Reading, PA (WWBT)- Sunday saw the Richmond Flying Squirrels fall for the third straight time, dropping a one run heart-breaker to the Reading Phillies, 4-3.
Francisco Peguero put the Squirrels on the board first when he led off the game with a solo-home run to right-center field. Peguero smashed a 2-2 pitch from Cloyd for a 1-0 lead. It was the second home run of the series for Peguero and his second in a Squirrels uniform.
Reading responded against Richmond right-hander Henry Sosa in the bottom of the second inning, and took their first lead. Matt Rizzotti led off the inning with a single to right field. Derrick Mitchell followed and rifled a double into the left-field corner to put two in scoring position with nobody out. Stephen Susdorf put the R-Phils on the board with an RBI single, and Niuman Romero gave Reading the lead, 2-1, with a sacrifice-fly to left field.
Sosa settled in following the second inning, keeping the R-Phils at bay through the fifth inning. However, Reading put the game away and chased the right-hander in the sixth. Rizzotti once again led off with a base hit, pulling a double into the right-field corner. Mitchell advanced him to third on a ground out, and the Squirrels elected to intentionally walk Susdorf. Romero then singled back through the middle to bring in Rizzotti. A batter later, Cloyd aided his own cause with a single into right-center field to plate Susdorf and Reading led, 4-1.
Sosa (4-1) was lifted following Cloyd's single, leaving to the loss after 5 2/3 innings. He conceded four runs - all earned - on eight hits. He walked two and struck out one.
Cloyd was outstanding following Peguero's lead-off home run. He had conceded only one hit since the home run as he returned in the seventh inning. Roger Kieschnick finally got to him, driving a double into the alley in left-center field. Chris Dominguez followed with a single to put runners on the corners for Richmond with nobody out. Wes Hodges bounced into a double-play, with Kieschnick scoring on the play to cut Richmond's deficit to two runs.
Cloyd (2-1) left after the seventh, allowing two runs on four hits. He walked none and struck out six as he earned his second win of the season.
The Squirrels inched closer in the eighth inning, plating a run against left-hander Joe Savery. Sharlon Schoop led off with a single and Skyler Stromsmoe followed with a pinch-hit single to put runners at the corners. Juan Perez grounded into a double-play, 6-4-3, but Schoop scored to pull Richmond back within a run, 4-3.
Richmond got no closer, as Reading summoned their closer Justin Friend. The right-hander recorded the final four outs to earn his second save of the series and fourth of the season.
The Diamond will be a welcome site for the Squirrels, who return home for a nine-game homestand beginning Monday. The Trenton Thunder visit for four games, followed by Western Division-leading Harrisburg for a five game set prior to the Eastern League All-Star break.