Tag Archives: Lowell Spinners

Tri-City 1, Lowell 0: Spinner Bats Fall Silent in Loss to Stedler Champion ValleyCats

Jadd Schmeltzer continued his scoreless streak with the Spinners, tossing two innings in the 1-0 loss to Stedler Division champion Tri-City.

by Joshua Kummins

LOWELL – All it took was one.

The Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU) have put together quite a season in the New York-Penn League and on Tuesday night at LeLacheur Park, they continued their stellar campaign with a 1-0 win over the Lowell Spinners to salvage a split of the brief two-game series and go away happy for the 49th time this season.

With the loss, the Spinners fell two games below .500 for the fourth time this year. After a fast start, Lowell dropped 15 games under the middle mark on July 21 and has now put together a 24-11 mark since that point, even with the loss.

Spinner starter Zach Good has set a new franchise record with six straight losses and zero wins in his ten games. He was unable to break the skid in this contest as he struggled a bit in a no-decision, allowing two hits and three walks over his two-inning appearance, although he did not allow any runs.

The Mesquite, Tex. native was making his second appearance since coming back from the disabled list and preceded piggybacking hurler Jacob Dahlstrand, who was credited with the tough-luck loss in his second-consecutive start.

Tri-City had a big scoring chance right from the start as Good loaded the bases on a single from SS Joe Sclafani and two walks, but retired two of the final three to keep the game scoreless.

The Spinners put two runners on base in the second, thanks to singles from 2B Mookie Betts and LF Dreily Guerrero, but were unable to muster any runs off starter Lance Day, who improved to 6-1 with the victory.

After Good left, Dahlstrand took over and stranded 2B Austin Elkins in the third inning but ran into trouble a couple frames later, allowing the only offense that the ValleyCats needed.

A walk to C Tyler Heineman came back to haunt Dahlstrand as he advanced after a single and a walk, before scoring on a deep sacrifice fly to right field by DH Mike Cokinos for the 1-0 advantage.

Although slim, that seemed to be all that Day would need as he scattered five hits over seven scoreless innings, while fanning four.

No Spinner reached base more than once, while RF Matt Marquis’ one-out double in the fourth inning was the lone extra-base hit from either side in the contest.

ValleyCat 3B Ryan Dineen was the lone player in the game to record multiple hits, doing so with singles in the second and fourth innings.

Tri-City entered the game with the league’s best offense at .279 but Spinner pitching did a solid job keeping them out of the hit column, allowing just four. The teams combined for nine overall.

Dahlstrand walked five but allowed just two hits over five innings as he fell even at 4-4 on the season and in the end, that was too steep of a hill to overcome as Lowell fell to 33-35, missing yet another chance to climb above .500.

Jadd Schmeltzer continued his strong performance of late, throwing two scoreless innings with two strikeouts to close the game and keep the Spinners within reach of the victory. Since coming back from the disabled list, the first-time Spinner from Tappan, N.Y. has not allowed a run in 10.1 innings.

Travis Ballew recorded a six-out save for his third of the season, sending down the Spinners 1-2-3

The Spinners return to the ballyard on Wednesday to open their final two-game homestand of the season, hosting the rival Vermont Lake Monsters.

Justin Haley seeks his first professional win in the contest since being selected in the sixth round of the June 2012 Draft from Fresno State University. He faces Nolan Sanburn, who also enters with an 0-1 record.

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Lowell 6, Connecticut 2: Marquis Paces Offense, Wilson Comes Through Again in Fourth Straight Win

Tyler Wilson is now 5-0 in his third season with the Spinners (Photo/Kelly O'Connor).

by Joshua Kummins

LOWELL – It certainly was not a case of pouring hits on Saturday night, but the Lowell Spinners used the big inning to run to a victory, defeating the Connecticut Tigers by a 6-2 score at LeLacheur Park for their fourth win in as many games and the second in a row to open the weekend series.

WATCH: Manager Bruce Crabbe Post-Game Interview

After CF Matty Johnson took a free pass from Tigers starter Tim Kelley, he manufactured his own run scored by swiping second base and taking third on a flyout. DH Deven Marrero delivered the RBI with a one-out single to right.

It was another impressive performance for Lowell righty Mike Augliera as he allowed just one single hit over three shutout innings, while fanning five Tigers batters. The Binghamton University product and fifth-round Draft choice this June has not allowed an earned run in five of his last seven starts.

The Tigers went down quickly against Augliera and piggyback pitcher Tyler Wilson allowed just two hits and two unearned runs over five innings to continue the trend while improving to 5-0 on the season.

Kelley settled in through the middle innings and retired 12 straight until the Spinners broke through with a three-run sixth against Eric Heckaman.

Marrero, who was celebrating his 22nd birthday, led off the inning with a walk before advancing to second on a single from 1B Jake Davies and to third on a passed ball. In the very next at-bat, he came in to score with ease as Heckaman uncorked a low wild pitch for the 2-0 lead.

With two outs, RF Matt Marquis – who returned to Lowell after a brief second stint with Advanced-A Salem – pulled the Spinners out to a commanding lead as he roped his third home run of the season over the right field wall for two more RBI.

