Richmond's three home runs too much for Akron, Ducks lose 8-2.
Erik Gonzalez was a home run shy of the cycle in Tuesday night's game.
AKRON, OH. — The Flying Squirrels hit three home runs in their win in game two of a three-game series on Tuesday night. The RubberDucks have now dropped six straight games and seven of their last eight.
“This is a good team. There’s a reason they’ve won as many games as they have,” said manager David Wallace.
Richmond struck first in the third inning when Myles Schroder and Skyler Stromsmoe hit back-to-back singles to start their team off. The following at-bat, Tyler Graham laid down a sacrifice bunt that advanced both runners. Matt Duffy hit a grounder to shortstop that allowed Schroder to score from third. Right-fielderJarrett Parker followed up with a 2-run blast to deep center and gave the Flying Squirrels a 3-0 lead after the third.
The visitors added on some more insurance in the next inning when Akron starter Will Roberts gave up back-to-back singles again, this time around to Devin Harris and Tyler LaTorre. Schroder made the right-hander pay once more with a 3-run bomb to the inflatable slide in right field that gave Richmond a comfortable 6-0 advantage after the top of the fourth.
Roberts suffered his 10th loss on the season. He pitched five and one-thirds innings and gave up seven earned runs on 12 hits, including two long balls. The right-hander hadn’t given up over four runs since May 11th. It was his worst start of the year.
“Will got behind in some counts and just didn’t finish on the pitches that he’s had lately,” said Wallace. “They made him pay for some mistakes.”
Adam Miller came in to relieve Roberts in the sixth inning and gave up an inherited run on an RBI single by Graham. The following inning he gave up a solo blast that hit the scoreboard in deep right field to Ricky Oropesa, extending the Flying Squirrels lead to 8-0.
Richmond starter Clayton Blackburn pitched three shutout innings in his first outing in 12 days, striking out two in the process. Reliever Edwin Quirarte followed suit with three shutout innings of his own, earning the win for the Flying Squirrels.
The RubberDucks did have a bright spot, however, as Erik Gonzalez was just a home run shy of the cycle with an RBI. The shortstop showed very good range in the field and had a few solid plays in his post- Francisco Lindor starting debut for Akron.
“He’s got the ability to make the plays. He had a few of them today,” Wallace commented. Wally also grinned when the diving stop “Gonzo” made in the first inning was brought up, “That might have been the most impressive one he made.”
“I felt pretty good,” said Gonzalez. “I hit the ball hard and got a base hit, double, and a triple, but I needed a home run,” the shortstop joked.
Richmond relief pitcher Cody Hall came in to the ninth to shut the game down for the Flying Squirrels.
Shawn Armstrong pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts for Akron.
The RubberDucks (57-47) will look to avoid the sweep against Richmond (62-41) tomorrow afternoon. Akron will start RHP Shawn Morimando (1-0, 1.50) and RHP Austin Fleet (7-1, 3.03) will get the call for the Flying Squirrels. Game time is set for 12:05 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
Spencer Davies is a student at the University of Akron studying Sports Management with a minor concentrating in Mass Communication. He has interned for the Cleveland Indians minor league affiliate Akron RubberDucks, IMG College, and has shadowed Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico. He is currently an on-air sports personality at WZIP-FM and works for the Akron Beacon Journal. Follow Spencer on Twitter @SpinDavies.