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Squirrels take series with 7-2 win at Trenton

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The Richmond Flying Squirrels (36-36) returned to the .500 mark with a, 7-2, win over the Trenton Thunder (40-29) on Thursday night at Waterfront Park.  The win netted the Squirrels the series, having taken two of the three games.  Richmond has now won three consecutive series, and return to .500 for the first time since they were 20-20.

The Squirrels jumped out to an early lead with three runs against Trenton right-hander Adam Miller in the second inning.  Mark Minicozzi and Ryan Cavan supplied back-to-back singles to start the inning.  Johnny Monell grounded out to move the runners up, and Juan Ciriaco put Richmond in front with a single through the left-side of the infield.  Gary Brown followed and blistered Miller’s first pitch back through the middle to plate Cavan.  A batter later, Miller walked Daniel Mayora to load the bases.  He also walked Russ Mitchell to force in a run, putting the Squirrels in front, 3-0.

Richmond added a run and chased Miller in the fourth inning.  Brown led off with his second single of the night and promptly swiped second base.  He advanced to third on a single from Joel Weeks and scored on a ground out from Mayora.

Miller (0-2) departed later in the fourth to the loss.  He worked 3 1/3 innings and allowed four runs – all earned on 10 hits.  He walked two and struck out just one.

The Squirrels tacked on three runs against Miller’s replacement, left-hander Francisco Rondon, across the fifth and sixth innings.  Brown drove home Johnny Monell with a double in the fifth.  Juan Perez cracked an RBI single in the sixth, and Minicozzi added a sacrifice fly for a 7-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Richmond left-hander Mike Kickham (5-5) was effectively erratic through 5 2/3 innings for the win.  He didn’t allow a run until the sixth inning, conceding just four hits.  However, he did establish a new career-high with six walks in his fifth win of the season.

The lone Thunder run against Kickham scored when Kickham walked Melky Mesa to open the sixth inning.  He later scored on an RBI single from Yadil Mujica with lefty Ari Ronick on in relief.

The Thunder got one more run off of Ronick in the seventh inning, but Ronick effectively bridged the ballgame to the ninth inning.  Right-hander Edwin Quirarte finished off the Thunder, working a scoreless ninth.

Brown, Minicozzi and Perez all recorded three hits in the win for the Squirrels.

The Squirrels return to Richmond to open a four-game series with the New Britain Rock Cats (Minnesota Twins) at The Diamond on Friday night at 6:35 PM.  Richmond RHP Justin Fitzgerald (3-5, 4.32) will make the start opposite New Britain RHP B.J. Hermsen (4-3, 2.92). Tickets are available and can be purchased at SquirrelsBaseball.com.

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