The Lowell Spinners were back at LeLacheur Park to play game two of there weekend series vs the Auburn Doubledays on Sunday. The Spinners sent Chris Murphy to the hill who was making his second start of the season. Auburn countered with Alfonso Hernandez who was perfect on the year. Having only allowed three earned runs in his eighteen innings of work, Hernandez came into this outing with more strikeouts than innings pitched (20 K’s in 18.1 IP).
In the top of the first, there was a nice defensive play to end the inning by Spinners second baseman Kervin Suarez. With runners at first and second with one out, Suarez dove to his right to snag a soft line drive off the bat of Doubledays catcher Onix Vega. He turned it into a double play to end the frame, one of four DP’s on the night. Lowell had a chance in their half of the first with two walks sandwiched around a sac bunt. That put runners at first and second with one out, however, Wil Dalton and Nick Northcut could not drive in the game’s first run.
Murphy went an inning longer than his first outing (2 IP, 2 H, 4 SO, 1 BB), and was relieved by Yasel Santana to begin the third for the Spinners. Auburn, for four straight innings, got the leadoff man on (three hits and a walk). In the fourth, it paid off. Albert Carillo led off with a walk and after the next two hitters made outs, Landerson Pena also reached on a free pass. During his at-bat, Pena took advantage of a break. His first pitch was a foul ball toward the first base stands and appeared to have been caught by Spinners first baseman Ricardo Cubillan as he reached over the barrier. However, neither umpire saw the catch, and the at-bat continued. Auburn’s left-fielder, Eric Senior, put the Doubledays on the scoreboard with a ground ball single through the shortstop hole, part of a three-hit night for him. The hit scored Carillo and gave Auburn a 1-0 lead after four innings.
The Doubledays were also getting good starting pitching as Hernandez was cruising along retiring the last ten Spinners hitters he faced through four innings. Hernandez’ night was done after that four shutout and hitless innings. He would allow only three base runners in a very sharp performance. David Moore came on in the fifth to keep Auburn in the lead. Moore could not as Lowell tied the game in the fifth. With one down, a walk to Antoni Flores was followed by two wild pitches during Cubillan’s plate appearance to get him to third base. Cubillan then walked, setting up Jecorrah Arnold with a chance to tie the game. Arnold did that by lofting a sac fly to center field scoring Flores and tying the game at 1-1. Moore left the game after two-thirds of an innings with runners at first and second. Fausto Segura was brought on by Auburn. Segura got out of it and was rewarded for his efforts the next half-inning.
Albert Carillo, who has now reached base in six straight games, led off the sixth against Santana by taking him over the wall in right for his second home run of the season giving his team a 2-1 lead. Meanwhile, the home team, despite putting a run on the board, were still without a hit through six innings. In the seventh, the Spinners recorded their first hit, an infield single off the pitcher’s leg by Marino Campana broke up the no-hit bid. The next hitter, Flores, ripped a single to center sending Campana to third. He would score the tying run on a fielder’s choice ground out by Cubillan 2-2 after seven.
Both teams went back to their pens for the eighth. The Spinners brought on Ryan Fernandez and Auburn called on Pearson McMahan. In the ninth, Auburn had a golden opportunity to possibly break the game open. Pena started the inning by lining a double to left. He advanced to third on a broken-bat single to center by Senior, his third hit of the night. After a Jake Randa ground out to first, David Masters walked to load the bases. Fernandez then did his thing as he retired Sanfler on a fielder’s choice ground out, then Vega on a comebacker to the mound. Auburn could not break the tie.
What Auburn could not do in the top of the ninth, the Spinners did in the bottom of the ninth. Dalton, who said “he’s been struggling a bit lately” started the inning with a booming triple off the wall in dead center field. The next man, Nick Northcut, who said “we played to the last out”, ended the game with a sac fly to center to score Dalton and give the Spinners their fourth walk-off win of the season 3-2 over Auburn. Fernandez got the win with a great job of pitching in the ninth to go to 2-0. McMahan took the tough loss and is now 0-2.
The Spinners go for the sweep on Monday night vs Auburn first pitch is at 7 PM.