The Lowell Spinners returned home after the All-Star game and a road trip to begin their final homestand of the season. On Sunday night they played against a team that has given them trouble all year long, the Aberdeen IronBirds. The Spinners (37-31) are looking to finish what they started early on in the year and that is clinching a division title. Their magic number to do that is now at five and the playoff spot that will go with it. This is the seventh meeting between the two teams with Aberdeen winning four of the first six. Bryan Lucas got the nod for the Spinners. Lucas was making his third start against the IronBirds and in his previous eleven innings of work, he was 1-1 having allowed eight runs.
His night did not get off to a good start as Aberdeen (38-29) touched him for a three spot in the very first inning. After getting the leadoff man on a comebacker to the mound, the next two hitters reached on an infield hit and a walk. That brought Dalton Hoiles to the plate and he gave his team a 3-0 lead with one swing of the bat. He hit his third home run of the season off an advertising sign in left. The blast gives him ten runs batted in on the season. Aberdeen increased their lead in the very next inning on an RBI single to center by leadoff man Mason Janvrin. The base hit scored Graig Lewis who started the inning off with an infield hit to third and advanced to scoring position on a throwing error by Spinners third baseman Nick Northcut. 4-0 IronBirds.
The Spinners bad defensive play really showed itself in the fourth. They had two errors to go along with three hits that would contribute to three unearned runs for Aberdeen. It would end Lucas’ night with a line that does not tell the whole story. He went 3.2 IP, 6 H. 7 R 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.
The Spinners were facing Leonardo Rodriguez who was making his twelfth start of the season. He would give up single runs in both the second and fourth innings. In the second, the bottom of Lowell’s order got the team on the board. A double by Jonathan Diaz to center was followed up by an RBI single to right by Alex Erro.
In the fourth, a base on balls to Stephen Scott ked to him coming all the way around to score on a triple by Diaz to center field. Diaz had a two-hit night with an RBI and run scored. 7-2 Aberdeen after seven.
Aberdeen busted the game open for good in the ninth vs Dylan Spacke with a four-run frame. They did it with the help of three hits, a walk, and a hit batsman. It made the final score Aberdeen 10 Lowell 2.
After the game, Spinner manager Luke Montz said it best “we were flat and we got smoked.” He was not happy with his team not taking care of the baseball on defense (five errors) and was not happy with the pitching either. The top three hitters in the IronBird lineup Janvrin, Joey Ortiz, and Kyle Stowers had seven hits, three RBI, and five runs scored. They were led by Hoiles with a four-RBI night as well.
Afterward, Spinners catcher Jonathan Diaz said, “he is feeling better with more playing time.” He also said, “Aberdeen made a lot of soft contact tonight.” He was trying to find holes in their swings all night.
The Spinners will have to do a better job of that over the next two nights. The lead in the division is four thanks to a Connecticut win at Hudson Valley.
Game two is Monday night with first pitch at 7 pm.
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