Connecticut 7, Lowell 4: Spinners Blow Lead Twice, Can’t Hit Double-Digit Wins
LOWELL – Unlike most games so far this season, the Lowell Spinners showed some fight before going down in defeat. Things looked bright to start before falling off and suffering a 7-4 loss and series sweep at the hands of the Connecticut Tigers (DET) on Friday night at LeLacheur Park.
Lowell lost two-run leads on two occasions in the contest, while Connecticut cushioned itself by two in the seventh inning – a lead it would never relinquish en route to their fourth win in a row.
For the second night in a row, the Spinners also received reinforcement from rehabbing 3B Kolbrin Vitek, who went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Vitek, who is down from Double-A Portland nursing an intercoastal strain, also drove in the lone run of the game in a 6-1 loss on Thursday.
Starter Jacob Dahlstrand retired the first two batters he faced quickly in the first inning before allowing two singles and a walk to load the bases. He was able to work out of his own trouble, however, as he struck out RF Patrick Smith to end the threat without any runs scoring.
The Spinners stranded SS Deven Marrero after he singled in the opening frame but took a 2-0 lead on two hits in the next inning.
1B Jake Davies continued his solid start to his Lowell career, lining a single through the middle to open the frame in the second. After starter Charlie Gillies struck out the next batter he faced in LF Dreily Guerrero, RF Matt Marquis launched a two-run home run deep over the left field wall for a 2-0 lead.
Gillies, who was Detroit’s tenth-round pick in this June’s First-Year Player Draft out of the Masters College in California, has not earned a win in his young professional career and had not surrendered a longball until Marquis’ first Spinner RBI this season.
The teams traded a pair of runs in the third inning as the Tigers came back to tie the game on a two-run double from 1B Juaner Aguasvivas – a bouncer off the left field fence.
Lowell was quick to grab the lead back as it scored two runs of its own on an RBI bloop single from DH Matt Gedman and an RBI groundout by Davies, who was recalled from the Gulf Coast League on Sunday.
Davies grounded a ball that looked to be a sure double play but Gedman beat out the throw at second base to result in the fielder’s choice and just one out.
Both pitchers worked relatively easily through the fourth inning before Tigers LF Danry Vasquez and Aguasvivas traded sacrifice flies deep into the outfield to tie the game at 4-4.
Following those two runs scoring, Dahlstrand was relieved for tall right-handed reliever Greg Larson, who was very sharp through for the remainder of the contest out of the Lowell bullpen, despite being charged his first professional loss.
The Red Sox selected the Floridian native in the 20th round of this year’s draft after posting a team-best 1.33 ERA for the University of Florida Gators this spring. He quickly retired 2B Devon Travis – an alumnus of UF’s archrival Florida State University – on a groundout to end the inning without any further damage.
Dahlstrand, a Houston native and first-year Spinner, took a no-decision for the third time in his five starts as he allowed five hits, four earned runs and three walks in 4.2 innings. Following Larson’s first full extended outing, fellow Hyannis Harbor Hawk alum Kyle Kraus allowed one hit but induced the final groundout to end the Tigers’ night at the plate.
Connecticut tacked on one in the seventh against Larson as SS Jared Reaves lifted an RBI double into left-center field, before Reaves scored on an error in the ninth and the veteran Aguasvivas brought in yet another run with a single to left.
After Gillies allowed four runs on six hits in four innings, another Cape League alumnus Josh Turley, who pitched for Warehan and Baylor University, earned his first professional win with four scoreless frames on just one hit for the Tigers.
Fellow 2012 Draft selection Will Clinard allowed just one hit in a scoreless frame, earning his second save since being chosen in the 19th round out of Vanderbilt.
Both teams head to the southern part of New England to finish the series with two more games at Dodd Stadium in Norwich. Raynel Velette takes the ball for his seventh start of the season in the series opener on Saturday night. The Spinners return home on Wednesday to begin a six-game homestand against Williamsport (PHI).