Sands Snaps Squirrels skid with ninth inning blast
Teetering on the brink of a sixth straight loss, Jerry Sands smashed a go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth inning to lead the Flying Squirrels (40-58) in a 4-2 win on Sunday afternoon at Canal Park. Richmond lost a 2-1 eighth inning lead prior to Sands heroics to cap the road trip. Tyler Cyr (4-1) picked up the win and struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth. The Squirrels used five pitchers in the effort to snap the skid. Richmond returns to The Diamond on Monday to begin a seven-day, eight-game homestand. A full rundown of the week’s promotions can be found here.
For the fourth time on the trip, Richmond squander a one-run lead in the eighth inning. Tyler Cyr entered ahead 2-1 with one-out in the inning and gave up a double off the top of the wall to Yu Chang. Cyr retired Eric Haase on a ground out, but walked Dorssys Paulino. Luigi Rodriguez then delivered a base hit, tying the game, 2-2.
Richmond rushed right back on the Sands home run in the ninth. Facing reliever Neil Holland, C.J. Hinojosa connected on his fourth hit of the game. Holland struck out the next batter Myles Schroder before Sands launched his second home run of the series and season.
Squirrels right-hander Cory Taylor was called upon for the start to snap the Squirrels five-game slide. Taylor, the winning pitcher on Monday in Erie, gave the Squirrels five innings and departed with the lead on Sunday. Taylor worked around a pair of walks in the first inning, and stuck out three over the first two frames.
Akron grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third when outfielder Luigi Rodriguez. drilled the first pitch of the inning over the right field wall. It was the 11th home run of the season for Rodriguez and his third against Richmond. Taylor then yielded a base hit to Yonathan Mendoza before retiring the next three hitters to end the inning.
Richmond responded with a solo home run of their own to tie the game in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs, Brandon Bednar launched his first home run of the year – a towering shot over the left field wall – to even the game, 1-1.
Taylor lasted five innings and departed with the lead, 2-1. The righty used 97 pitches and allowed the one run on three hits. He struck out four and walked a pair. Vic Black was the first pitcher for Richmond summoned from the bullpen and he worked a scoreless sixth inning and Ryan Halstead entered to start the seventh. Halstead allowed a leadoff double to Rodriguez before retiring the next two hitters. Jarret Martin was then summoned to face the switch-hitting Tyler Krieger. Krieger was hit by a pitch, however, Martin was able to retire Mike Papi to stand a pair of runners and keep the lead intact.
Martin returned to start the eighth inning and struck out the left-handed swinging Bobby Bradley. Manager Kyle Haines then opted to bring in Cyr with five outs to go. Cyr gave up the lead, but finished out his 23rd game of the year.