Both teams went down on one hit in the seventh inning but the Tigers broke up the shutout bid with two runs off Wilson in the top of the eighth.

DH Jordan Dean led off the inning by reaching on a throwing error and came all the way around from first base as 3B Edgar Corcino knocked a stand-up triple off an awkward cranny in the right field wall to put Connecticut on the board for a glimmer of hope to stop the four-game losing skid.

Corcino trotted in on the very next pitch as CF Jake Stewart manufactured the team’s second run on a sacrifice fly to deep center field.

The Spinners made up the run – and then some – in the bottom half of the frame, scoring twice on three hits off rookie Alex Phillips. Marquis continued his strong night with a second hit, singling home Marrero with a smack up the middle. 3B Dreily Guerrero jumped into the act, lining a sacrifice fly to left field to equal the final score.

After a save opportunity was taken away because of the eighth-inning scoring, Yunior Ortega made things a little interesting as he allowed singles to two of the first three Tigers in the ninth but recovered with a flyout and a groundout to end the game.

With the victory, the Spinners improve to just one game under .500 on the season at 32-33. Lowell has also enjoyed some good success against their Stedler Division rivals from Norwich, having won six of ten meetings heading into the closure of the series on Sunday evening. Connecticut drops to 28-36 but still remains one spot behind Lowell in third place.

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Lowell 3, Aberdeen 6: Light not effective as IronBirds jump on him early

by Joseph Kuykendall

ABERDEEN, MD.—It seemed as though Red Sox (and current Spinners’)

Pat Light wasn't effective in his ninth start of the season Tuesday night. He got the loss in a 6-3 losing effort for the Spinners. (Photo Courtesy of Justin Soderberg)

highly regarded pitching prospect, Pat Light, had finally found his groove on the season entering Tuesday Night’s game against the Aberdeen IronBirds. But after he pitched, it seemed otherwise.

After starting his professional career with two starts of a combined four innings, allowing three earned runs, Light allowed only two combined earned runs in the six starts following his first two, leading up to his start on Tuesday night. Light didn’t continue the trend of his previous six starts as a tough first inning in which he allowed two runs set the stage for the rest of the game for Spinners as they ended up losing 6-3 to the IronBirds in front of 6,392 at Ripken Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Spinners left two men on in the top of the first inning without scoring anybody. Dreily Guerrero was thrown out at the plate to end the inning trying to score from second base on a ground ball up the middle that stay in the infield.

It was then Light’s turn to also keep the IronBirds scoreless and he had trouble doing so. The first batter Light faced, Anthony Vega, singled on a slow “swinging-bunt” down the third base line. Light then had to work from the stretch right away which proved to work against him. Creede Simpson then hit a wicked liner to get himself on with a single. By this point there were runners on first and third with no one out. After two more hits and a walk, the ‘Birds had plated two runs looking to add on to the damage. Then Light started pitching like himself and retired the next two batters via a strikeout and flyout.

After the Spinners went 1-2-3 in the Top of the 2nd, Light continued the second inning the way he completed the first; he sent the IronBirds down in order on a minimal amount of pitches.

Because he was drafted in this year’s draft, Light continued to be on his regimented pitch-count. Light threw two-innings flat in his first five starts and then in the three starts after that leading up to Tuesday night, he threw three-innings flat. After a quick second inning, it appeared Spinners’ manager Bruce Crabbe wanted to continue the new three-inning tendency, but Light couldn’t help himself out. He allowed a one-out single, followed by a triple which led to his removal and replacement with “piggy-backer” Raynel Velette.

After his book closed, Light ended his outing allowing six hits, three earned runs (both of which are professional career highs) while striking out just one.

While Light struggled on the mound, his hitters struggled to provide the team with some runs. Two IronBirds pitchers (Lex Rutledge and Sander Beck) combined to hold the Spinners scoreless through the first five innings. By the end of the fifth, Aberdeen held a 5-0 advantage over the visiting Spinners.

Spinners left-fielder Aneury Tavarez wasn’t about to let the Spinners get shutout. The 5’9” lefty sent a Beck pitch over the right-field fence and out of Ripken Stadium in a hurry, just curling around the “Pesky-Pole” at Ripken. Mookie Betts was on first base at the time, giving Tavarez a two-run Home Run. It was Tavarez’s fourth home run and 19th and 20th RBIs on the season.

The IronBirds’ Simpson would answer Tavarez’s home run with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was Simpson’s third hit of the game and second home run of the 2012 campaign.

After a scoreless seventh inning for both teams, a Mooooooooo-kie Betts Sac-Fly in the eighth gave the Spinners their third run and ended up being the final run scored by either team on the night.

The Spinners went 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to end any threat or possibility of a comeback. IronBirds closer Tom Winegarder came on for the save for the hometown team. Winegarder is a two-way player for Aberdeen playing in the middle-infield sometimes while also pitching.

Light got the loss and Beck got the win.

The Spinners and IronBirds continue their three-game series Wednesday night with Madison Younginer set to start Game Two of the series for Lowell. Younginer, who was with the Spinners in 2010 and 2011, is back with the club on a rehab assignment from Greenville.

