Stanley Espinal’s two-hit, five RBI night leads State College.
With a double-digit lead in their division, which happens to be the largest in franchise history (10 games), the Lowell Spinners were back to work on Saturday night, trying to add to that advantage. Game two of the series with the State College Spikes took place at LeLacheur Park. On the mound for Lowell was Aldo Ramirez, who was looking to pick up his second win of the season. In his nine prior starts, the Spinners were under .500 at 3-6.
It got off to a pretty good start for him and the team. In the bottom of the second Lowell’s bats became extra-base happy. It got started with three straight doubles, with a balk thrown in, against Spikes starting pitcher Adrian Mardueno. This put Lowell ahead 2-0. The inning got underway with Joe Davis and Wil Dalton hitting back to back doubles to left. Davis scored on Dalton’s first two-bagger of the season. Dalton scored the second run of the inning on the third extra-base hit, a double down the right-field line, by Nick Decker.
After two strong innings by Ramirez, he got into trouble in the third. Back to back walks started the problems. They were issued to Terry Fuller and Pedro Pages and both moved up on a Ramirez wild pitch. Fuller scored the Spikes first run on a RBI base hit by Martin Figueroa. After the next two hitters struck out looking, Stanely Espinal put State College ahead with a two-run single to right field. The hit brought home both Pages and Figueroa and gave the Spikes a 3-2 lead.
Lowell (30-17), took the lead back in the fifth with Mardueno still on the hill. A fielding error by Spikes first baseman Daniel Gomez allowed Samuel Miranda to reach first base. Miranda did not stay there long as one out later, Spinners leadoff hitter Gilberto Jimenez drove one over the right-field wall for his second HR of the season and extended his hit streak to 12 games. Lowell was back in the lead at 4-3 after five. The home run would end Mardueno’s nigh (4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 SO).
State College (24-24), would use the long ball to their advantage in the sixth facing Spinners relief pitcher Miguel Suero. A hit baseman to Donivan Williams got the inning started, a base hit by Dariel Gomez to right put runners at first and second with one down. Former Spinners player, Espinal, then got a hold of one and sent it deep to left field for a three-run HR. The blast was his second of the year and part of a two-hit, five-RBI night in his return to Lowell. The Spikes now had a 6-4 lead after six.
State College tacked on three more in the seventh on some sloppy Lowell outfield play. They committed two errors that contributed to the runs as well as a two-run HR to right off the bat of Figueroa, his third of the season. He had a great two-hit, four RBI evening. State College now had a 9-4 lead. Suero’s numbers were ugly going three-plus innings, giving up five hits with six of those earned runs. State College’s bullpen finished the game off and got back to .500 with the 9-4 victory.
The victory goes to Randolph who retired all Lowell batters he faced and he is now 2-2. Suero took the loss and he is now 2-2. Manager Luke Montz was not happy with the sloppy play like three errors, two in the outfield. He said: “pitchers did not make pitches when they needed to.”
Game three of this series and the homestand takes place on Sunday at 5 Pm.
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