Squirrels down Baysox, close gap in wild card

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Juan Perez led a balanced offense with a pair of hits and an RBI as the Richmond Flying Squirrels (66-63) defeated the Bowie Baysox (68-61), 7-3, in the second game of a three-game series at The Diamond Tuesday night.

Seven of Richmond's nine batters recorded at least one hit and five different hitters produced RBIs for the Flying Squirrels. The victory reduces Bowie's lead over Richmond to just two games in the chase for the Western Division's wild-card spot.

The Flying Squirrels jumped out to the early lead in the opening frame by scoring four runs off Bowie starter Rick Zagone. Gary Brown drew a leadoff walk and he advanced to second base on a single from Daniel Mayora. After Zagone got Perez to bounce into a double play, Wes Hodges delivered an RBI single that plated Brown from third. Then, Zagone issued a walk to Johnny Monell before Mark Minicozzi belted a two-run double to deep center field. Ehire Adrianza followed with an RBI double that scored Minicozzi and extended Richmond's lead to 4-0.

Richmond added a run in the bottom of the third. Perez and Hodges hit consecutive singles to start the frame and Monell drew a walk to load the bases. Minicozzi grounded into a double play and Perez scored from third to make it a 5-0 Richmond advantage.

Meanwhile, Squirrels starter Chris Gloor held Bowie scoreless through the first four innings. But the Baysox finally broke through in the top of the fifth. Jai Miller hit a leadoff single and Brian Ward smacked a two-run home run over the left field fence. The home run was Ward's first of the season and it reduced Richmond's lead to 5-2.

The Baysox drew closer an inning later when Caleb Joseph socked a solo home run over the wall in left-center field. It was Joseph's 11th home run of the season and Richmond's advantage was cut to just two runs.

Richmond tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh. Nick Liles reached on an infield single with one out and Brown followed with a double down the left field line, which chased Zagone from the ballgame. Mayora delivered an RBI groundout off Bowie reliever Jason Gurka and Perez drove in Brown with a bloop single to shallow right field that made it a 7-3 contest.

Flying Squirrels relievers Chris Wilson and Edwin Quirarte combined to toss three innings of scoreless relief to seal Richmond's victory. Gloor (4-4) scattered seven hits through six innings and allowed three earned runs. He struck out three batters and issued one walk en route to collecting his fourth win. Zagone (4-4) took the loss. The Bowie southpaw gave up eight hits and seven earned runs along with three walks and one strikeout in six and 1/3 innings pitched.

The Flying Squirrels will aim for the series sweep when the two teams square off Wednesday night. First pitch at The Diamond is scheduled for 7:05 PM as Richmond RHP Craig Westcott (11-9, 3.84) will make the start against Bowie RHP Eddie Gamboa (6-4, 3.19).

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