Kuykendall can be followed on Twitter @JoeKBSU18 and contacted at JKuykendall@BostonSportsU18.com.

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Hudson Valley 6, Lowell 5: Rough Day at the “Century Park” for the Spinners

by Joseph Kuykendall

BOSTON—Right away things got off to a shaky start for the Spinners and it was basically downhill for them the rest of the way. On just the second pitch of the game,

Aneury Tavarez (above) put in a solid day's work Saturday night going 3-for-3 with 2 singles as well as a HBP.

Hudson Valley Renegades’ Joey Rickard hit a rocket off the face of Spinners’ starter Brian Johnson sending him to the ground and finally taken off the field on a stretcher. After that “life-draining” play, the Spinners never really found their groove until it was too late and lost 6-5 at the hands of the Renegades.

The confines of Fenway weren’t so friendly Saturday afternoon to Red Sox 2012 First Round pick Brian Johnson. As mentioned before, on just his second pitch thrown in the shadows of the Green Monster, a liner off the bat of Hudson Valley center fielder nicked Johnson right below his left eye sending Johnson to the ground while struggling to throw the glove off of his right hand to hold the area he was hit. Johnson never lost consciousness and never bled but was visibly in pain. It has been confirmed that Johnson suffered multiple fractures to the orbital bone on the left side of his face and never lost consciousness. He is resting comfortably at the hospital.

Despite the scary situation, the game would have to go on. Jacob Dahlstrand, who was set to piggy-back Johnson after two innings or so anyway, came on to relive the injured Johnson. He would make it out of the first inning unscathed but after that is when he began to fall apart.

Both the Spinners and the Renegades would send just three men to the plate in the first inning but in the second is when Hudson Valley blew the door wide open. Dahlstrand allowed the first two ‘Gades to reach base without a hit (hit-by-pitch and walk, respectively). Two batters later, Joel Caminero would double in the two runners on base to get a quick 2-0 lead for the visiting team. The very next batter, Jake DePew singled in Caminero to score the third and final run of the inning.

In the bottom of the second inning, the Spinners got one run back after Rhode Island-native Zach Kapstein plated David Chester with an RBI single. This would be the Spinners last run until they made one final run at the lead in the ninth inning.

The Renegades must’ve figured Dahlstrand out as he would allow single runs in both the third and fourth inning before his removal at the end of the fourth inning.

After a quiet fifth inning on both sides, DePew continued to shell the Spinners pitching knocking a solo home run just over the Green Monster to push the Hudson Valley lead to 6-1. This time it was off of a Gerardo Olivares pitch who is relatively new to the Spinners roster (made Spinners debut 8/10). The home run put DePew a triple shy of the cycle at the time although he would never get the triple needed.

The two teams would combine for just two hits in the seventh and eighth inning keeping the ‘Gades lead at 6-1 as things headed into the ninth inning.

Jadd Schmeltzer pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to limit the size of the comeback Lowell would have to make in the bottom half of the frame.

The Spinners made a valiant attempt at a comeback only to come up one-run short. Despite the first batter of the inning being retired, the Spinners got the next four consecutive batters in the inning to reach via a triple, walk, double, and error, respectively. After Kapstein grounded out for the second out in the inning, catcher Roberto Reyes hit a nub-shot down the third base line to reach first safely and score Matty Johnson (who reached on the error). Johnson was the fifth and final Spinners run as the batter following Perez (Mike Miller) grounded out to the second baseman to stop the magic for the Spinners.

With the loss, it is the Spinners second loss in a row at Futures at Fenway (last appearance was 2010) after starting out 3-0 in their first three appearances in the event. This is the third time the Spinners and Renegades have squared-off in the event (2007 and 2008) and the first time the Renegades have won in their battle. Lowell is now 28-30 on the season and, much like the Red Sox, can’t seem to make it back to .500. They have been impressive of late though, as the Spinners haven’t had a losing streak of two or more games since they lost four-in-a-row July 18-21.

The two teams continue their three game series tomorrow afternoon with a 1:05 first pitch in the second game of the series, this time at LeLacheur Park.

Kuykendall can be followed on Twitter @JoeKBSU18 and contacted at JKuykendall@BostonSportsU18.com

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Down On The Red Sox Farm: The Future Comes to Fenway

by Joshua Kummins

BOSTON – With the continued struggles of the Boston Red Sox this season, fans can head to out to the ballpark on Saturday for a look at what is ahead in the organization as the seventh-annual “Futures at Fenway” doubleheader, presented by Xfinity, makes its return to Yawkey Way.

After a one-year hiatus in favor of the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, the short-season Lowell Spinners will appear in the 1:05 p.m. game and take on the Hudson Valley Renegades (TB) in the opener of a three-game series.

Triple-A Pawtucket brings the excitement of an International League playoff race to Boston as they welcome North Division rival Buffalo (NYM) for the first of a pair in the nightcap.

A pair of lefties will take the Fenway mound for the Boston affiliates, including 2012 first-round Draft pick Brian Johnson in the opening game for the Spinners, while Chris Hernandez goes for the PawSox.

