scoring with a base hit to center field, plating Moreno. Barnes (2-2) was solid in the effort but took the loss despite only allowing a pair of runs on five hits over five innings of work.
New Hampshire starting pitcher Scott Barnes retired the first 12 batters of the game. Hunter Cole collected the first hit of the night off Barnes with a single to left field to start the fifth inning. Delfino also singled in the frame and the two advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Barnes then struck out Zambrano to strand the runners. Richmond tallied nine hits, all singles, in the win.
The Fisher Cats had a runner cut down at home in the third inning to keep the contest without a run. Martin Medina and Jorge Flores singled off Marte to mount a threat. Kevin Nolan then grounded a base hit to the second base bag. Shortstop Rando Moreno made a sliding stop on the ball and tossed to second baseman Austin Slater to attempt the force out at second base. The runner Medina never broke stride rounding third and was thrown out at home by Slater to end the inning.
The Squirrels continue the homestand Tuesday at The Diamond against New Hampshire. Richmond LHP Matt Gage (2-1, 1.56) will start for the Squirrels against New Hampshire RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx (4-5, 4.58). First pitch is set for 7:05 PM with the Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup starting at 6:30 PM on Fox Sports 910 and FoxSportsRichmond.com.