Richmond Flying Squirrels extend win streak to five
Left-hander Kelvin Marte worked six sterling innings as the Richmond Flying Squirrels (35-25) won their fifth straight contest, 3-1, over the Reading Fightins (30-30) on Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Squirrels have now won 11 of their last 12 games and reside a season-best 10 games over .500. Meanwhile, Reading has dropped 9-of-10 to fall back to .500.
Each left-handed starter opened with two scoreless innings. Hoby Milner continued his stretch with a scoreless third, and Reading grabbed the lead with the first run of the afternoon in the bottom of the inning. Edgar Duran pulled the second pitch of the inning from Marte over the left-field wall. The solo-shot put the Fightins in front, 1-0.
The home run was the only blip on the radar screen for Marte (4-2). He cruised through six innings, allowing just the lone run on three hits. He earned the win, walking one and striking out a season-high matching six.
Milner scattered seven hits through the first six innings, but snuffed out any scoring chances for the Squirrels. His luck changed in the seventh as Richmond stormed in front and forced him from the ballgame. Eliezer Zambrano led off with a single into left field. Myles Schroder followed and lifted a two-run home run to left field for a 2-1 lead. Schroder’s first Double-A home run was his second extra-base hit of the day. He also doubled in the fifth. An out later, Tyler Graham sent a sinking-liner into center field. Aaron Altherr attempted to make a shoe-string catch and missed the ball completely. It rolled to the center field fence as Graham galloped around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. It marked the Squirrels first inside-the-park home run since 2010 and put Richmond in front, 3-1.
Milner (4-3) departed a batter later and took the loss over 6 1/3 innings. He surrendered three earned runs on eleven hits. He walked one and struck out six.
Right-hander Hunter Strickland handled the seventh inning for the Squirrels and faced the minimum. Right-hander Cody Hall then worked a scoreless eighth inning. Closer Derek Law entered for the ninth inning and recorded the first two outs. He then surrendered a double to Aaron Altherr. His first two pitches to Anthony Phillips were balls and for an unknown medical reason, he was lifted from the ballgame. Right-hander Edwin Quirarte entered and finished the win by striking out Phillips on three pitches. Quirarte earned his first save of the seaon.
The finale of the four-game series is scheduled for 9:35 a.m. on Monday morning at FirstEnergy Stadium. Richmond LHP Adalberto Mejia (2-5, 6.89) will make the start against Reading RHP Perci Garner (4-3, 3.92). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup begins at 9:05 a.m. on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.