Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
TROY, NY — The Vermont Lake Monters opened their final New York-Penn League series of the season with a 4-1 loss to the Tri-City ValleyCats on Saturday night at Bruno Stadium.
ValleyCats starter Jairo Lopez (2-2) retired 16 of the 17 batters he faced with eight strikeouts over the first five innings, allowing just a leadoff single in the fourth to Marty Bechina. Reliever Danny Cody retired each of the last five Lake Monsters, three by strikeout, to earn his first save of the season.
Tri-City scored a pair of runs in the third as Matthew Barefoot led off the inning with a single, stole second and scored on a Luis Guerrero RBI single. Guerrero then stole second before scoring on a Luis Santana two-out RBI single.
Nathan Perry made it 3-0 ValleyCats with his 12th home run of the season in the fourth off Vermont starter Michael Murray (3-1), who allowed three runs on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts over five innings to take his first loss this season with the Lake Monsters.
Vermont got a run in the seventh when Dustin Harris walked with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a Jordan Diaz single before scoring on a Kevin Richards bloop single to right. Derek West got out of further trouble by getting Kyle McCann to ground into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play to keep lead at 3-1 for Tri-City.
The ValleyCats added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Santana was hit by reliever Austin Briggs with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Korey Lee two-out RBI groundball single to center.
Vermont (33-41) and Tri-City (31-42) will meet in the second of the three-game series 5:00 pm on Sunday before the teams wrap up the 2019 season at 3:00 pm on Monday.