Baseball: Pair of Three Run Innings Carry Monsters Past Aberdeen

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

BURLINGTON — Vermont scored three runs in both the sixth and eighth inning, while three Lake Monster relievers combined to allow just one unearned run on one hit over the final six frames in a 6-2 victory over the Aberdeen Ironbirds Tuesday night at historic Centennial Field.

Aberdeen jumped out to a 1-0 lead in top of the first inning on a two-out J.C. Escarra double followed by a Robert Neustrom RBI single to center. But those would be the Ironbirds only two hits until a one-out single in the eighth from Adam Hall, who was thrown out attempting to steal for the second out of the inning.

Ironbirds starter Jimmy Murphy kept the Lake Monsters scoreless until the sixth when Vermont opened the inning with three straight singles from Joseph Pena, Jonah Bride and Alfonso Rivas tie the game 1-1. Murphy and reliever Josh Keaton combined to strikeout the next two Lake Monsters before Bride scored on a Keaton wild pitch and Rivas scored on an Aaron Arruda line drive single to center for a 3-1 Vermont advantage.

Aberdeen got a run back in the seventh without a hit as Milton Ramos reached second on a leadoff throwing error by Bride at third base, then scored an unearned run on a pair of wild pitches uncorked by reliever Brandon Marsonek.

The Lake Monsters sealed the victory with the three runs off Jose Diaz in the bottom of the eighth. Rivas led off the inning with a double, then scored on a passed ball and throwing error by catcher Brayden Arredondo. After a J.J. Schwarz one-out single, Arruda crushed a 3-2 Diaz pitch 415-feet into the leftfield bleachers for his second home run of the season and Vermont’s first home run in the last nine games.

Vermont starter Abdiel Mendoza had walked two and struckout two over the first three innings before Clark Cota, Marsonek (1-0) and Oscar Tovar (first save) each tossed two innings combining to allow the one unearned run on one hit with three walks and seven strikeouts. The Lake Monsters are outhitting the Ironbirds 22-8 over the first two games of the series.

Arruda was 2-for-4 with the homer and three RBI to lead Vermont (29-33), which has won two of its last three after a seven-game losing streak. Rivas went 2-for-4 with two runs and Bride 2-for-4 with a double, while Murphy (3-5) was charged with three runs on six hits and struckout four over 5 1/3 innings to take the loss for Aberdeen (29-32).

The Lake Monsters and Ironbirds will wrap of the series and Vermont’s six-game homestand at 7:05 pm on Wednesday, which will include a special appearance between innings by the ZOOperstars.