After a long 11-game 10-day road trip, in which the Lowell Spinners finished above .500, the team made their return to Lelacheur Park to begin a quick three-game weekend series against the State College Spikes (23-24). Lowell wasted little time, in getting back to their winning ways at home with an 11-2 victory last night. Coming into this series, the Spinners were 12-5 at home this season and with 18 home games scheduled for the month of August, it would appear that Lowell is in good shape to pad the win total.
They got off to a good start as they scored runs in the first three innings. Nine of them, in fact, on eight hits as the Spinners jumped on Spikes starter Scott Politz (2 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO). Lowell picked up win number 30th on the season with the win over the State College Spikes The double-digit run count is the second time this year that Lowell has reached that total. Leadoff hitter, Alex Erro, led the offense with a three-hit, two-RBI night. Marino Campana had two doubles and two RBI. On the mound, starting pitcher Chris Murphy put up zeroes (4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K) and his bullpen mates kept up the effort. The Spinners, who have been in first place for 43 straight days, flexed their muscles to the delight of the home folks.
Lowell (30-16) got things started with a three-run first inning. Stephen Scott drove home the first run on a RBI single that was followed by a two-run double to left by Campana. Just like that, it was 3-0 Spinners after one. In the next frame, Lowell busted the game open with five runs on three hits. Erro had a run-scoring hit, first baseman Joe Davis had a two-run double to left. Spinners hitters were making hard contact vs Politz as his numbers would suggest.
It was a different story for Lowell starter Murphy. Yes, the Spikes did have a runner in scoring position in three of the four innings he worked. But when needed, Murphy came up with the pitch to get him out of any trouble. The Spikes’ runs were produced with the help of some sloppy Spinners outfield defense in the eighth. Yasel Santana, who was the second Lowell pitcher of the night, got the win and he is now 1-1. Politz took the loss and is now 2-3.
After the game, Spinners manager Luke Montz praised his team’s performance on Friday night, in light of coming off that long road trip. On his starter, Chris Murphy, Montz said: “he pitched well and mixed his pitches up.” He was asked about letting him throw in the fifth and the manager said: “he had reached his pitch count so we were not going any further with him.” Third baseman Erro said afterward what has become the team slogan, “this is a group of hungry guys.” He believes this comes from the Red Sox culture that has been put forth from day one.
Lowell looks to make it two in a row on Saturday at 5 pm.