Johnson, the University of Florida product, has pitched just 5.1 scoreless innings to open his professional career, including perfect ball in each of his last two appearances. As has been the case in three of his first four starts, he is expected to pitch two innings before RHP Jacob Dahlstrand makes the piggyback appearance in search of his fifth straight win.

Hernandez is in the midst of just his second full professional season and has allowed ten earned runs over his first five outings with the PawSox since being promoted after 18 starts with Portland.

With the focus mainly on Saturday’s action from the Fens, here is this week’s notebook (statistics through games of August 16):

Lowell (27-29, 2nd, -15.0 GB in NYPL Stedler): Despite losing 11 games in a row earlier this season, the Spinners are now 11-3 in August and hovering right around the .500 mark heading into the final three weeks of the New York-Penn League season. … The NYPL All-Star Game was held in Niles, Ohio on Tuesday and the Spinners were represented by LHP Francisco Taveras and UT Dreily Guerrero. … Taveras threw the 4th inning for the A.L. All-Stars, allowing no runs on one single hit. … Guerrero went 0-for-2 with a strikeout in the 8-1 loss to the National League affiliate squad. Since his All-Star selection, the Higuey, D.R. native has hit .357 with four RBI and a steal, now sitting second on the team in batting average to INF Aneury Tavarez. … RHP William Cuevas leads all Sox minor leaguers with a stellar 1.61 ERA in 56 innings. He has gone 5-2 with 50 strikeouts across 56 innings, while Tavares is second with a 1.82 clip. … Thursday’s 5-3 defeat to the Aberdeen Ironbirds (BAL) broke an impressive six-game winning streak as RHP Yunior Ortega allowed four runs in the eighth for a blown save – the team’s first resulting in a loss since July 21 at Connecticut (DET). … 2011 NYPL All-Star OF Matty Johnson joins the team from A+ Salem, going 2-for-3 with a RBI, steal, and walk in his first rehab appearance since being sidelined with an undisclosed injury. … Thanks to five stolen bases over his last four games, highly touted first-round Draft selection SS Deven Marrero now leads the NYPL with 21 steals and is currently in the midst of a five-game hitting streak, which continued with a fourth-inning single.

GOTTA LOVE THE ‘GADES: Hudson Valley will be playing at Fenway for the second time and for the first instance since falling 4-3 in 12 innings back in 2008. … The Renegades currently lead the McNamara Division with a 37-19 record and enter the weekend with seven wins in ten games, including two in a row at Connecticut. … RHP Rob Finneran has been a strong member of the bullpen for the ‘Gades, having appeared in 15 games and allowed just six earned runs since being selected in the 37th round of this June’s Draft. The Bentley University product and Garden City, N.Y. native has not allowed a run and more than one hit in his last five appearances, dating back to July 25. … 17th-round pick SS Ryan Dunn leads the squad and is among NYPL leaders with 32 RBI, while 2B Tommy Coyle, a North Carolina alum and former Bourne Brave, leads the league with 40 run scored.

Pawtucket (69-58, 2nd, -2.0 GB in IL North): In the last month, the PawSox have not been able to win more than two in a row or lose more than two in a row, despite back-to-back victories five times. Their last three-game streak came from July 15-17 and followed the skid of equal length. … Pawtucket found itself two games back in the IL North race entering a five-game series with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (NYY) on Tuesday and entered Friday’s in that same position after splitting the first four. … RHP Daniel Bard currently has a 7.45 ERA over 28 appearances and issued a season-high four walks on Tuesday. The 2011 American League holds leader suffered his first loss last Saturday, allowing three runs in the eighth at Rochester (MIN). … 1B Mauro Gomez had gone 10-for-19 in his previous six games before his hitting streak was snapped on Thursday. The ten-year pro veteran leads the IL with a .594 slugging percentage and 59 extra-base hits, while sitting tied for first with a .312 average. SS Jose Iglesias returns to Fenway on an absolute tear, which has seen his average rise to .260, with at least one hit in 19 of his last 24 games, while scoring in the fourth inning on Friday night. … OF Ryan Kalish has now spent the last week back in Triple-A after Scott Podsednik returned to the system and has smacked seven hits in six games. … The league’s four-team postseason begins in 20 days, and if the season ended today, the Wild Card-leading PawSox would take on the Yankees in the first round as they currently lead the North standings. … The team has not fallen more than three games back in the division at any point this year. … The Red Sox released Mark Prior on Friday to make room for incoming RHP Pedro Beato, who was received from the Mets in exchange C Kelly Shoppach. … Beato, who pitched in seven games in the Majors in July, was New York’s Rule 5 pick in 2011 and sports a 4.17 career minor league ERA. He was 4-4 with a 4.14 ERA in 24 appearances across 37 innings for Buffalo this year.

