Consistency has been a problem for the Lowell Spinners all season long. Stringing together good games in a row is something this team has not learned how to do. On Thursday night in game one of this series, the Spinners played well. Then on Friday night, not so much. It led to an 8-1 beating at the hands of the Tri- City Valley Cats.
Dakota Smith got the ball for the Spinners. Coming into this start, it could be said he has been Lowell’s best starting pitcher. On Friday night it was a struggle for him. His Manager Iggy Suarez said, “command in the zone was a problem”. Smith’s night would last 4.1 innings as he would give up six hits, six runs, with five of those earned in taking the loss. He is now 2-2.
The Valley Cats scored single runs in both the second and third to get things going. In the second an RBI double from Michael Papierski scored J.J. Matijevic who led the inning off with a single to center, 1-0 Tri- City.
It became 2-0 in the third on a run scoring single off the bat of Abraham Toro-Hernandez brought home Jacob Myers who led off being hit by a pitch, (one of five hit batters on the night for both teams) 2-0 Valley Cats.
Smith’s night would come to an end in the fifth as the Valley Cats would bat around. The second time this week it happened to Lowell. There would be only two hits in the frame but once again errors played a role in the crooked number being put up by the visitors. The big blow of the fifth was a booming double off the bat of Connor MacDonald that drove home two of the runs. The extra base hit came off of Spinners relief pitcher Ryan Oduber, who was brought on to put out the fire. By the end of the inning, the Valley Cats had a 6-0 lead.
Lowell’s best threat came in the third against Parker Mushinski who came on to take over for Alex House who went the first two. The Spinners had the bases loaded with two outs and a chance to get back into the game but Garrett Benge grounded out to end the rally.
Tri-City added one in the sixth off of Oduber. A RBI single by Jonathan Arauz driving in Luis Payano who was a HR short of the cycle. 7-0 visitors.
The Valley Cats final run did come by means of the long ball. A 425-foot blast by Matijevic over the trees in right field off of Denyi Reyes, the Spinners third pitcher of the night.
The Spinners did avoid the shutout by pushing across a run in the seventh. A sac fly by Yoan Aybar, who Suarez said after the game needs to string at-bats together, drove home Samuel Miranda who started the inning by singling to right. The run came off Hunter Martin who picked up the save by going four innings, his first save of the year. The win belonged to Mushinski now 2-0.
Spinners fans are in for a treat on Saturday as the Houston Astros will send Dallas Keuchel to Lowell for his second rehab start as he works himself back into shape to rejoin the big league team. Keuchel could go as long as five innings. Lowell will send Tanner Houck to the mound for his second pro start.