After snapping a seven-game losing streak on Saturday night, the Lowell Spinners were back at work on Sunday to play two against the Hudson Valley Renegades. If the playoffs started today, these two teams would meet in the first round of the best two-of-three. The first of two seven-inning games had a pair of right-handed pitchers on the mound, Bryan Lucas for Lowell and Rodolpho Sanchez for the Renegades.
Game 1 can best be summed up as a bad pitching performance by the Spinners. Lucas never made it out of the first inning after getting the leadoff hitter of the game. Lucas then walked the next two hitters to get the problem started. From there, three straight hits would plate four runs for Hudson Valley. Jonathan Embry had a two-run double to left down the line. Pedro Diaz followed with a RBI single to center, then Mason Mallard had a run scoring base hit to left as part of a three-for-four game with two RBI. Lucas was done after two-thirds of an inning giving up three hits and four earned runs. Hudson Valley had a quick 4-0 lead.
The Spinners (31-25), were now forced to play catch up. They did get one back in the bottom of the first on a sac fly by Stephen Scott that brought home Gilberto Jimenez (3-for-4 game, on-base all four at-bats). It was 4-1 Hudson Valley after one. Mallard drove home his second run of the game in the third to make it 5-1 Renegades. That run was charged to Hildermaro Requena (3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 HBP, 3 SO, 1 BB).
The Spinners got that run back on a fielder’s choice misplayed by Hudson Valley third baseman Kevin Santiago on a Cameron Cannon ground ball. It was part of a three error game by the Renegades and it was 5-2 after three. Hudson Valley finished the scoring in the fourth on a two-run HR by K.V. Edwards (3-for-4, 2 RBI) to center field. The home run was the second of the year for Edwards. It made the score 7-2 Hudson Valley.
Sanchez was strong as he was biding for his first complete game of the season. Instead, he settled for six innings of 4 H, 2 ER, 4 SO, 2 BB baseball. Game 1 ended with Hudson Valley winning 7-2.
Game 2 did not start any better for the Spinners. Hudson Valley (34-21) raced out to a 4-0 lead early on. An infield single by Ben Troike got the Renegades started against Spinners Game 2 hurler, Yasel Santana. It became 4-0 on a three-run HR to left field off the bat of Hill Alexander in the third, his fourth of the season. He now has 35 runs batted in. Santana’s night came to an end after three frames of seven hit, four earned run pitching.
Meanwhile, Spinners hitters were struggling against the right arm of Hudson Valley starter Shay Smiddy, who in ten previous starts had only given up one earned run in twenty innings of work. Through three he was throwing shutout baseball. In the fourth, he ran into some problems. A base on balls to Stephen Scott was followed by a double down the line by Nick Northcut that scored Scott and brought Smiddy’s night to an end ( 3.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO). It was 4-1 Renegades after four innings.
Hudson Valley tacked on one more run, the third HR of the doubleheader and second of Game 2. It came off the bat of Cristhian Pedroza, a 365-foot bomb to left. That made the final score 5-1 Hudson Valley as they swept the DH. The Renegades bullpen deserved lot’s of credit in the way they shut down Lowell’s offense in Game 2. Three and two-thirds of one-hit baseball with Joe Lasorsa getting his fifth win of the season vs one loss. The save goes to Andrew Gross with a scoreless ninth, his eighth of the season. The loss goes to starter Santana and he is now 1-3.
The Spinners will try to get back to winning ways on Monday night first pitch at 7 pm.
A bright spot for Lowell would be the bat of Jimenez who had five hits in the doubleheader. Afterward, manager Mike Montz of the Spinners said “starting pitchers made too many mistakes” he also though Hudson Valley “had a little more life than my guys.” He believes his team is still trying to do too much, and it’s hurting them. On Jimenez, he said ‘ he hot right now using all fields to get his hits.”