BISON BITES: Buffalo enters the weekend in the cellar of the IL North, 1.5 games clear of Syracuse (WSH) in the standings at 60-66. The Bisons have lost two in a row and are losers in seven of their last ten, while having lost 33 games both at home and on the road. … RHP Collin McHugh pitched for Double-A Binghamton at Fenway last season, allowing just four hits in six innings. He is just 1-4 this season but averages 5.2 innings per-start and has racked up five quality outing son the year. … 2010 PawSox RHP Fernando Cabrera, who struck out the only batter he faced in the Triple-A All-Star Game, is Buffalo’s Modern Era leader with 127 appearances and 224 strikeouts from the bullpen. … OF Fred Lewis, who hits at a solid .289, has scored a run in ten of his last 12 games.

Tickets for the family-friendly doubleheader start at just $5 and will be available inside the Yawkey Way Ticket Office before the public gates open at noon.

ELSEWHERE ON THE FARM: Boston’s 2012 third-round selection RHP Austin Maddox made his professional debut this week, allowing three earned runs in as many innings in the Gulf Coast League. … SS Xander Boegarts has hit .385 in his first six games at Double-A, including two home runs and four RBI, while RHP Brandon Duckworth pitched six scoreless innings on Tuesday as he made his Portland debut in a 13-2 thrashing of Altoona (PIT). … RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka could be activated from the disabled list following his Triple-A rehab scheduled for Monday. He took the loss on Wednesday, allowing four earned runs in 5.2 innings.

BSU18′s Joseph Kuykendall also contributed to this report.

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Spinners 3, Brooklyn 1: Power Propels Lowell to Series Victory Over Cyclones

Spinners 1B David Chester's two-run home run lifted Lowell to victory (Went9/SoxProspects.com photo).

by Joshua Kummins

LOWELL – The Lowell Spinners used the longball on their way to a comeback victory on Thursday night at LeLacheur Park as they topped the visiting Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM) by a 3-1 count with all of the offense coming on a pair of long home runs in the sixth inning.

WATCH: Down on the Farm Interviews (Cyclone INF/Former Harvard Star Jeff Reynolds & Spinners Manager Bruce Crabbe)

With the victory, the Spinners improve to 23-28 on the season and have now won two straight games as well as seven of their first nine to begin the month of August. Brooklyn, which entered the night with eight wins over its last ten games, fell to 31-20 in dropping two of three in the series.

Brooklyn went 5-1 over the rival Red Sox affiliate in 2011, including a three-game sweep over the Spinners in the final series of the season. The teams also conclude this season with a trio of games at Coney Island’s baseball gem, MCU Park.

Red Sox first-round pick Brian Johnson continued his young professional career with his third start, tossing two perfect innings with two strikeouts. The University of Florida product has not allowed a run over his first 5.1 innings since making his debut on July 29.

Jacob Dahlstrand came in for the third and continued his effective performance in the piggyback role for the third time on the season, allowing just three hits and a run over five innings as he earned his fourth victory in as many appearances.

Both teams compiled all the offense they needed in the sixth inning, using some timely hitting in key situations.

After Dahlstrand, a first-year Spinner and third-year Red Sox minor leaguer, retired the first two batters of the inning, C Kevin Plawecki walked and scored all the way from first base on a double into the left field corner off the bat of LF Stefan Sabol. The Orange Coast Community College product is tied for second in the New York-Penn League with 17 doubles on the season.

LF Dreily Guerrero opened the bottom of the inning with a single but was caught stealing for the first out but 1B David Chester tied the game on one swing of the bat, lining his eighth homer of the season off the left field foul pole.

After 2B Mookie Betts singled, he came in to score as CF Matt Marquis bombed a two-run shot just over the left field wall and under the main scoreboard for his second home run and tenth RBI of the campaign.

Cyclones starter Luis Cessa was strong over six innings, scattering seven hits and three earned runs. However, the Mexican native, who pitched for the Gulf Coast League Mets in 2011, had allowed just two home runs until doubling that count with Chester and Marquis lining dingers high over the left field wall.

Despite sitting at the very bottom of the NYPL with a .232 team average, Lowell banged out ten hits in the contest, including nine of the one-base variety. Betts and Marquis each chipped in with three, while Guerrero posted a pair, including the lone extra-base hit – a two-out knock in the first inning.

Manager Bruce Crabbe elected to bring in de-facto closer Braden Kapteyn to pitch the final two innings for his fourth save try of the year and did not disappoint as he allowed a walk to Sabol in an otherwise perfect outing.

The Spinners return to LeLacheur next Wednesday to take on the Aberdeen Ironbirds (BAL) for a three-game series leading into Futures at Fenway on August 18. Before that, the team hits the road for three games with the rival Hudson Valley Renegades (TB) this weekend before the All-Star Game.

Spinners 3, Brooklyn 1: Power Propels Spinners to Series Victory Over Cyclones
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Brooklyn 1, Spinners 0: Pitchers steal the night in a quick game at LeLacheur Park

by Joseph Kuykendall

LOWELL—The Brooklyn Cyclones pitching abilities weren’t unknown entering

Jayce Boyd's (above) solo home run proved to be the only offense in the game on Monday Night. (Courtesy of Firebirds Blog by Shane Beyer)

their three-game set with the Spinners Monday night. In fact they were known by many and put into visual proof on Monday at LeLacheur Park as the Cyclones dropped the Spinners 1-0 in a game that took only 2:08 to complete.

