Ricky Oropesa powers Richmond to 5-3 win in Akron

richmond-squirrelsRicky Oropesa clubbed a pair of homers and drove home five runs in a 5-3 Richmond win over Akron on Saturday night at Canal Park.

Oropesa connected on a solo homer in the second inning and then smashed a grand slam off Gavin Floyd in the third. Squirrels starting pitcher Joan Gregorio (3-2) earned the win by battling through five innings of work. The victory pulled the Squirrels (66-65) to within three games of a playoff spot with only nine remaining (four home games). The series in Akron concludes on Sunday with Joe Biagini on the mound.

Oropesa slugged his 14th homer of the season of rehabbing righty Gavin Floyd in the second inning for a 1-0 lead. Akron retaliated with a solo home run to right field in the bottom of the inning from Carlos Moncrief to tie the game.

The Squirrels loaded the bases off Floyd in the second inning with a pair of hits and a walk to set up Oropesa for a grand slam. It was the second multi-homer game of Oropesa’s career and his first in a Squirrels uniform. The second homer ended the rehab outing for Floyd who took the loss. He allowed five runs on five hits on 47 pitches in his third start since elbow surgery in Spring Training.

The RubberDucks chipped away at the lead with a run off Gregorio in the third and another in the sixth. Gregorio lasted five innings and was removed after allowing a base hit and walk to start the sixth. Jose Casilla entered and loaded the bases but then induced a grounder back to the mound to start a 1-2-3 double play. Jeremy Lucas followed with an infield base hit to trim the Richmond lead to 5-3. Gregorio earned the win and allowed three runs on seven hits and four walks. Casillia earned his 14th hold of the year by pitching the sixth inning.

Akron continued to threaten in the later innings, this time against reliever Adalberto Mejia. Mejia was activated from the Disabled List prior to the game and hurled two innings of scoreless relief. He allowed a pair of hits in the seventh, but managed to strikeout the side to keep the lead intact. Derek Law entered in the ninth inning and faced three batters to earn his 10th save of the season. Richmond turned four double plays in the game, including a twin killing to end the game.

The Squirrels eight game road trip continues Sunday with game four in Akron. Squirrels RHP Joe (2-2, 3.19) will make the start against Akron RHP Duke von Schamann (1-1, 6.89). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 with the Pregame Warmup beginning at 6:40 PM on Fox Sports 910 and FoxSportsRichmond.com. The Remaining Squirrels promotional schedule is as follows: (9/4) Free Shirt Fridays, Happy Hour & Ladies Night. (9/5) Superblast Saturday and 20th Anniversary of Billy Madison. (9/6) Kids Club Metal Lunchbox Giveaway. (9/7) Bark In the Park #3 – Labor Day.

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