Richmond, VA (WWBT)- The Richmond Flying Squirrels continued their winning ways on Monday night and did so against the only team in front of them in the Eastern League Western Division standings. The Squirrels used solid pitching and another big offensive night to power past the Harrisburg Senators, 9-3, in game one of a three game series at The Diamond. With the victory, the squad improves to 40-35, a season high five games over the .500 mark.
Richmond got off to a fast start in the bottom of the first. Roger Kieschnick dropped a single into left to score Francisco Peguero to start the scoring. Chris Dominguez followed that up with an opposite field double down the right field line that scored two more runs, giving the Squirrels a 3-0 lead. Johnny Monell capped off a big first inning when he snuck an RBI single inside the first base bag, as Richmond took a 4-0 lead after one inning of play. After Harrisburg found the scoreboard in the top of the fourth, the Squirrels answered in the bottom half, as pitcher Henry Sosa helped his own cause with two outs in the fourth, singling up the middle to score another run, extending the lead to 5-1.
The Senators would close to within two runs in the top of the seventh, as Tyler Moore belted a line drive single to left that scored two runs to cut the advantage to 5-3. As they did all night, however, the Squirrels responded, and the response came from one of the hottest hitters on the team. Dominguez stepped up with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh and smacked a grand slam over the left field wall, slamming the door on Harrisburg.
Dominguez put together a tremendous night at the plate, going 2-for-4 with the double, the grand slam and six RBI. The performance came on the same day he was named Eastern League Player of the Week. He raised his batting average to .333 with Monday night's effort. Charlie Culberson notched a 3-for-4 night at the plate and scored two runs, while Johnny Monell and Peguero had two hits apiece.
Sosa put together a quality outing on the hill. He locked up his fourth win of the season, lasting 6.1 innings and giving up the three earned runs. Sosa struck out six and walked just one batter. He now boasts a 4-0 record and a 1.61 ERA.
With the victory, the Squirrels pull to within three games of first place Harrisburg. The two teams will be back in action Tuesday night at The Diamond. First pitch is set for 7:05 pm.