Spinners sweep doubleheader
The Lowell Spinners returned to LaLacheur Park after completing a series sweep of the Connecticut Tigers last weekend. On Wednesday night, the Spinners played two against the Tri-City Valley Cats after Tuesday’s scheduled game was rained out. This was the first of two doubleheaders that the Spinners will play in a four-day span. On Saturday, they will do this again in Brooklyn to make up a game that was postponed because of weather in Lowell earlier.
The first of the two scheduled seven innings games featured Bryan Lucas for the Spinners. The Valley Cats countered with Jayson Schroeder and both were looking for their first win of the young season. The Valley Cats did survive a first-inning threat from Lowell as Schroeder was able to get Nick Decker to strike out with the bases loaded.
Schroeder would not be as lucky in the second. Jonathan Diaz led off the Spinners second with a double to right. He would advance to third on a ground out to first base by Ricardo Cubillan. With two down and a man at third base, leadoff hitter Alex Erro put Lowell up one to nothing by singling up the middle on a line. The RBI was his second of the year.
Meanwhile, Lucas (4.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K’s), was throwing shutout ball through three innings giving up three hits and got some help from his defense as they turned a double play in the second. Schroeder again walked a tight rope in the fourth. He would load the bases on two hits and a base on balls, but he managed to get Gilberto Jimenez to ground out to second base to end the inning and the threat.
The Valley Cats put together their best chance to score in the fifth. Back to back walks to the first two hitters of the frame put Lucas in some trouble. Tri-City loaded the bases with no one out on an infield single behind the second base bag by Luis Santana. Lucas would get E.P. Reese to strike out looking and that out would be Lucas’ final batter of the night as manager Luke Montz went to his bullpen. Osvaldo De La Rosa came on and shut the door getting both A.J. Lee to strike out and Zach Biermann to ground out to first base. The Spinners still had a one to nothing lead after four and a half.
Schroeder (4 IP, ! ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 SO) was replaced in the fifth by Miguel Figueroa. Figueroa did his job in keeping his team in the game by throwing zeros for the next two innings. It would pay off in the seventh as Preston Pavlica would take De La Rosa over the left field wall for a game-tying home run. It was his first of the year and that home run would mean extra innings in game one.
In minor league baseball, a runner is put on second base to start the inning. In Tri-City’s case, against the third Lowell pitcher of the night Kris Jackson, the Valley Cats could not score. For the Spinners, it was a different story. With Luke Bandy at second, Marino Campana stepped up vs the Valley Cats third hurler of the night Hansel Paulino. Campana would waste little time as he ripped a single down the left field line to score Bandy and give the Spinners a walk-off win 2-1. Jackson got the win (2-0) and Paulino took the loss (1-1).
In Game two, Hildemaro Requena got the start for Lowell. He made it through a bit of a rough first after giving up a leadoff base hit to Juanreal Paulino and then balking him around to third base. He retired the next three hitters without issuing a run. For Tri-City, Christian Mejias got the nod and showed he meant business by striking out the side in the first. In fact, Mejias fanned eight through the first three innings. On the other side, Requena had allowed only one hit and two base runners through four innings.
The Spinners finally broke the scoreless tie in the fourth with walks to Jaxx Groshans and Nick Northcut. They were sandwiched around a punch out of Joe Davis. During Davis’ at-bat, Groshans stole second base. That would be key as Cubillan would drive him in with a base hit to left field giving the Spinners a one to nothing lead. Requena would depart after four shutout innings and was replaced by Robinson Leyer in the fifth.
After allowing the only run of the game through four, Mejias (3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 10 K’s) gave way. Michael Horrell came on to keep the game as a one-run deficit. Horrell was unable to keep the game at one to nothing. In the Spinners fifth, Kervin Suarez reached on a strikeout wild pitch. He advanced to second on a stolen base. After a walk to Wil Dalton, both would move up a base on another wild pitch. Suarez scored Lowell’s second run of the game on a sac fly to right by Groshans. It was 2-0 Spinners after five.
The Spinners tacked on insurance runs in the sixth. Suarez had the big blow, a triple to right, off of Shay Berry. They batted around and plated five runs. Lowell completed the sweep of Tri-City with a game two victory, 7-0. Lowell has now won six in a row and Requena got the victory (2-0). Mejias took the loss (0-1).
After the game, Luke Montz was a happy guy and with good reason. His team is playing well, and as he said “his pitchers are pounding the strike zone”. The consistency of what they are doing is what the manager really likes.
Lowell goes for back to back series sweeps when they host Tri-City on Thursday night with first pitch at 7 pm.
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