Yard Goats maul Flying Squirrels, 13-3

richmond flying squirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels could not overcome a six-run second inning by the Harford Yard Goats, dropping the middle game of the series, 13-3, on Tuesday at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

Jalen Miller continued his hot hitting in the top of the first inning, blasting a solo home run to left on the first pitch of his at-bat against right-hander Brandon Gold (Win, 1-0) to give Richmond (6-4) a 1-0 lead. The home run was Miller’s second in as many games, and extended his hitting streak to a team-high seven games.

Hartford (5-8) struck for six runs in the bottom of the second inning thanks to five hits, two walks and two errors. With runners on first and second and one out, right-hander Alfred Gutierrez (Loss, 0-2) walked back-to-back batters to force in a run to tie the game at 1-1.

Two batters later, with the bases loaded and two outs, Bret Boswell hit a pop up to shallow left field that Chris Shaw dropped, allowing all three runners to score, putting the Yard Goats in front 4-1. Boswell scored on the very next pitch, crossing the plate on a single by Alan Trejo. Colton Welker brought in the sixth and final run of the inning for Hartford, singling to left to bring in Trejo to make it 6-1.

Gutierrez lasted 1.2 innings, allowing six runs (one earned) on four hits. He struck out three and walked three. Right-hander Kieran Lovegrove entered in relief and completed the second inning without yielding another run. Lovegrove tossed 2.1 scoreless innings, extending his scoreless streak to 6.1 innings since the season began.

The Flying Squirrels got a run back in the fifth inning to cut the deficit to 6-2 when Jacob Heyward led off with a single and later scored on a double to deep centerfield from Jonah Arenado. The hit extended Arenado’s hitting streak to four games and on-base streak to eight games.

Chris Shaw helped Richmond continue its comeback bid in the sixth. After a one-out single from Levi Michael, Shaw drove a double to center to bring home Michael from first to trim Hartford’s lead to 6-3.

However, the Yard Goats extended their lead in the ensuing half-inning. Following a leadoff, four-pitch walk by right-hander Ryan Halstead to pinch-hitter Nestor Molina, Colton Welker doubled to left to lift Hartford to a 7-3 advantage in the sixth. Next, Tyler Nevin drove in Welker with a single, bringing the Yards Goats’ lead back to five.

Hartford opened up its largest lead of the night in the seventh when Willie Abreu hit a solo home run to put the Yard Goats up 9-3. The Yard Goats tacked on four more in the eighth on RBI doubles from Nevin and Vince Fernandez and run-scoring singles from Brian Serven and Manny Melendez.

The 13 runs and 17 hits allowed are both season highs for Richmond.

Health Holder (Save, 1) tossed three scoreless innings in relief for Hartford, allowing just one hit while striking out five and walking two.

Richmond played Tuesday’s game as las Ardillas Voladoras and Hartford played as los Chivos de Hartford as part of Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversión initiative.

The Flying Squirrels finish their series against the Yard Goats on Wednesday at 10:35 a.m., when right-hander Logan Webb (1-0, 0.90 ERA) starts for Richmond against Hartford southpaw Ty Culbreth (1-1, 3.60 ERA). Coverage begins on Sports Radio 910 the Fan with the Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup presented by Air Force Reserve at 10:05 a.m.

The Flying Squirrels return to The Diamond on Thursday to begin a six-game homestand. The homestand begins with a three-game series against the Altoona Curve from April 18-20, and concludes with a three-game set against the Reading Fightin Phils from April 22-24. For tickets or more information, call 804-359-3866 (FUNN), visit SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets or stop by the Flying Squirrels box office.

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