Recap 06/22: Flying Squirrels Capture Opener 6-2

AKRON,
OH – The Richmond Flying Squirrels won their first game against the Aeros this
season by the final score of 6-2 at Canal Park Tuesday night. Richmond starter
Mike MacDonald was brilliant in front of the 5,652 fans in downtown Akron as he
delivered his finest start of the year and the visitors led the entire way
after scoring four runs in the very first inning. The loss was the sixth in
eight contests for the reeling Aeros (34-36) while the fourth-place Flying
Squirrels (33-38) broke a five-game losing streak with the victory.

Richmond attacked in
the top of the first against surprise Aeros starter Kelvin De La Cruz as the
lefty allowed back-to-back one-out walks. Squirrels right fielder Roger
Kieschnick then delivered a huge two-run double on a towering fly ball to
center field and Michael Ambort plated him with another single to make it 3-0.
Three batters later, catcher Jackson Williams provided the frame’s final run on
a sacrifice fly to right field.

De La Cruz settled
down after that and the contest was scoreless from the bottom of the first
through the end of the seventh inning. Kieschnick helped the visitors strike
again in the top of the eighth on an RBI single against Akron reliever
Chen-Chang Lee. The Squirrels followed with three straight walks including a two-out
run-scoring free pass permitted by new relief pitcher Shane Lindsay.

Akron’s offense
followed immediately with a dramatic bottom of the eighth with the hosts still
trailing Richmond 6-0. Shortstop Carlos Rivero homered on just the second pitch
of the inning from MacDonald on a deep fly ball to the canal in left. An error
and two bases on balls followed while third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall drew
another RBI walk to cut the deficit to just four. Flying Squirrels reliever
Tony Pena Jr., the fourth pitcher of the frame, then struck out Matt McBride
looking to strand the bases loaded.

The ninth inning went
smoothly from there as Lindsay allowed just one hit by pitch and Pena retired
all three Aeros hitters to end the comeback attempt.

De La Cruz (1-4) took
the loss after serving as a last-minute replacement for scheduled Akron starter
Eric Berger, who was suffering from back stiffness.  He permitted the first four runs on six hits
and three walks with three strikeouts in five innings pitched. MacDonald
improved to 2-6 on the season with the win as he allowed just two singles, a
walk and the solo home run in 7.1 innings pitched while Pena earned his fifth
save.

Rivero’s homer in the
seventh was his third of the season and was a clutch hit to start the rally
after he previously hit into double plays in the second and fifth innings. Chisenhall
was the only Aero to reach base twice with his run-scoring walk and a single
while second baseman Jason Kipnis went 0-for-3 to end his eight-game Double-A
hitting streak.

This three-game
series continues Wednesday night as the Aeros and Flying Squirrels have a 7:05
p.m. first pitch at Canal
Park. Fans can purchase
Family Pack specials of four tickets, four hot dogs, four bags of chips and
four soft drinks for just $48, a savings of $28! Because of Berger’s late scratch,
Akron has yet to announce their first pitcher for tomorrow while Felix Romero
(0-1, 4.60 ERA) is Richmond’s expected starter. Wednesday’s game broadcast
begins at 6:50 p.m. on Fox Sports 1350 AM and at www.akronaeros.com. For more information,
please call the Aeros at (330) 253-5151.

—AEROS—

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