The following comes directly from the Richmond Flying Squirrels:
RVA – Richmond’s Jose Flores was almost untouchable against his former team on Sunday afternoon, dealing the Squirrels to a 5-4 win over Akron (36-34) at The Diamond. Flores recorded a career-high seven strikeouts in his longest outing since 2007. The RubberDucks rallied for four runs in the ninth inning, but Collin Balester entered to finish off the game and earn his first save of the season. Richmond (31-43) avoided the series sweep and will begin a seven-game road trip on Monday at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, NJ.
Flores was in control to begin his sixth start of the season, firing his fastball consistently into the mid-90’s. The righty struck out four batters over the first three innings and faced just one over the minimum in that span.
Richmond provided Flores a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Akron starter Michael Peoples had retired the first six batters of the game, until Dylan Davis muscled his fourth home run of the season for a 1-0 lead. Davis’ solo shot sailed over the right field wall and started off the rally for Richmond. Myles Schroder doubled sharply up the right field line and Slade Heathcott brought him home on a base hit to center field. Heathcott advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw and scored when Miguel Gomez singled.
Flores continued his dominance through the middle innings against his former team. Flores retired the side in order in the fourth and again in the fifth. Jordan Smith broke up a stretch of 10 consecutive batters set down with a two-out single in the sixth inning. Smith was stranded at first base when Flores ended the inning on his 84th and final pitch of the game. Flores (3-1) struck out a career-high seven batters and walked none in the win. He allowed just four hits against the team that initially signed him back in 2007.
The ‘Ducks RHP Peoples recovered after the three-run third inning. Peoples set down the side in order in the fourth and worked around a double and a walk in the fifth. Richmond added one more run in the sixth, starting with a Jerry Sands double. Brandon Bednar then singled to right, and Akron right fielder Mike Papi overran the ball, allowing Sands to score for a 4-0 lead.
Peoples (1-3) also lasted six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits in the defeat. Nick Pasquale tossed the final two innings for Akron and allowed an unearned run.
Carlos Alvarado replaced Flores in the seventh and tossed a pair of scoreless innings. Alvarado struck out three and walked one prior to handing the ball to Tyler Cyr. Cyr walked the first batter he faced and yielded a pair of singles to load the bases with one out. After Luigi Rodriguez delivered a sacrifice fly, Yu Chang launched a three-run homer to pull to within a run, 5-4. Dorssys Paulino added a two-out single to keep the game alive and force Balester into the game. Balester produced a pop up to end the game and earn his first save of the year.
The Flying Squirrels begin a seven-game road trip on Monday in Trenton, NJ. RHP Sam Coonrod (3-7, 4.67) is scheduled to make the start for Richmond against Trenton Thunder.