Valdez Sharp in Senators 3-2 Loss to Richmond

Sens drop fifth straight to fall out of playoff spot

Phillips Valdez pitched eight strong innings for the Senators but a costly error and the failure to get a timely hit resulted in the Senators 3-2 loss to Richmond. The loss was the fifth straight for Harrisburg (63-61) and combined with Akron’s win over Bowie, put the Sens a game behind Akron with 18 games remaining.

Richmond tallied a run in the first to take a 1-0 lead. Kevin Keyes tied the game one pitch into the second inning by hitting his 12th home run on the season to tie the game 1-1. The Flying Squirrels scored an unearned run in the third to take the lead 2-1.

Valdez then took over and retired 13 straight batters spanning the end of the third to the beginning of the ninth.

The Senators tied the game on an infield single by Drew Ward, scoring Isaac Ballou from second base.The Senators would go on to put two runners on base with two outs in five of the last six innings including their final four times to bat.

Phillips Valdez rebounded with eight sharp innings (Will Bentzel / MiLB)

Phillips Valdez rebounded with eight sharp innings (Will Bentzel / MiLB)

Richmond took the lead in the eighth on a single by Hunter Cole.  MLB veteran closer Joe Nathan came on in the ninth inning looking to save the game for Richmond. With two outs and no one on, Khayyan Norfork singled followed by a walk by Shawn Pleffner. Rafael Bautista, though, bounced into a game ending fielder’s choice.

Valdez tossed eight innings allowing just six hits and two earned runs. Matt Gage was the winner for Richmond.

Keyes and Norfork both had two hits in the game for Harrisburg.

Game two of the three-game series is Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1460, iHeart Radio and Tune In beginning with the Matt LeCroy show at 5:50 p.m.

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