Mesa's Hit Lifts Thunder Past Squirrels, 3-2
(Trenton, NJ) - Melky Mesa's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth snapped a tie score and propelled the Trenton Thunder past the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 3-2, Tuesday night in front of 5,174 fans at Waterfront Park. The Thunder (40-28) opened a seven-game homestand with their third straight win and moved a season-high 12 games above the .500 mark.
With the score tied 2-2 in the eighth, Richmond reliever Tom Vessella (2-1) walked leadoff batter Abraham Almonte and was lifted in favor of Daryl Maday. Jose Pirela sacrificed Almonte to second, but David Adams flew out to center for the second out of the inning.
Richmond then elected to walk Zoilo Almonte to face Mesa, who grounded the first pitch he saw from Maday into left field scoring Almonte from second base for the go-ahead run. Ryan Flannery then came in and tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his seventh save in eight opportunities.
Ricky Orta (1-0), just added to the Trenton roster before the game, earned the victory despite allowing one run in two innings of relief. The right-hander, who missed most of the past two seasons because of injury, garnered his first win since 2009. Mikey O'Brien started and allowed one run on four hits in six innings of work.
Luke Murton homered and went 3-for-4 to lead Trenton's seven-hit attack. Juan Perez had two of Richmond's five hits.
The Thunder and Flying Squirrels continue the series Wednesday night, with Trenton left-hander Vidal Nuno (2-1, 0.33) slated to start against righty Chris Heston (6-2, 1.00). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Limited tickets are available by contacting the Thunder box office at 609-394-3300 or online at www.trentonthunder.com.
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