Baseball: Monsters Stay Hot, Win at Lowell 5-2

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

LOWELL, MA — The Vermont Lake Monsters were held without a hit in eight of their nine innings at bat on Friday night, but collected four hits and scored five times in the top of the third inning of a 5-2 New York-Penn League victory over the Lowel Spinners at LeLecheur Park.

Lowell starter Ryan Zeferjahn, Boston’s 2019 third-round pick out of Kansas, struckout five of the seven Vermont batters he faced over the first two innings, allowing just a one-out walk to Kevin Richards in the second inning.

But Jose Rivas greeted Spinners reliever Kelvin Sanchez with a leadoff double in the third and scored on back-to-back wild pitches before Yerdel Vargas tied the game 2-2 with a solo homer, his third of the season, to leftcenter.

The homer was followed by back-to-back walks before a Dustin Harris RBI single to right and Jordan Diaz RBI infield single (his league-leading 40th RBI of the season). Kevin Richards capped off the inning with a sacrifice fly to give the Lake Monsters a 5-2 advantage.

Those would be the only hits of the night for the Lake Monsters, who had a walk in the second, two walks in the fourth and a hit batter in the sixth (final 11 Vermont batters retired in order). Robbie Baker struckout seven of 13 batters faced over four hitless innings of relief for Lowell, while Kris Jackson two perfect innings with two strikeouts.

Lowell’s Gilberto Jimenez led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple to center and scored on a one-out wild pitch by Vermont starter Tyler Baum, who also allowed a one-out solo homer in the second to Marino Campana for a 2-0 Spinners lead.

Baum finished with no walks and six strikeouts over his three innings, while Michael Murray (2-0) followed with four scoreless innings of relief, allowing two hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Clark Cota tossed a scoreless eighth, while Jose Mora struckout the side in the ninth for his eighth save.

Vermont (25-29) has won nine of last 11 games overall and five straight road games. The win also clinched the Lake Monsters fourth straight series win after just four in first 15 series. Vermont will look to complete series sweep at Lowell 5:05 pm Saturday before returning to Centennial for six-game homestand starting Sunday.