READING, PA – A five-run sixth inning doomed the Richmond Flying Squirrels (40-43) as they were downed by the Reading Fightins (37-46), 7-5, on Tuesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. Reading has now won seven of the last eight games between the two clubs.
The Fightins mounted an uprising with two outs in the first inning against Richmond lefty Jack Snodgrass. Maikel Franco sparked the Fightins with a single into center field. Jim Murphy followed and flared a single into right field to put runners at the corners. Sebastian Valle then bounced a first-pitch fastball from Snodgrass into center field. The single scored Franco for a 1-0 lead.
Derrick Mitchell led off the second inning with a single and promptly stole second base. The pitch on which he stole was also wild from Snodgrass. Mitchell advanced to third on the wild-pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly from Edgar Duran for a 2-0 advantage.
Reading lefty Austin Wright held the Squirrels at bay through the first three innings. However, they busted out in a big way in the fourth inning. Wright started his own trouble with a lead-off walk to Javier Herrera. Joe Panik followed with a single. Adam Duvall then laced an RBI double into the left-field corner. Wright recorded the first out, but Angel Villalona clubbed his first Eastern League home run to left field. The three-run clout pulled Richmond in front, 4-2.
The Squirrels added a run to their lead in the fifth inning. Herrera once again ignited the Squirrels, this time with a double to the right-field corner. Panik bunted him to third and Duvall knocked in his second run of the night with a sacrifice fly to center. The Squirrels exited the inning with a 5-2 lead.
Wright worked five innings and was charged with five earned runs. He was spared the decision, conceding five hits, walking two and striking out three.
Lefty Jay Johnson (1-2) worked a scoreless sixth inning and earned the win. The Fightins put him in position for the win with a five-run sixth inning. The lead-off man, Franco, reached on an error, and the spark ignited a wildfire. The Squirrels used three pitchers in the inning, Snodgrass, Edwin Quirarte and Phil McCormick. In all, 10 batters came to the plate. Anthony Hewitt, Edgar Duran and Albert Cartwright all had run scoring singles in the frame. The first three runs in the frame were charged to Snodgrass, the last two to Quirarte. Quirarte (1-5) was charged with the loss.
Snodgrass did not factor in the decision, working 5 1/3 innings on the night. He was charged with five runs – four earned – on six hits. He walked just one and struck out five.
Reading righty Tyler Knigge worked two scoreless innings to bridge the ballgame to the ninth inning. Right-hander Mike Nesseth took over at that point, earning his second save of the series with a scoreless ninth inning.
The finale of the three-game series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium on Wednesday night. Richmond LHP Carlos Teller (1-3, 4.30) makes the start against Reading RHP Seth Rosin (6-4, 3.96). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup will begin on Sports Radio 910, SportsRadio910.com and IHeart Radio at 6:35 p.m.
# SQUIRRELS #