Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
BURLINGTON —The Lake Monsters scored twice without a hit in the second inning and added two unearned runs in the seventh, while three Vermont pitchers combined for zero walks and 15 strikeouts in a 4-1 victory over the Staten Island Yankees in New York-Penn League action Tuesday night at historic Centennial Field.
Vermont scored its two second-inning runs without the benefit of a base hit as Yankees starter Juan De Paula gave up a strikeout/wild pitch to open the inning before issuing three straight walks to force home the tying run and followed with another strikeout/wild pitch that gave Lake Monsters a 2-1 advantage.
Brandon Lockridge had a one-out solo homer in the top of the first inning to give Staten Island a quick 1-0 lead. It was the first home run of the season for Lockridge and the league-leading seventh homer allowed by Vermont starter Rafael Kelly.
But the homer would be the only run allowed by Kelly (2-3), who had seven strikeouts before leaving after back-to-back singles, his fourth and fifth hits allowed, to open the sixth inning. Gus Varland came on to recorded a sac bunt out and then struckout the next two Yankees to end the sixth and stranded the tying run on third.
Vermont added a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh as Devin Foyle scored from second base on a Yankees two-out fielding error and Jonah Bride followed with an RBI single to plate Jameson Hannah for a 4-1 advantage.
Varland followed up the two-strikeout sixth by throwing a 1-2-3 seventh and eighth innings with two strikeouts in each frame, finishing his outing by retiring all nine batters faced (six by strikeout). Slater Lee struckout two of the three Yankees he faced in the ninth for his second save.
Lake Monster pitchers have now struckout 15 batters twice and 16 once in the last 10 games played. Vermont (16-15) moves back over the .500 mark with its fifth win in the last eight contests.
DePaula (0-1) did not allow a hit and struckout six Lake Monsters over his five innings of work, but was hurt by five walks and the two wild pitches to take the loss for Staten Island (17-14). The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Yankees.
The Lake Monsters and Yankees will play the second of the three-game series at Centennial Field 7:05 pm on Wednesday. It is Military Appreciation Night at the ballpark with the first 1,000 fans receiving a free Lake Monsters camo jersey.