RICHMOND, VA – The Richmond Flying Squirrels (42-46) busted out of a slump with a, 15-7, drubbing of the Akron Aeros (43-46) in front of 4,117 at The Diamond on Sunday afternoon. The Squirrels pounded out 19 hits as they won for the first time in the five-game series.
Both starting pitchers struggled from the outset, and the Aeros got on the board first with a run off lefty Jack Snodgrass in the first inning. Snodgrass issued a lead-off walk to Jose Ramirez, who promptly swiped second base. Tyler Holt knocked Ramirez in with a single for a 1-0 lead.
The Aeros rally seemed paltry in comparison to the damage done by the Squirrels in the bottom of the first against righty Toru Murata. Javier Herrera led off with a single and was bunted to second base by Joe Panik. Richmond then reeled off a franchise record seven consecutive hits to take a 6-1 lead. Mark Minicozzi brought home the first run with a single. Angel Villalona and Jarrett Parker each followed with RBI singles and Ehire Adrianza rifled a two-run double into the right-field corner. Adrianza was thrown out attempting to steal third base, but Mark Wagner cranked his first home run of the year to left field. The solo-shot capped a six-run inning as the Squirrels took a 6-1 lead.
Akron got after Snodgrass again in the second inning as Giovanny Urshela opened the inning with a single. Midlothian-native Jake Lowery then launched his second home run of the series. The two-run drive to right field pulled the Aeros to within three runs, 6-3.
After the first inning, Panik was the only Squirrel in the lineup without a base hit. He remedied that as he led off the second inning with a double into left-center field. It triggered a three-run inning against Murata, who departed after the frame. Minicozzi and Wagner each chipped in RBI singles, their second hits of the ballgame. Parker also brought in a run with a groundout as Richmond exited the inning with a 9-3 lead.
Murata (3-4) endured the defeat after being rocked for two innings. He conceded nine runs – all earned – on 11 hits. He walked two and struck out three.
Right-hander Cole Cook entered in relief to start the third inning for Akron and the Squirrels quickly tacked on another run. Minicozzi brought it in with his third RBI single of the ballgame. Richmond led after three innings, 10-3.
Snodgrass worked a scoreless third inning, but the Aeros got back to him in the fourth. Snodgrass conceded five hits in the inning including an RBI single to Jesus Aguilar, an RBI double to Carlos Moncrief and a two-run single to Chris Wallace. The Aeros pulled back within three runs, trailing 10-7, as Snodgrass was lifted from the ballgame.
In the left-handers toughest outing of the season, he permitted seven earned runs on 11 hits. He walked three and struck out two. The hit and run totals were both season-highs, but Snodgrass did not factor in the decision.
Cook finally kept the Squirrels off the scoreboard in the fourth inning, but Richmond was back at it again in the fifth. Ryan Lollis led off with a double and Herrera followed with a single, his third hit of the day. Panik knocked in Lollis with his second hit, a single. Duvall followed and crunched a three-run home run off the scoreboard in left-center field. Duvall’s eighth home run of the season stretched the Richmond lead to 14-7.
Cook was charged with five runs on six hits over 3 1/3 innings of relief.
Richmond right-hander Drew Bowlin (1-0) was the savior for the Squirrels’ bullpen and rightfully earned the win. He was masterful over 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, retiring the first 11 batters he faced. Ultimately he set down 13 of the 14 batters that he faced, allowing just one hit.
Right-hander Cody Hall polished off the win for the Squirrels with a perfect ninth inning. Hall registered back-to-back strikeouts to end the ballgame.
The finale of the five-game series is scheduled for Monday afternoon at 12.05 p.m. Richmond LHP Carlos Teller (1-3, 4.71) makes the start against Akron LHP Matt Packer (7-5, 2.50). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup will begin on Sports Radio 910, SportsRadio910.com and IHeart Radio at 11:35 a.m.
# SQUIRRELS #