Akron, OH - Flying Squirrels lefty Andrew Suarez limited Akron (15-18) to just one run over 6.2 innings to lead Richmond (16-20) to their third consecutive win on Monday night at Canal Park. The Squirrels downed the RubberDucks by a final of 3-1 to take the series opener and win three straight games for the first time this season. Tyler Cyr closed out the contest with a scoreless ninth inning to earn his third save of theseason. Richmond will try to make it four in a row on Tuesday from Akron at10:35 a.m.
Akron jumped out to an early lead off of Suarez. With one out in the first inning, former UVA standout Mike Papi lined a single to center field. Shortstop Yu Chang then followed with a double to the gap in right center field for a 1-0 advantage. Chang moved to third on an error, but Suarez was able to strand him there to limit the damage to one run.
Akron starting pitcher D.J. Brown was touched up for a pair of runs in the third inning to give Richmond the lead. Jeff Arnold ignited the offense with a base hit to right field. Slade Heathcott and C.J. Hinojosa added singles to load the bases for Miguel Gomez. Gomez bounced a ball to second base to score Arnold and tie the game. Heathcott later scored on a passed ball to move ahead, 2-1.
Suarez was right back on track after the run allowed in the first. The lefty pitched around a base hit in the second and mowed down the side in order in the third and fourth. Suarez found a rhythm and retied 11 consecutive batters headinginto the sixth inning.
Richmond added a run in the seventh inning and pushed Brown from the contest. With two outs, Ryan Lollis and Ali Castillo connected on consecutive base hits. Castillo's single forced Baker from the game as he was replaced by righty Dylan Baker. Baker was greeted by a pinch-hit singlefrom Eliezer Zambrano, giving Richmond a 3-1 advantage.
Brown (0-3) suffered the loss despite tossing 6.2 innings. The JMU product allowed three runs on six hits. He struck out five and walked one.
Suarez, like Brown, also pitched into the seventh inning on Monday. The lefty lasted 6.2 innings and was removed following a two-out triple from Eric Haase in the seventh. Right-hander Jose Flores was the first man out of the bullpen and struck out Mark Mathias to end the inning and finish theline on Suarez. Suarez (3-3) struck out seven and walked none. He used 98 pitches in his seventh start of the year
Richmond's Reyes Moronta tossed the eighth inning to set up Cyr for the save. Cyr allowed the tying runs to reach base in theninth, but struck out Eric Haase to end the game.
The Squirrels continue their seven game road trip in Akron, OH on Tuesday morning at 10:35 a.m. Right-hander Sam Coonrod (1-3, 4.91) will make the start for Richmond against Akron RHP Nick Pasquale (2-2, 3.38). The Flying Squirrels return to The Diamond on Friday, May 19 with another Free Shirt Friday & Happy Hour. Flying Squirrels individual tickets, mini plans and group packages are on sale by contacting the Richmond box office at 804-359-FUNN or online at www.squirrelsbaseball.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.