After playing one of their worst games of the season at home on Monday night (five errors in the field), the Lowell Spinners (37-32) returned to the ballpark on Tuesday night to try to even their series with the Aberdeen IronBirds (39-29). The month of August has not been kind, to say the least, for the Spinners. They currently have a record of 8-16 coming into play on Tuesday. Despite the tough month, Lowell still finds themselves in control of their own fate. They are testing that fate, however, unless the Spinners can start winning games.
On Tuesday night, Aldo Ramirez got the start for Lowell. He has two wins on the season with both coming against the team that is chasing the Spinners for the division lead, the Connecticut Tigers. Aberdeen sent Ryan Conway to the hill. Conway was making his fourteen start of the season. He has a complete game on his resume for the year. Thru three innings, both pitchers had their “A” games going. Lowell had the best chances to score early in the game leaving runners in scoring position in both the first and second. They also got runners thrown out on the base paths with one by way of a pickoff, and the other was caught stealing.
A mistake might be the way this game got settled and it would be Lowell that would make it. With one down in the fourth, Ramirez would give up a single to right field by Ian Evans that was followed by a hit by pitch to Jean Carmona. It set up Aberdeen with a first and second chance. They would take advantage of it as Andrew Fregia would drive one on a line to center field. Spinners center fielder Gilberto Jimenez got a late start on the ball. He would dive for it and come up empty as the ball would roll all the way to the warning track. It would easily score both runners on base and by the time the ball was tracked down, Fregia raced all the way around for an insider the park HR. It was his third of the season and he has 20 RBI on the season.
Conway was cruising in his five innings toeing the rubber. He threw four-hit shutout baseball getting better as his outing went along. He limited the Spinners hitters to two base hits in the middle innings. Lowell did not fare any better when Aberdeen went to their bullpen. Kyle Martin was brought on in the sixth and kept the zeros coming as he went two scoreless frames himself. While the pitching was good for the IronBirds, their offense was adding runs. In the fifth, an RBI single by Joseph Ortiz scored Maverick Handley who started the inning by doubling off the right-field wall. It was 4-0 Aberdeen through five. In the eighth, they made it 5-0 on an RBI double by Evans (3-4 night, RBI, RS). The base hit scored Ortiz who led off the eighth with a single to center, then was balked to second by the Yusniel Padron-Artilles who came on for Ramirez in the seventh. Ortiz also had a good night at the plate going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The Spinners finally broke through in their half of the eighth. Jimenez drove a home run over the wall in right for his third of the year and RBI 18 on the season. The blast came off the third Aberdeen pitcher of the night Marlon Constante. That made it 5-1 heading to the ninth. In the ninth, the Spinners had one more shot at the game. They loaded the bases on two walks and a single to left. Lowell’s best hitter, Jimenez, came to the plate facing the IronBirds fourth pitcher of the night Kade Stroud. Stroud won the battle getting Jimenez to ground out to third to end the ballgame.
The Spinners go down to defeat, 5-1 to Aberdeen. Lowell is now 2-6 vs the IronBirfs this year.
Manager Luke Montz talked about the misplay by Jimenez in the fourth calling it “a critical mistake.” He said the ball needed to be kept in front of him. “Only dive if you can make the catch.” The skipper still likes the mindset and focus of his team adding “we are not getting timely hits .”
The win goes to Conway and he is now 5-4. The losing pitcher is Ramirez who is now 2-3.
The Spinners get one more crack at Aberdeen on Tuesday night with first pitch set for 7 PM.
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