The Richmond Flying Squirrels (74-59) waited through a 58-minute rain-delay to complete a, 7-2, win over the Bowie Baysox (66-66) at The Diamond on Saturday night. With the win, the Squirrels cut their magic number to two to claim a playoff spot. They have given themselves the opportunity to clinch with a win in the series-finale on Sunday afternoon.
The Squirrels grabbed the lead first with two runs off of knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa in the second inning. Gamboa started his own trouble by walking the lead-off man Mario Lisson. Devin Harris followed and cranked a double into the left-field corner. Lisson came all the way around to score for a 1-0 lead. Harris then advanced to third base on an errant pickoff attempt from Gamboa. Ricky Oropesa then made it 2-0 with a sacrifice-fly to center field.
Richmond right-hander Chris Stratton opened the door for the Baysox in the third when he committed an error on a ground ball from Mike Yastrzemski to start the inning. He then walked Niuman Romero and conceded a single to Buck Britton to load the bases with nobody out. Stratton then induced a double-play from Chris Marrero. However, Yastrzemski scored an unearned run to put Bowie on the board for the first time, trailing 2-1.
The Squirrels took control of the ballgame in the bottom of the third. Kelby Tomlinson got Richmond started with a lead-off single slapped to right field. Tomlinson swiped second and advanced to third when left fielder K.D. Kang misplayed a deep fly ball from Elliott Blair. Blair wound up at second base on the error. Tomlinson scored on a wild-pitch from Gamboa before Blake Miller plated Blair with a single to left field. Miller advanced to second on another throwing error from Gamboa and took third on a passed ball. Mario Lisson then made it 5-1 with a sacrifice-fly to center field.
Stratton was only able to finish four innings. He labored throughout, but kept the damage at a minimum. He was charged with just a lone unearned run on five hits. He walked three, struck out four and departed ineligible for the win.
Gamboa (0-2) took the loss over five innings. He permitted five runs, but just two were earned. He walked two and struck out six.
Richmond tacked on a couple more runs against right-hander Mychal Givens in the sixth inning. Tyler LaTorre drew an inning-opening walk. Skyler Stromsmoe followed with an infield-single and Tomlinson bunted the runners up. LaTorre scored on a wild-pitch for a 6-1 lead and Blair made it 7-1 with an RBI groundout.
Right-hander Edwin Quirarte (10-7) earned the win for the Squirrels, working two scoreless innings of relief.
Lefty Steven Okert handled two innings of relief for the Squirrels following the rain-delay. He conceded the final run of the evening to Bowie in the seventh inning. Britton singled home David Freitas, who had doubled.
Right-hander Dan Slania worked the ninth to complete the victory.
The finale of the three-game series is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. at The Diamond on Sunday afternoon. Richmond LHP Adalberto Mejia (6-8, 5.12) will make the start against Bowie LHP Nick Addition (0-1, 4.41).