Squirrels dump SeaWolves, Senators up next

The Richmond Flying Squirrels head into the 2nd half of the season with a few new faces and a new momentum.

The Richmond Flying Squirrels head into the 2nd half of the season with a few new faces and a new momentum.

The past week has seen the most significant changes in the Flying Squirrels roster since the beginning of the season. Starting pitcher Daryl Maday and catcher Jackson Williams were promoted to play for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies, and the Squirrels picked up two new pitchers and a new hot-bat firstbaseman. Sunday also saw the return of Nick Noonan at 2nd base, starting for the 1st time since June 18. With the Squirrels as close to healthy and complete as they’ve been in a while and 7-3 over the last 10 games, the Harrisburg Senators are welcoming a Flying Squirrels club that could end up making themselves unwelcome guests.

On July 1, the San Francisco Giants traded their veteran catcher Bengie Molina to the Texas Rangers for relief pitcher Chris Ray and a minor league player to be named later. That “minor league player to be named later” ended up being Michael Main, who had just been promoted to the AA Frisco Roughriders. On the day that he was supposed to make his first AA start, he was instead traded to the Giants and assigned to be a Richmond Flying Squirrel. Saturday night, at the end of this whirlwind week, Main was the starting pitcher for the Flying Squirrels in front of a packed house.

That Saturday game also saw the first appearance of Brandon Belt at 1st base. Promoted from A+ San Jose and taking the spot of Michael Ambort (who was sent to A+ San Jose Giants), Belt brings the promise of some added offensive punch for the Richmond line-up. Through 77 games for the A+ San Jose Giants, Belt was hitting .383 with 62RBI and 10 HR. In Sunday’s game, he picked up a double and HR on his way to 4 hits in 5 at-bats.

The night before had seen another new starting pitcher for the Flying Squirrels when Craig Westcott took the mound. Promoted only the day before from A+ San Jose, Westcott hung in for 6 innings, allowing only 5 hits on 3 runs and striking out 3. Daniel Turpen came in with the game tied in the 7th and held on as the Squirrels added a run in the 8th. Rafael Cova earned the save when a Juan Ciriaco squeeze-play bunt scored Roger Kieschnick to give the Squirrels the margin of victory.

After a 4-3 homestand, the Flying Squirrels (40-43) head out for four games at the Harrisburg Senators (38-45) and then 4 at the Western Division-leading Altoona Curve (52-30). The Senators own the leagues longest streak, having lost their last five. The Squirrels are chasing the Akron Aeros (40-42) for 3rd place and are only 5 games out from 2nd place (and a play-off spot…). Given that the Aeros start the week with a 4-game series with the Eastern-Division leading Trenton Thunder (51-31), this could be a good chance for Richmond to jump’em in the standings.

Monday July 5 – 7:00PM (AWAY)
Richmond Flying Squirrels vs Harrisburg Senators
RHP David Mixon (8-4, 3.40)/Richmond vs LHP John Lannan (1-1, 4.85)/Harrisburg
The Senators’ starter John Lannan was on the mound for the Washington Nationals on opening day. After going 2-5 5.76ERA with the Nats, the demoted Lannan has gone 1-1 4.85 ERA as a Harrisburg Senator.

Tuesday July 6 – 7:00PM (AWAY)
Richmond Flying Squirrels vs Harrisburg Senators

Wednesday July 7 – 7:00PM (AWAY)
Richmond Flying Squirrels vs Harrisburg Senators

Thursday July 8 – 7:00PM (AWAY)
Richmond Flying Squirrels vs Harrisburg Senators

Eastern League Standings

EAS Eastern
Club W L PCT GB ELIM# Home Away L10 Streak
Trenton 51 31 .622 30-14 21-17 7-3 W4
New Hampshire 49 34 .590 2.5 24-17 25-17 5-5 W2
Binghamton 44 39 .530 7.5 55 25-19 19-20 7-3 W2
Portland 41 41 .500 10.0 52 20-18 21-23 5-5 L2
Reading 39 42 .481 11.5 51 26-19 13-23 5-5 W2
New Britain 24 59 .289 27.5 35 10-32 14-27 4-6 L2
EAS Western
Club W L PCT GB ELIM# Home Away L10 Streak
Altoona 52 30 .634 23-15 29-15 4-6 L2
Bowie 45 38 .542 7.5 24-19 21-19 7-3 W2
Akron 40 42 .488 12.0 56 17-23 23-19 4-6 L2
Richmond 40 43 .482 12.5 55 22-22 18-21 7-3 W1
Harrisburg 38 45 .458 14.5 53 17-23 21-22 4-6 L5
Erie 32 51 .386 20.5 47 12-24 20-27 1-9 L1
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  1. Richmond takes game one of the series, winning 5-1 on 10 hits. The Squirrels went ahead 1-0 in the 4th on another Brandon Belt HR and never looked back. A 3-run 5th inning put the Senators into the hole for good. Mixon went 7 innings and picked up the win, giving up 1 run on 6 hits, 2 BB, 0 SO.

  2. More changes! RHP Mitch Lively received from A Augusta today. Lively is 4-2 4.89ERA over 24 games in Augusta. Lively had pitched 3 innings across 3 games for #rva earlier in the season, went 1-0 allowing no runs. LHP Wilmin Rodriguez (0-1, 3.51) transferred to Augusta from Richmond. Also got INF Brad Boyer from Fresno, Ciriaco placed on the DL.

  3. The Squirrels lost 3-2 last night, but so did every team ahead of ’em in the standings. Akron still has 1/2 a game on Richmond, Bowie and 2nd place are 4 games ahead.

    TONIGHT – 7PM in Harrisburg: Westcott, C (0-0, 3.00)/Richmond vs Kown (2-4, 4.91)/Harrisburg

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