RICHMOND, VA – The Richmond Flying Squirrels (6-6) dropped a back-and-forth affair to the Reading Phillies (9-3), 5-3, in front of 2,847 at The Diamond on Monday night.
Right-handers Craig Westcott and Tyler Cloyd each posted a pair of scoreless innings to start the night, but each club was able to break through offensively in the third inning. Reading struck first with a run in the top of the frame off of Westcott. Tim Kennelly started the uprising with a single and Troy Hanzawa put two runners in scoring position when he followed with a double. Kennelly was caught in a run-down after breaking for the plate on a Westcott wild-pitch. He was eventually tagged out, but Hanzawa advanced to third base on the play. Westcott struck out Cloyd for the second out, but Tyson Gillies delivered an RBI single into left field to plate Hanzawa with the game’s first run.
The Squirrels responded with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third. Tommy Joseph doubled into right-center field and Johnny Monell brought him into tie the ballgame back up with his own double. Monell would later leave the game with a spasm in his left shoulder.
Reading lurched back in front with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Ruf and Sebastion Valle opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Leandro Castro delivered a two-run double for a 3-1 R-Phils’ advantage.
Richmond answered again, knotting the ballgame back up with two runs against Cloyd in the fifth inning. Gary Brown and Ehire Adrianza each singled into right field to put runners at the corners with one out. Joseph delivered a sacrifice-fly to right field to bring in Brown. Joel Weeks, who entered the game for Monell, singled into left field to put runners at the corners again. Daniel Mayora evened the ballgame, 3-3, with an RBI single to left field. Adrianza was beaten to the plate on the play by the throw from left fielder Leandro Castro, but slid around the tag of the catcher Valle. Reading manager Dusty Wathan vehemently argued the call with home plate umpire Joe Born to no avail.
The R-Phils pulled in front for good with a run off of right-hander Austin Fleet in the seventh inning. Fleet courted trouble when he plunked Castro, the first batter in the inning. Two batters later, Troy Hanzawa poked an inning single back through the middle to bring in Castro.
Fleet (0-1) was saddled with the loss over two innings of relief. Reading added an unearned run against right-hander Jake Dunning in the ninth inning to close the scoring in the opener.
Cloyd (2-0) earned the win for the R-Phils over six innings. He was charged with three runs on 10 hits, walked none and struck out two. Westcott didn’t factor in the decision for the Squirrels, turning in a quality start over six innings. He allowed three earned runs, walked none and struck out five.
Right-hander B.J. Rosenberg collected his third save of the season as he worked a scoreless ninth.
The Squirrels continue their three-game series with the R-Phils at The Diamond on Tuesday night at 6:35 PM. LHP Jason Stevenson (1-1, 4.63) will make the start for the Squirrels against Reading RHP Trevor May (2-0, 3.75).