Richmond Flying Squirrels drop pitchers’ duel

richmond-squirrelsThe Harrisburg Senators (34-31) quieted the Richmond Flying Squirrels (34-29) offense for the second straight night, and claimed a, 2-1, victory on Wednesday night at Metro Bank Park.  The Squirrels have managed just one run in the series (18 innings), and have lost three in a row.  Harrisburg also laid claim to the series with the win.

Steven Souza Jr. gave Harrisburg an early lead when he batted with one out in the bottom of the first inning.  He blasted a solo-home run easily over the left-field wall off Richmond lefty Carlos Teller.  Souza’s sixth home run of the year gave the Senators a 1-0 lead.

The Senators expanded their lead by a run with an unearned run against Teller in the second inning.  Destin Hood contributed a one-out single to left field.  He moved to second on a ground out and scored when Teller threw wildly past first base on a swinging-bunt single from Francisco Soriano.  Soriano was not credited with an RBI on the play.

The Squirrels plated their only run of the night against right-hander Ryan Tatusko without the benefit of a hit in the top of the fourth inning.  Mark Minicozzi led off and drew a walk.  He advanced to second base when third baseman Justin Bloxom botched a bunt from Andrew Susac.  Susac reached on the error and Tatusko walked the bases loaded with nobody out when he passed Jarrett Parker.  Ehire Adrianza grounded into a double play, but Minicozzi came in to make a 2-1 Harrisburg lead.

Teller (1-2) and Tatusko each settled in through the middle innings.  Teller turned in his longest outing of the season, lasting six innings.  He surrendered two runs, one earned, on six hits.  He walked two and struck out four.  It marked the first time Teller had walked less than three in a start, but it didn’t spare him the hard-luck loss.

Tatusko (1-0) outlasted Teller, and worked seven innings.  The Squirrels managed just a lone run against him on four hits.  He walked four and struck out four, earning the win in his first Double-A outing of the season.

A trio of relievers handled the final two innings for Harrisburg.  Righty Neil Holland did the heavy lifting in the eighth inning and right-handed closer Aaron Barrett once again came on for the ninth.  As he did on Tuesday, Barrett conceded a double to open the ninth, this time to Adrianza.  However, the Squirrels couldn’t bring him from third after he was bunted there, and Barrett earned his 10th save of the year and second of the series.

The finale of the three-game series is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday night at Metro Bank Park.  Richmond RHP Taylor Rogers (4-2, 5.14) will make the start against Harrisburg RHP Jordan Taylor (4-0, 0.84).  The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warm Up begins at 6:30 p.m. on Sports Radio 910, and IHeart Radio.

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