Squirrels, Senators split pair

The Richmond Flying Squirrels (46-47) ran their season-long win-streak to five games with a, 4-0, shutout of the Harrisburg Senators (49-43) in the first game of a double header on Friday night at Metro Bank Park.  However, the Senators used a late rally to snap that streak with a, 3-2, triumph in the second game.  Richmond has grabbed two of the first three in the five-game series.

Gary Brown ignited the Squirrels with a lead-off double in the top of the first inning off of right-hander Chien-Ming Wang.  Ehire Adrianza followed and laid a down a sacrifice-bunt.  Wang threw wildly past first base, and Brown strolled in for a 1-0 lead.  Adrianza reached on the error and advanced to third base on a hit-and-run single from Mark Minicozzi.  Russ Mitchell bounced into a double play, but Adrianza scored for a 2-0 Richmond advantage.

Richmond tacked on a run in the third when Daniel Mayora opened the inning with a double.  Ryan Cavan singled behind him, putting runners on the corners with nobody out.  Joel Weeks lifted a sacrifice-fly to left field to plate Mayora for a 3-0 lead.

Wang (0-1) lasted into the fifth inning, departing after a single from Brown.  He absorbed the loss in game one, conceding three runs – two earned – over four innings plus one batter.  He walked none and struck out three in his first rehab start.

Russ Mitchell led off the sixth inning and added a run for the Squirrels.  He decked a 2-0 fastball from right-hander Robert Gilliam over the wall in left-center field.  His second home run as a Squirrel put Richmond out front, 4-0.

Meanwhile, Richmond right-hander Justin Fitzgerald (5-6) was cruising through six scoreless innings for the win.  He allowed just four singles, walked one and matched a season-high with eight strikeouts.  The other occasion that he struck out eight batters also came in Harrisburg on May 7th.

Right-hander Brett Bochy finished off the win for the Squirrels.  In a non-save situation, he fanned the side in order to finish the ballgame.

The Squirrels again struck first in game two.  After three scoreless innings, Richmond finally got to right-hander Ryan Perry in the fourth inning.  Minicozzi led off with a double up the left-field line.  Perry struck out the next two hitters, but Juan Perez lofted an RBI double to left-center field for a 1-0 lead.

Richmond right-hander Daryl Maday turned in five scoreless in a spot-start, and departed the ballgame with the 1-0 lead.  He allowed just three hits, walked none and stuck out four.  Maday didn’t factor in the decision, and neither did Perry.  Perry also worked five innings, allowing a lone run on five hits.  He walked one and struck out six.

The Squirrels’ lead lasted into the sixth inning when the Senators offense finally showed up.  With Jeff Kobernus and Jimmy Van Ostrand posted at the corners with one out, Zach Walters took right-hander Jake Dunning deep to right field.  The three-run home run held up as the game-winner, as Dunning (2-2) took the loss for Richmond.

The Squirrels did scrape across a run off of right-hander Erik Davis in the ninth, but left the tying run at second base as righty Hector Nelo came on and nailed down the win for the Senators.  Davis (7-2) earned the win in relief and Nelo claimed his 13th save of the season.

Augusta Health Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press