 

Entering the ball game, the Cyclones pitching staff ranked second in the New York-Penn League in ERA (2.53) and first in strikeouts (424); a whopping 20 strikeouts ahead of second place Vermont. The fact that the Cyclones sent Dominican Republic native Gabriel Ynoa to the hill didn’t help the Spinners cause either. In eight appearances, Ynoa is 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA while striking out 37.

Ynoa’s Spinners counterpart isn’t too shabby either. William Cuevas has been dominant for the Spinners this season. In his 2012 campaign, the right-handed Venezuelan, boasts the 4th best ERA in the NYPL (1.62) and 4th most strikeouts in the league (46).

For once in sports the matchup on paper is what actually happened in the ball game.

Both starters got off to an incredibly quick start each facing just one over the minimum through the first three innings. In fact, the first Spinner base runner to reach base wasn’t until their number nine hitter, catcher J.T. Watkins came through with a single in the third inning.

Cyclones first baseman, Jayce Boyd, must’ve been getting antsy after the three quick, scoreless innings as he sent a towering shot over the left field fence and off the scoreboard for a 1-out solo homerun in the fourth inning to score what would be the game’s only run.  It was Boyd’s second dinger on the season.

The Cyclones did threaten to add more in the fourth as they had the bases loaded to end the inning but came up empty on adding insurance runs.

The Spinners kept fighting to even the game up, having at least one base runner on in innings 3-6 including Dreily Guerrero making it as far as third base in the sixth inning but Mookie Betts flew out to end the Lowell threat in the sixth.

Ynoa would throw one more inning for the Cyclones capping off an incredible performance. Over seven innings, the 6’2” righty allowed 0 runs en route to striking out 8 and allowing just four hits. His replacement, Paul Sewald just continued Ynoa’s trend ending the game with two consecutive 1-2-3 innings including three strikeouts. With the shutout, the Cyclones pitching staff has now allowed just two runs over their last 45 innings pitched.

Cuevas pitching performance may have been overshadowed by Ynoa’s, but Cuevas still threw a gem himself. Over six innings he allowed just the one run and five hits while striking out 4 Cyclone batters. Cuevas was replaced in the seventh inning by Larson who threw three shutout innings.

By games end their was a combined total of 1 run on 13 hits and 16 K’s; the true definition of a “pitcher’s duel”.

The loss snapped the Spinners season high 5-game winning streak and extended Brooklyn’s 4-game winning streak that now sits at 5 games. The Spinners and Cyclones have two more games at LeLacheur Park continuing on with the Spinners T-Shirt Giveaway Game Wednesday night at 7:05.

Kuykendall can be followed on Twitter @JoeKBSU18 and contacted at JKuykendall@BostonSportsU18.com

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Down on the Red Sox Farm: Busy Week of Moves Sees New Faces; Sea Dogs, Spinners Rolling

Stephen Wright, who was traded from Cleveland in the Lars Anderson deal, earned the victory in his first Portland Sea Dog start on Sunday afternoon.

by Joshua Kummins

BOSTON – With Major League Baseball’s Non-Wavier Trade Deadline in the rear view mirror, it was a busy week of housekeeping in the Red Sox system as several players received promotions and one top minor leaguer was shipped out in a deal.

Cleveland received 1B/OF Lars Anderson in a Tuesday trade that sent RHP Steven Wright to Boston. Wright, a righty out of the University of Hawaii, was assigned to AA Portland. The Red Sox also received LHP Craig Breslow, a Yale graduate and New Haven native, from Arizona for RHP Matt Albers and OF Scott Podsednik.

As far as in-house moves were concerned, there were quite a few. OF Ryan Kalish and C Ryan Lavarnway were both recalled to Boston and have been action regularly during the team’s current homestand, while 1B Travis Shaw and Reynaldo Rodriguez were advanced to Portland and AAA Pawtucket, respectively.

Pawtucket (64-52, +1.0 GA, 1st in IL North): Pawtucket, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (NYY), and Lehigh Valley (PHI) are all separated by just 1.5 games in the North Division race as the IronPigs have taken three of the last five games, including a two-game sweep in Allentown, Penn. … The PawSox are just two games off the pace from last season through 116 games and were either a half-game ahead or behind in the standings every day from July 17-31. … A 10-5 record through the final 15 games in July propelled the PawSox back above the rest on August 1 before falling back into a tie with the Yankees. … LHP Chris Hernandez earned his first win since earning the promotion on July 21, allowing four hits and fanning three across five scoreless innings of relief six days later at Indianapolis (PIT) and has started two in of his first three outings. … C Dan Butler was promoted on Friday, filling in for Ryan Lavarnway, who was recalled by Boston. Lavarnway, a Yale product, hit just .244 in July – his worst mark of the year – but was a regular player for the entirety of the season, hitting .295 in 83 games. … 1B Reynaldo Rodriguez and RHP Josh Fields also received promotions to the PawSox this week and will likely remain in AAA for the rest of the season. … RHP Garrett Mock, a nine-year pro veteran with 55 games of MLB experience, was traded to Houston for future considerations. RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka made his second rehab start in Sunday’s 6-5 win, allowing an earned run on five hits in three innings. Rodriguez played the role of hero as he lifted a sacrifice fly to plate the winning run.

