HARRISBURG, PA - The Richmond Flying Squirrels rolled behind right-hander David Mixon to a series-opening, 5-1, victory in front of 4,334 on Monday night at Metro Bank Park. The win for Richmond sent Harrisburg to a sixth consecutive defeat.
Brandon Belt put Richmond on the board first against Harrisburg left-hander John Lannan in the fourth inning. For the second consecutive game, Belt drilled a solo-home run down the left-field line. The drive, tucked just inside the foul-pole, put the Squirrels in front, 1-0.
Richmond was back on the bats in the fifth when Clay Timpner led off with a single to left-center field. David Mixon attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but Lannan and first baseman Chris Marrero didn't communicate and Mixon reached on a bunt-single. Darren Ford followed and smoke a two-run double into the left-field corner for a 3-0 lead. Ford advanced on a groundout and scored for a 4-0 advantage on a single from Thomas Neal.
Meanwhile, Mixon held off the Senators for five innings, including squashing a bases-loaded opportunity for Harrisburg in the fifth. However, Harrisburg finally tallied a run against him in the sixth. Michael Martinez tripled over the head of Ford in center field with one out. He scored on a groundout to second base from Tim Pahuta to cut Richmond's lead to 4-1.
Lannan (1-2) called it a night after seven innings. He allowed four earned runs on nine hits in his third Eastern League start and took his second loss. He walked one and struck out four.
Mixon (9-4) became the second Eastern League hurler to nine wins as he worked a strong seven innings. He allowed just a lone run on six hits. He walked two and struck out none.
The Squirrels added a run against reliever Jack Spradlin the eighth inning. Conor Gillaspie contributed his third single of the night to score Neal and cap the scoring, 5-1.
Ronnie Ray worked a scoreless eighth inning for Richmond and Jake Stevens closed out the ballgame with a scoreless ninth.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 7:00 PM on Tuesday night at Metro Bank Park. LHP Clayton Tanner (4-5, 3.28) will make the start for Richmond against LHP Ross Detwiler (0-1, 3.09) for Harrisburg.