Double-A Harrisburg begins playoffs at Erie on Sept. 4

The Double-A Harrisburg Senators are the 2013 Western Division regular season champions after their 1-0 victory at Richmond on Monday at The Diamond.

Jeff Howell smacked an RBI single in the sixth and Rob Gilliam and four relievers shut out the Flying Squirrels.

Harrisburg finished 77-65, won eight of its last 10 games and was 40-30 on the road.

The regular season title was the Senators’ first since 2011 and their fourth such title since the Eastern League started a two-division format in 1994.

Carlos Rivero had a double to start the game-winning rally in the sixth and came around on the clutch hit by Howell.

Gilliam went 4 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits. He had four walks and struck out six Richmond hitters. Richie Mirowski, Pat McCoy, Neil Holland and Tyler Herron combined to retire 13 of the 14 batters they faced. Herron notched his fifth save. Mirowski, who is going to the Arizona Fall League, earned the win, improving to 2-0.

On Wednesday, the Senators open the best-of-five Western Division Championship Series in Erie against the SeaWolves. Game time is 6:35 p.m. The series returns to Harrisburg for Game 3 on Sept. 6 and (if necessary) Games 4 and 5 on Sept. 7 and 8.

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