READING, PA - The Richmond Flying Squirrels (68-68) rallied for six runs in the ninth inning, only to be walked off for the second straight night, 9-8, by the Reading Fightin Phils (59-77) on Tuesday night. The Squirrels had taken an 8-7 lead before Jim Murphy launched a two-run home run off Drew Bowlin in the bottom of the ninth inning to walk Reading off for the second straight night. Bowlin (4-3) took the loss for the Squirrels on Murphy's 22nd blast of the season.
The Squirrels trailed, 7-2, to the top of the ninth inning when Reading brought on right-hander Seth Rosin. Juan Ciriaco pinch-hit and belted a lead-off solo-home run. It sparked a 10-batter inning. Javier Herrera delivered an RBI double. Ryan Lollis tied the game, 7-7, with a two-run double and Jarrett Parker pinch-hit to put the Squirrels in front with a double off the left-field wall. Right-hander Hector Neris had relieved Rosin and conceded the final three doubles in the ballgame. Despite his struggles, Neris (6-4) earned the win for Reading.
Richmond went ahead hurriedly in the second inning against left-hander Mario Hollands. Adam Duvall led off the inning and belted a solo-home run to left field. Duvall's 16th of the season gave the Squirrels a 1-0 lead.
Disaster struck for the Squirrels in the bottom of the second inning. The Fightins erupted for six runs off Richmond lefty Jack Snodgrass. Anthony Hewitt triggered the uprising with an inning-opening double. Snodgrass then hit Sebastian Valle. An out later, Edgar Duran laced a two-run triple through the alley in right-center field. Snodgrass then hit Hollands. He recorded the second out, but walked Zach Collier to load the bases. Maikel Franco sent a single into left field to plate Duran and Jim Murphy brought in Hollands with another single. Hewitt came up for the second time in the inning and brought in the final two runs of the inning with a soft-single to right-center field. All told, 11 men came to the plate and six score as Reading took a 6-1 lead.
Snodgrass lasted just four innings. He was charged with six runs - all earned. He conceded seven hits, walked two, hit two and struck out three. He did not factor in the decision.
The Squirrels got a run back in the fifth inning. With one out, Kelby Tomlinson doubled into the right-field corner. An out later, Javier Herrera singled back through the middle to bring home Tomlinson. The Reading lead was trimmed to 6-2 as Herrera knocked in his team-leading 72nd run of the year.
Hollands (4-2) worked into the sixth inning, retiring after 5 2/3 innings. He was charged with two earned runs on six hits, walked three and struck out five.
Left-hander Austin Wright followed Hollands and worked 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Right-handers Jose Valdez and Edwin Quirarte combined to work three scoreless innings for Richmond behind Snodgrass. The Fightins did score a lone run off lefty Phil McCormick in the eighth inning.
Herrera (4-for-5) finished the night with four hits and two RBIs for the Squirrels.
Game three of the four-game series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium on Wednesday night. Richmond has yet to announce a starter for the ballgame. Reading will throw LHP Jesse Biddle (5-13, 3.66). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup will begin on Sports Radio 910, www.sportsradio910.com and IHeart Radio at 6:35 p.m.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.