Solo homers, solid pitching lift Richmond to win, series split
Solo home runs from Engel Beltre and Devin Harris backed another sturdy bullpen performance in a 2-0 Flying Squirrels (55-52) win over Binghamton (59-48) on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond. Squirrels reliever Phil McCormick earned the win by pitching out of a tight spot with runners on base in the fifth inning. The Richmond bullpen was used for 21 innings over the four game series but did not allow a run in the final 17 2/3. The win split the series at two game apiece. The Squirrels will enjoy an off day on Monday and begin a three game series at home against New Hampshire on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM.
Devin Harris gave the Squirrels an early lead once again as he smashed a solo home run down the right field line in the second inning. Engel Beltre added a solo home run in the third inning, a towering shot that barely hooked inside the foul line for a 2-0 lead off B-Mets spot starter Matt Koch. Koch (4-5) was hit with the loss in the outing as he allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts over three innings of work. Beck Wheeler relieved Koch to begin the fourth frame.
Squirrels right-hander Joan Gregorio received a no-decision in his fourth start of the season. Gregorio departed the game with runners on and two outs in the fifth inning. Phil McCormick relieved Gregorio and allowed an infield hit to load the base. McCormick then induced a pop up to strand the runners and retain the Squirrels 2-0 edge. Gregorio allowed no runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in a no-decision.
Richmond leaned on the bullpen once again and received scoreless outings from McCormick, Kyle Crick, Edwin Quirarte and Derek Law to preserve the shutout. McCormick (4-3) earned the win with an inning and a third of relief. Law nailed down the save and has converted all five save opportunities this year.
The Squirrels have an off day on Monday and continue the homestand Tuesday at The Diamond against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Richmond LHP Kelvin Marte (8-3, 2.27) will start for the Squirrels against New Hampshire LHP John Anderson (6-5, 4.54). First pitch is set for 7:05 PM with the Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup starting at 6:30 PM on Fox Sports 910 and FoxSportsRichmond.com.