Is this ship starting to take on water? That is the question Spinners fans may be asking as Lowell (30-23) tried to snap a six-game losing streak. Instead, the game ended with another loss, 5-2 to Vermont. The past week or so has seen the Spinners lead in their division shrink from a season-high ten games to five as they enter play on Friday night vs the Vermont Lake Monsters (25-29). Spinners manager, Luke Montz, turn to right-handed pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn to stop the bleeding and get his team back in the win column.
Zeferajhn’s two innings of work may have been his best this season as he allowed no hits and five strikeouts. His teammates scored single runs in the first two innings to put Lowell out in front. In the bottom of the first, a leadoff triple to center field off Vermont starter Tyler Baum by Gilberto Jimenez put Lowell in business. He would score without the benefit of a base hit as Baum would wild pitch him home during Cameron Cannon’s at-bat. Just like that, it was 1-0 Spinners. In the second, Marino Campana would unload on a Baum fastball and deposit it over the batting eye in dead center field. The 429 ft. blast was his fifth of the year and only the third ball ever hit over the batting eye in LaLacheur Park history. it was 2-0 Lowell after two.
As good as Zeferjahn was, his replacement Kelvin Sanchez was not. An ugly inning plus in which he gave up five runs on four hits with four walks tossed in. There were two wild pitches and a Spinners error as well, as Vermont scored five times in the third to take a 5-2 advantage. His manager said, “he did not throw enough strikes.” The inning got started with a double to center by Jose Rivas. Rivas crossed home plate with the help of two wild tosses by Sanchez. Yerdel Vargas was the next hitter and he crushed a fastball over the wall in left for his third of the season. The ball traveled 377 feet. The HR tied the game at 2-2. The next two batters, Logan Davidson and Josh Watson drew walks. Davidson scored on a single to right by Dustin Harris to make it 3-2 Vermont. Watson produced the fourth run on an infield hit by Jordan Diaz. Diaz advanced to second on a throwing error by Spinners third baseman Alex Erro. That made it 4-2 Vermont. The fifth run came across on a sac fly to center by Kevin Richards. 5-2 Lake Monsters.
The Vermont bullpen then took over with seven shutout innings from the trio of Michael Murray, Clark Cota, and Jose Mora. They only gave up three hits as well. Only three runners advanced into scoring position. They also combined to punch out seven Spinners hitters. Lowell dropped their seventh in a row. Afterward, Montz said “the effort was there” and that he is “not turning his back on these guys.” But there is no question that something has to change and in a hurry to get this train but on the right track.
The Spinners will try to avoid the sweep on Saturday against Vermont with a first-pitch set for 5 pm.
Murray gets the win and he is now 2-0. The save goes to Mora, his eight on the year and second in as many nights. The loss goes to Sanchez who is now 2-2.