Lowell, MA - Saturday night, the Auburn Doubledays jumped out to a 5-0 lead before seeing it evaporate in a 7-5 loss. Sunday night, they made sure their big lead wasn’t erased in an 8-4 win over the Lowell Spinners at LeLacheur Park on Sunday night.
Leading 8-0 through six innings, it looked like the Doubledays had the Lowell Spinners on cruise control. However, just like the previous night, the Spinners used a seventh inning rally to make things interesting.
Against the Doubledays ‘pen, Lowell sent ten men to the plate in the seventh inning, cutting an eight-run deficit in half, all on just one base hit. With Chad Jenkins on the bump, the Spinners loaded the bases with one out on a hit-batsman and two walks. Jenkins was pulled and Manuel Rivera entered for Auburn.
Unfortunately, instead of smothering the fire that was a bases-loaded one out situation, Rivera added to it. Pinch-hitter Moko Moanaroa doubled in to right-centerfield, clearing the bases and decreasing the Doubledays lead to 8-3. Rivera proceeded to walk Nick Natoli and Travis Shaw back-to-back, loading the bases for Saturday night’s Lowell hero, Boss Moanaroa.
Richie Mirowski came out of the pen in relief of Rivera and walked Moanaroa, forcing in a run and cutting the Doubledays lead to four. He then got out of the inning by getting Seth Schwindenhammer to pop-up on a shallow fly to center and Matty Johnson to line out to right-field, keeping the Doubledays lead at 8-4.
When all was said and done, the Spinners had scored four runs in the frame on five walks, one hit-by-pitch, and one hit.
For the second night in a row, the Spinners scored four runs in the seventh off the Doubledays bullpen. This time, however, it wasn’t enough.
Mirowski tossed a perfect eighth, and Ben Grisz faced the minimum in the ninth, giving the Doubledays the 8-4 win over Lowell. Colin Bates, who started and pitched five scoreless innings, got his third win of the season in Auburn’s win.
Offensively, the Doubledays jumped on the Spinners early. With two outs and nobody on in the first inning, three consecutive walks to Matt Skole, Adrian Nieto, and Justin Miller off of starter Jason Garcia turned into three early runs. Hendry Jimenez followed with a two-RBI single to centerfield and Angelberth Montilla tripled to left-center, driving in two more runs and putting the Doubledays up four runs. But they weren’t even close to being done.
A base-hit and walk to start the second turned into two Auburn runs on RBI singles by Nieto and Miller. Miller got involved again in the fifth, driving a triple to left field and scoring a batter later on a sacrifice fly by Jimenez. In the sixth, Jeremy Mayo led off the inning with a solo home run, his second of the year, giving the Doubledays an 8-0 lead through six innings.
The lead was big enough to withstand the Spinners charge in the seventh, as the Doubledays evened the series at one game apiece, setting up a rubber match in Monday night’s series finale. Brian Dupra will start for the Doubledays in a 7:05pm first pitch from LeLacheur Field as Auburn looks to win their second straight series. Fans are invited to listen to the game live at 89.1 FM in Auburn, NY or at www.auburndoubledays.com with ‘Voice of the Doubledays,’ John Miller providing the play-by-play.