Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
BURLINGTON — Ramiro Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with three RBI, including a key two-run triple in the sixth inning, while Enmanuel Valdez and Austin Dennis both hit solo home runs to lead the Tri-City ValleyCats to a 7-3 victory over the Vermont Lake Monsters in New York-Penn League action Sunday evening at historic Centennial Field.
The ValleyCats scored single runs in each of the first three innings off Vermont starter Adam Ruess, including Valdez’s home run (his sixth of season) to left leading off the game and a Rodriguez RBI single in the second, for an early 3-0 lead.
Vermont cut the deficit to 3-2 with a pair of runs in the fifth. A leadoff single, walk and one-out hit batter loaded the bases for the Lake Monsters. Jose Rivas scored the first run on a wild pitch, while Jonah Bride knocked home the second run with a long sacrifice fly to left.
Game stayed a one-run contest until the seventh when Rodriguez lined an 0-2 pitch from reliever Charlie Cerny down the right field line for the two-run triple and then scored to make it 6-2 on an RBI double from Alex McKenna, who went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles.
Alfonso Rivas, who reached base safely in each of his five plate appearances (3-for-3 with a walk and hit by pitch), singled with one-out in the bottom of the seventh and scored on a Jeremy Eierman two-out RBI single. Tri-City got the run back in top of eighth on Dennis’ solo homer to left off Brandon Withers.
Valdez had two hits and two runs for Tri-City (32-23), while reliever Cody Deason (1-0) allowed one run on four hits with four strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings to earn the victory. J. P. France also struckout four over the final two scoreless innings as Tri-City pitchers struckout 12 in each of the two wins in the series with Vermont.
Along with Alfonso Rivas’ 3-for-3 night, Jose Rivas went 2-for-4 with a run scored for Vermont (27-28), which have now lost three straight games. Reuss (3-2) was charged with three runs on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts over five innings to take the loss.
The Lake Monsters are off the next two days with the NY-Penn League All-Star Game at State College is scheduled for Tuesday night. Vermont is back in action with a two-game series at Brooklyn Wednesday and Thursday before the Lake Monsters return to Centennial Field for a six-game homestand (August 17-22) starting Friday.