Portland (53-62, 5th, -16.5 GB in EL Eastern): After a miserable 2-8 start to the month of July, the Sea Dogs recovered in the final weeks to post an even record at 15-15 – their second-best mark of any this season, trailing their 15-13 May mark. … The ‘Dogs have found their stride with four wins over the first five games in August at Hadlock Field, including a weekend sweep over the Erie Seawolves (DET). … Portland has allowed just four runs in the last four games, thanks to impressive pitching performances from Drake Britton, Jeremy Kehrt and newcomer Steven Wright. … Saturday’s night contest ended with a 2-1 win as INF Marquez Smith hit a walk-off single in the ninth inning, while Wright scattered five hits and a run in Sunday’s 11-2 victory. … The team banged out 17 hits and fell one shy of tying a season high, which has been set twice. Smith was impressive again as he went 4-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI. … RHP Andrew Bailey, who has spent the season on the disabled list after right thumb surgery, made his first rehab appearance of the year today, allowing three hits and a run while striking out two in an inning.

Salem (17-25, 4th, -8.0 GB in SAL Southern): Sitting 12 games out in the overall Carolina League standings, the Sox fell short of their first sweep since June 11-13 as the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC) took a 5-4 win in the tenth inning on Sunday at LewisGale Field. … Despite the defeat, C Adalberto Ibarra banged out four hits, including a double, and scored a run. … Salem walked off for the first time this season Saturday as SS Sean Coyle drew a bases-loaded walk to score INF Heiker Meneses, after he tripled, for a 6-5 win in 11 innings. Meneses scored the winning run in each of Salem’s last two extra-inning contests … SS Xander Boegarts went 2-for-4 in the series finale and is now 13-for-21 over the first five days of August with multiple hits in all of those games. … RHP Matt Barnes, who has not won a decision since June 14, allowed four runs and three walks in 4.2 innings of a no-decision Saturday. … RHP Keith Couch started the Sunday game as is 2-0 with a no-decision in his last three starts. The third-year Adelphi product allowed three runs and two walks over five innings but Jeremiah Bayer took the loss, allowing the winning run – though unearned – to score. … In his last home start on July 25, he tossed the first nine-inning complete game in franchise history as the Sox topped Myrtle Beach (TEX) 6-1. … C Carson Blair was received from AAA Pawtucket after being recalled twice without appearing in a game, making room for the promotion of Christian Vasquez to AA Portland.

Greenville (21-22, 4th, -7.5 GB in SAL Southern): The Drive dipped back below .500 for the second half with a 7-4 loss to Hickory (TEX) on Sunday – their second-straight in the four-game series, despite three two-hit efforts. … OF Keury De La Cruz continues to sit among the system’s leaders with a .313 average and 70 RBI, while LHP Henry Owens’ 11 victories are the most among Boston minor leaguers. … RHP Noe Ramirez pitching six innings and earned his second consecutive win with seven strikeouts in Friday’s 4-1 victory over the Crawdads. … Ramirez, Boston’s seventh-round selection in the 2011 Draft out of Cal State Fullerton, has pitched well all season long for the Drive but did not earn a win in each of his first nine starts in Greenville, dating from all the way from June 10 to July 24. … Hickory responded in the following game with an 8-4 win but DH Jose Garcia went 2-for-4 with his sixth homer of the season. The San Pedro de Macoris, D.R. native has also driven in a solid 30 runs, including three in the Saturday setback, while stealing 22 bases.

Lowell (20-27, 4th, -14.0 GB in NYPL Stedler): With Tri-City (HOU) coasting way ahead in the division race, the other three teams are in a logjam at the bottom and separated by just three games. … The Spinners won their fourth in a row – and their eighth in the last nine games – on Sunday, topping the rival Staten Island Yankees (NYY) 10-3. … 1B Jake Davies went 3-for-4 with a run scored, a double and two RBI, while 2B Matt Gedman hit his third home run of the season and RHP Tyler Wilson improved to a perfect 3-0 in his fourth pro season. … RHP Pat Light, a New Jersey native, threw a season-high three innings and allowed just one run on two hits. Spinner pitching completed its first nine-inning game without a walk since August 11, 2010. … The staff has allowed just 13 earned runs in their last nine games, lowering their ERA from 4.51 on July 26 to 3.96 currently. … RHP Braden Kapteyn, who has been much improved in his second season for the Spinners, leads all New York-Penn League relievers with a .122 batting average against, having allowed just nine hits.

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Spinners 2, Spikes 1: Light, Pitching Staff Hit Record Books in Fourth Straight Victory

Pat Light and the Spinner pitching staff broke into the franchise record books after an impressive, shutout weekend. The Monmouth product allowed just one hit in his fifth two-inning start in the pros.

by Joshua Kummins

LOWELL – After an impressive weekend that ended with a Sunday doubleheader sweep, the Lowell Spinners looked to keep the ball rolling on Monday night at LeLacheur Park as they concluded a series with the State College Spikes (PIT) with a new record looming for the books.

