Good starting pitching and timely hitting became the recipe for a win on Monday night for the Lowell Spinners. They rode the arm of starting pitcher Dakota Smith and strung together key hits with two men out in the fifth to get the job done, 3-1 over Vermont.
Smith was good, going six strong innings to get his first win of the season against one loss. His Manager Iggy Suarez praised his starter for giving his team “quality innings” when talking about him after the game.
Vermont did score first, in the fourth as the Lake Monsters put the first two men on by way of base hits. With runners at the corners and no one out, a big inning looked certain. But Smith only gave up a RBI ground out to catcher Roger Gonzalez to give Vermont a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, the Spinners got to Vermont starter Argenis Blanco with four straight hits with two outs to drive in the three runs that gave Lowell the lead. A RBI single from number nine hitter Tanner Nishioka was followed by a two-run single to center by Yoan Aybar and knocked Blanco out of the game. 3-1 Lowell after five.
Vermont did make it interesting in the ninth against Juan Fiorentino. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with two outs. Jack Meggs set up with a chance to tie the game or worse, but Fiorentino got him to ground meekly back to him to end the ballgame and give Lowell a much-needed win. The save was Fiorentino first of the year and second for the team.
For all the good that took place on Monday night, errors are still a concern. Four more by the Spinners give them 37 in 14 games. Catching it and throwing it is still a problem for this team.
After the game, Saurez talked about the grind of playing minor league baseball. He also was delighted in the way his hitters came through in the fifth to give his team the lead. He mentioned the “air of confidence” he is starting to see in his players as they make adjustments to playing what he called a “faster game”.
Lowell, (5-9), head back out on the road to take on Aberdeen for three games starting tonight.
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