Funnville - Tyler Cyr closed out Richmond's fourth consecutive victory on Monday Night, a 4-2 win over Bowie in the series opener at The Diamond. Cyr entered with the bases loaded and struck out Mike Yastrzemski to end the game and preserve the win for starting pitcher Cory Taylor. Richmond (8-3) is off to their best start in team history. The series against Bowie (6-4) continues Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m.
The Flying Squirrels struck first off Bowie starting pitcher Michael Kelly in the third inning. Ronnie Jebavy walked to begin the inning and Ali Castillo was hit by an errant fastball that appeared to hit his helmet and hand. Miguel Gomez advanced Jebavy to third base on a fly out and Luigi Rodriguez brought him home with a base to right. Jerry Sands made it a 2-0 lead, grounding in a runner from third base.
Kelly needed 60 pitches to get thought the first three innings in the outing. The former first-round selection worked into the fifth inning but could not last through the frame. Richmond made it a 3-0 advantage, starting with a base hit from Ali Castillo. Castillo's base hit ricocheted off the pitcher Kelly. After a stolen base, Miguel Gomez lined a base hit to left to force Kelly from the contest. Bowie turned to lefty reliever Luis Gonzalez who allowed an RBI single to Luigi Rodriguez before ending the inning.
Taylor (2-0) tossed 5+ innings to earn the win. Taylor allowed one run on five hits while walking three and striking out three. Taylor threw 81 pitches in his third start of the year
Working with the lead, Cory Taylor lasted into the sixth inning until a pair of walks and a base hit took him out of the contest. Dan Slania inherited the bases loaded, no one out situation in the inning and managed to navigate out of the jam while allowing just one run. The burly righty Slania induced three fly outs, keeping Richmond ahead, 3-1.
Slania lasted a pair of innings and left with his own trouble on the bases. A pair of base hits to start the eighth inning knocked Slania out of the contest for Dusten Knight. Knight stranded both runners to keep Richmond ahead, 3-2.
The Squirrels scored an insurance run in the eighth inning off of reliever Matthew Grimes. John Riley worked a walk to load the bases in the eighth and Jebavy drove home a 4-2 lead via a sacrifice fly.
Cyr recorded the final out to earn the save, entering with the bases loaded. Ray Black struck out two in the ninth but also allowed a base hit and a pair of walks in the effort.
Bowie's Kelly tossed 4.1 innings and allowed three runs on just four hits. He walked one and struck out three in the defeat.
Ryan Howard, who did not play in the game, entered the series hitting a robust .368, good for 7th in the Eastern League. Bowie's Corban Joseph ranked second with a .419 average that rose to .457 with three hits.
Catcher John Riley worked a 12 pitch at bat in the eighth inning to load the bases. Riley made his Double-A debut and the walk allowed him to reach base for the first time.
Ali Castillo endured a scary moment when he was hit by a pitch in the third inning. Castillo was able to deflect a fastball that hit his helmet/hand as he was trying to protect himself. Castillo stayed in the game.
Starting pitcher Michael Kelly was selected 48th overall in the 2011 draft, one pick ahead of former Squirrels pitcher Kyle Crick.
The Squirrels were 10-12 last year vs. Bowie. Taylor made four starts against the Baysox (0-2, 4.34). Johnson appeared in four games (two starts) against the Baysox with a 1-2 record and a 2.41 ERA. .
Ryan Howard has hit safely in seven consecutive games. Howard has only been hitless in one contest this year, Opening Night in Trenton.
Cyr earned his second save of the year. Knight picked up his second hold of the season as well.
Baltimore's No.1 prospect Austin Hays struck out four times in an 0-5 performance.
Coming on in relief in the sixth inning, Dan Slania retired the first six batters he faced, inducing fly ball outs from the first five.
With the win, the Flying Squirrels are 6-1 this season in games decided by two runs or fewer.
Game two of the series is Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. Richmond RHP Shaun Anderson (1-1, 3.27) gets the start against Bowie RHP John Means (0-0, 3.97). Tickets and group packages are available 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.