Baseball: Monsters Win 4th Straight, Topping Lowell 4-0

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

LOWELL, MA —Four Lake Monster pitchers combined on a seven-hit shutout, while Alfonso Rivas went 2-for-3 with two walks and two doubles as Vermont won its fourth straight New York-Penn League game with a 4-0 victory over the Lowell Spinners Sunday evening at LeLecheur Park.

The shutout was the fourth of the season for Vermont (25-24), which is back over the .500 mark for the first time since they were 17-16 on July 19th. After losing their next five games to fall to 17-21, the Lake Monsters are 8-3 over their last 11 games.

After a single and stolen base to leadoff the game from Joseph Pena, the Lake Monsters scored two runs with help from a pair of Lowell errors. Pena scored from second base on a fielding error by second baseman Andre Colon on a groundball from Marcos Brito, who stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error before scoring when Jeremy Eierman grounded into a double play.

Vermont starter Chase Cohen scattered three hits with one walk and five strikeouts over three scoreless innings. He finished his outing with back-to-back strikeouts to strand the tying runs on second and third in the third inning.

Oscar Tovar (3-1) replaced Cohen to start the bottom fourth and allowed a leadoff double and line drive single to shortstop (no advance by runner at second), but got out of inning with a forceout and double play before retiring all six Spinner batters (three by strikeout) he faced over the next two innings.

Game stayed 2-0 until the seventh when Nick Osborne led off the inning with a double and scored on a Pena line drive RBI single to center to increase the Lake Monsters lead to three runs. Vermont added another run in the eighth as Alfonso Rivas led off with his second double of the night and scored on a Jonah Bride sacrifice fly.

Vermont’s Jeferson Mejia loaded the bases for Lowell in seventh with a leadoff walk, two-out bunt single and walk before getting a 3-2 called strike to get out of his lone innings. Brandon Withers gave up a one-out single in the eighth (erased on a caught stealing) and one-out hit batter in ninth (erased on an inning-ending double play).

Four of the Lake Monsters eight hits went for doubles, including three leadoff two-baggers (two by Rivas). Pena went 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI for Vermont, while Trey Ganns two hits of the seven hits for Lowell (25-24). Spinners starter Thad Ward (0-1) allowed two runs (one earned) with two hits, three walks and two strikeouts over three innings to take the loss.

The Lake Monsters will play the second of the three-game series at Lowell 6:35 pm on Monday when injured Boston Red Sox infielder Rafael Devers is expected to join the Spinners on a rehab assignment.