BOSTON, MASS. - On what should have been a day to remember for the Lowell Spinners, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers dampened the memories with six runs in the ninth inning after three times being down to their final strike, topping the Spinners, 6-1, in the 9th annual Futures at Fenway at historic Fenway Park.
The loss was the Spinners sixth straight and ninth in the last 10 games.
Lowell (12-18) broke through first in the fourth inning. After Nick Longhi reached on an error by Yonathan Mendoza, Mike Meyers moved him into scoring position with a single. Longhi would come around to score on a single to right by Mauricio Dubon, dislodging the ball from the catcher's glove with his slide on a throw that had him beat, giving the Spinners a 1-0 lead.
Mahoning Valley (10-20) had a chance to tie things up in the top half of the fifth inning, but Shane Victorino, in his last game with the Spinners as part of his Major League Rehab Assignment, gunned down Leo Castillo at the plate on a perfect throw for the innings third out to keep the score at 1-0.
Victorino got things going in the bottom half of the fifth inning for the Spinners, working a one out walk, then going first-to-third on a single to shallow left-centerfield by Danny Mars, showing no signs of injury. A Longhi walk loaded the bases but Jordan Betts flew out to end the inning.
The Scrappers would threaten again in the eighth inning. With Chandler Shepherd on in relief, a one out single by Ordomar Valdez had the potential to turn into a run scoring play, but Dubon alertly called "I got it" as Greg Allen's looper landed in the right field corner. Valdez held at second, despite the fact Dubon was no-where near the base hit, leaving him at third. Steve Patterson followed with a ground ball to first, with Sam Travis coming home and Jordan Procyshen applying the tag on Valdez to keep the Lowell lead intact.
After two quick outs to start the ninth, the wheels fell off for the Spinners. Taylor Murphy singled with one out and Shane Rowland walked. After a Mendoza walk loaded the bases it appeared Shepherd had Valdez struck out but a close pitch didn't go his way and he walked Valdez on the next pitch to tie the game. Carlos Pinales then came on in relief, but was not listed on the line-up card and ruled ineligible, bringing Oscar Perez into the game. Perez hit Allen, the first batter he faced, to allow the go-ahead run and the Scrappers added on four additional runs to ruin Lowell's night.
Kevin McAvoy started for the Spinners, throwing two scoreless innings, needing just 18 pitches to make quick work of the Scrappers. Mercedes followed with six scoreless, striking out three. Shepherd danced out of trouble in the eighth, but couldn't do so in the ninth, being charged with four runs on three this and three walks in 1.2 innings. Perez was charged with two runs in addition to allowing the three inherited runners to score in his third of an inning.
The Spinners wrap up their six-game homestand Monday, returning to LeLacheur Park, with Ty Buttrey on the mound for a 7:05 first pitch.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.