Five Spinner pitchers combined to allow just five hits as the team shutout the visitors in both ends of the doubleheader, carrying the franchise’s consecutive scoreless inning streak into the series finale.

The pitching staff was able to rewrite itself into the record books by extending the streak for 6.1 more innings in addition to stealing a 2-1 victory for their fourth in a row and seventh in the last nine games.

WATCH: Bruce Crabbe Post-Game Interview

Boston’s supplemental first-round draft selection Pat Light made his fifth start for the Spinners and impressed as he allowed just one hit over his two-inning outing. The lone surrender was a single off the bat of 1B Samuel Gonzalez with two outs in the second inning.

With Light’s two scoreless innings and another 1-2-3 frame from his piggyback starter Jacob Dahlstrand, the Spinner staff set a new franchise record with their 26th consecutive scoreless inning.

The Spinners jumped ahead by a 1-0 score in the third inning as 3B Matt Gedman poked a single through the right side before advancing to second on a relay throw to attempt to cut down SS Mike Miller from scoring.

Gedman, a UMass product and Framingham native, also trotted to third base on the play on a throwing error but could not score any more against Pirate 17-year-old phenom Luis Heredia to add any additional insurance to the lead.

Heredia was the top Latin American pitcher on the amateur market in 2010, according to Baseball America and broke into the pros last season with a strong summer in the Gulf Coast League. The Mazatlan, Mexico native suffered a no-decision in the contest as he allowed three hits and a run across just 4.1 innings of work, which was his second-shortest outing of the season for the Spikes.

The streak rolled to 30 straight frames until SS Chris Diaz scores on a suicide squeeze bunt with one out in the seventh inning, coming from the bat of 3B Yhonathan Barrios.

Lowell quickly responded with one out in the bottom of the frame when SS Mike Miller singled on a line to center field off Pittsburgh’s 12th round selection this season, reliever Dalton Friend, coming out of Jefferson College in Missouri. LF Aneury Tavarez scored from second base on the hit as the home team regained a 2-1 lead that would never be relinquished.

Lowell did not take the victory without a fight as Gonzalez hit a towering fly ball with home run distance down the left field line, but home plate umpire Sam Vogt ruled the ball foul and was challenged to no avail. Gonzalez walked but Diaz rolled into a double play to close off the ballgame and the series.

Dahlstrand was very sharp as he piggybacked for five innings of three-hit ball, improving to an even 2-2 on the season. Returning Spinner Braden Kapteyn threw two scoreless frames with two walks in earning his second save of the season.

Miller led the Spinners with two hits, including an RBI and a run scored. 2B Mookie Betts and RF Kendrick Perkins also posted a pair on the night as the team banged out eight in total.

Lowell now stands at 16-26 on the season as they head out on the road for a six-game swing through Jamestown (FLA) and Staten Island (NYY) beginning on Wednesday. The Spinners return to LeLacheur next Tuesday to face the Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM) for a three-game series.

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Spinners 3, Crosscutters 1: Spinners pitching spurs them to solid victory

by Joseph Kuykendall

Just like their parent club, the Lowell Spinners have had their fair share of pitching

Jacob Dahlstrand's impressive performance Wednesday night resulted in his first professional baseball win.

struggles this season. The Spinners team ERA was an ugly 4.63 entering Wednesday night’s game against the Williamsport Crosscutters. That ERA ranks just one above the bottom in the New York-Penn League. The team below them in that statistical category? The Crosscutters. In addition to ERA, the Spinners rank in the bottom five in the NYPL in hits allowed and walks allowed. Despite the aforementioned pithing troubles, the Spinners got an impressive outing from starting pitcher Jacob Dahlstrand to lead the to a 3-1 victory over the ‘Cutters.

The first inning was a pre-cursor to the pitching duel that the 3, 935 fans at LeLacheur Park would witness Wednesday night when both teams went down 1-2-3 in the opening frame.

Apparently neither team would want the shutout to continue after an inning as the Crosscutters put a dent in the scoreboard first in their half of the second inning. A Logan Moore double to right field was ended up plating Yan Carlos Olmo (who originally reached first on a hit-by-pitch) after Spinners right fielder Kendrick Perkins misplayed the ball in right. That’s all the Crosscutters would get in the inning, and the game.

The Spinners answered in the bottom of the second when left fielder Aneury Tavarez doubled home David Chester and Mookie Betts. Oscar Perez would follow Tavarex with a groundout to end the Spinners threat at two runs. The rest of the game was quiet besides a Spinners insurance run in the seventh and solid pitching form both dugouts.

Dahlstrand went 5.2 innings while his counterpart Josh Warner tossed 6 innings of 5 hit, 2 run baseball. Warner apparently drew the short straw Wednesday night as he ended up with the loss while Dahlstrand drew the win. In his third year of professional baseball (split between Lowell and GCL Red Sox), Dahlstrand finally reeled in his first professional win.

The Spinners welcome Williamsport back to LeLacheur Park on Thursday night for the second of the three game series on Jimmy Buffett night.

 

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