Squirrels open new series with 9-6 loss to Akron

The following comes directly from the Richmond Flying Squirrels:

RVA – Akron’s Luigi Rodriguez homered twice to lead the RubberDucks in a 9-6 victory over Richmond on Friday night at The Diamond. Richmond (30-42) rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and were one batter shy of brining the tying run to the plate. The Squirrels collected nine hits, including three apiece for C.J. Hinojosa and Myles Schroder in the defeat. Akron lefty Matt Whitehouse tossed a season-high seven innings to earn the win. Richmond will attempt to get even in the middle game of the series on Saturday at 6:05 p.m.
Trailing 9-2 entering the bottom of the ninth, Richmond bull rushed Akron reliever Mitch Brown for four run to make things interesting  Brown walked Brandon Bednar and hit Hunter Cole to begin the uprising. After Brown set down the next two batters, Jeff Arnold drilled a three-run homer over the left field fence to make it a 9-5 contest. Schroder kept it going with a walk and Hinojosa brought him home on a base hit, bringing the tying run into the on deck circle. Akron went back into the bullpen, bringing in closer Neil Holland. Holland finished off Daniel Carbonell to end the game and earn the save .
Jordan Johnson stared the contest for Richmond, coming off his roughest outing of the season. Johnson retired all three batters with ease in the first inning, but encountered some control issues in the second. Johnson walked Bobby Bradley to begin the second and then walked Yu Chang with two outs. Dorssys Paulino provided the first runs of the game when he knocked a double off the right field wall to give Akron a 2-0 lead. Paulino was thrown out on the play attempting to take third base to end the inning.
The Squirrels nibbled around the bases in the first three innings against Akron starting pitcher Matt Whitehouse. Richmond stranded a runner on third base in the first and a pair in the second. Schroder connected on his second hit of the game, a base hit to center field, but Whitehouse left him on by punching out Daniel Carbonell to end the inning. Whitehouse tallied 49 pitches over the first three innings in the game.
Akron added two more runs in the top of the fourth inning. Eric Hasse lined a double with one out and Luigi Rodriguez launched a two-run homer that skimmed over the center field fence. Rodriguez’ home run was his seventh of the year and gave Akron a 4-0 advantage. Johnson struck out the next batter to end the inning. He closed out the fourth frame on his 63rd pitch of the evening. 
Whitehouse managed to reach the sixth inning without allow a run, thanks in part to a pair of double plays. Richmond eventually dinged the lefty for a pair of runs to cut the deficit in half, 4-2. The Squirrels loaded the bases and pushed across the first run on a Jerry Sands ground out. Brandon Bednar followed with another RBI ground out for the second run. 
Johnson (4-5) lasted six innings in the defeat. The righty allowed four runs on six hits. He struck out five and walked three on 94 pitches. 
 
Ryan Halstead replaced Johnson to begin the seventh inning. Halstead was ambushed for three runs, including run-producing, extra-base hits from Tyler Krieger and Bobby Bradley. 
 
Whitehouse finished off a season-high seven innings to earn the win.  The lefty allowed two runs on six hits, using 90 pitches in the outing. He walked one and struck out three.  
The Flying Squirrels continue a six-game homestand on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. against Akron. RHP Dan Slania (1-0, 0.69) is scheduled to make the start for Richmond against RHP Matt Esparza (3-0, 2.00).