Hartford, CT - Jonah Arenado launched a grand slam in the fifth inning and Ray Black punched out to side in the ninth inning to preserve an 8-6 Richmond (4-2) win over Hartford (0-6) on Tuesday evening at Dunkin' Donuts Park. Arenado's blast, along with a solo home run from Ryan Howard, backed a solid start from Cory Taylor for the Flying Squirrels third consecutive win.
Richmond jumped out to a 6-2 lead on Arenado's grand slam in the fifth inning off reliever Marc Magliaro. Arenado, Dylan Davis, Aramis Garcia and Ryan Howard all collected multi-hit games in the win,. Howard launched his first Double-A homer over the left field wall in the third and Arenado did the same in the fifth.
Hartford battled back from a 7-2 deficit with a pair of runs in the sixth and eighth innings. Reliever Jack McCasland authored a pair of innings of support for Richmond, but allow a pair of runs in the effort. Shortstop Brendan Rogers homered off McCasland to make it a 7-4 contest in the sixth. McCasland was replaced by Tyler Cry in the eighth and Hartford plated a pair against Cyr to pull to within a run, 7-6. With two runners on in the eighth, catcher Chris Rabago dribbled an infield hit up the third base line to produce a run. Cyr then unleashed a wild pitch before getting the final out of the inning.
The Squirrels managed an insurance run in the top of the ninth, starting with pinch-hitter Matt Lipka getting hit by a pitch. Lipka stole second and came around to score on a Daniel Carbonell sacrifice fly.
Ahead by two in the ninth, Richmond summoned Ray Black to finish the game. Garrett Thompson greeted Black with a single before black struck out the side to earn his third save of the year.
Richmond provided starting pitcher Cory Taylor with a 1-0 lead in the first. Ronnie Jebavy led off the game with a walk and advanced to second via a balk. After Aramis Garcia moved Jebavy to third base with a flyout, Dylan Davis delivered an RBI single into left field.
Craig Schlitter made the start for Hartford, a local product from Guilford, CT. Schlitter filled in for the injured Jack Wynkoop and worked four innings in the spot start. Schlitter allowed two runs on four hits, tossing 64 pitches in the no-decision. He struck out four and walked three.
Taylor (1-0) cruised through the first three innings for Richmond. The righty walked a man in the first and allowed an infield base hit before retiring eight consecutive batters to move the game into the fourth inning. Brian Mundell broke up the eight in a row for Taylor with a base hit to left and Wes Rogers tied the game on a two-run homer just over the left centerfield fence.
The righty Taylor departed with a 7-2 lead after five innings. Taylor allowed two runs on three hits to earn the win. He walked one and struck out three, using 90 pitches.
- Dillon Dobson earned the start at first base.
- VA native Jack Wynkoop was the probable starter for Hartford until late notice that he was injured and would be replaced by CT native Craig Schlitter.
- Cory Taylor made his 28th career start for Richmond and 29th appearance. This was Taylors 5th career start vs. Hartford and his third at Dunkin' Donuts Park.
- Squirrels entered at 3-2, above .500 mark for first time since a 2-1 start last year.
- In the top of the first, Ryan Howard appeared to fly out to left field, however a balk was called, moving Ronnie Jebavy to second.
- Ali Castillo was caught stealing to end the top of the fourth Inning. Ali is 1-2 in stolen base attempts on the year.
- The Arenado grand slam was the first slam for the Flying Squirrels since Ryder Jones connected in consecutive games on Sept. 3 & 4 ,2016 against Altoona.
- Ryan Howard collected the first three-hit performance of the season with a single in the top of the eighth. It was the third, multi-hit games for Howard.
- Black touched 100 miles per hour at least seven times in the ninth inning. His breaking ball to strike out Brenden Rogers was a knee-buckling breaker.
The Flying Squirrels conclude the first road trip of the year in Hartford on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. RHP Shaun Anderson is scheduled to work against RHP Ryan Castellani. The Squirrels will return home on April 13 for the home opener at The Diamond. The team is pushing for their ninth consecutive Opening Night sellout crowd. Limited tickets for the event that featured dueling fireworks and Fred McGriff remain by contacting the box office at 804-359-3866 or online at squirrelsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.