Thirteen members of the Vermont Lake Monsters reached base against Connecticut on Friday, but only one of them got a hit.
Patrick Lawson allowed two runs on one hit and six walks over 5 1/3 innings, while relievers Tyler Clark and Drew Gagnier combined to issue six free passes over the final 3 2/3 frames as the Tigers beat Vermont, 8-2.
"Mainly, just the fastball (was working)," said Lawson, who finished with a pair of strikeouts. "(I was) maintaining the fastball. I mixed in a few breaking pitches, but for the most part, just fastballs in and down."
Connecticut wasn't the only team issuing walks. Vermont's Aaron Barrett, Wilson Eusebio and Chad Jenkins allowed eight bases on balls Friday.
Asked if he thought he was getting squeezed by plate umpire Carlos Torres, Lawson replied, "Maybe a little.
"I was a little wild today," he continued. "You just keep trying to throw it in there without throwing it down the middle."
Lawson battled more than just his control, Lake Monsters and the umpires.
After Vermont's Chad Mozingo drew a leadoff walk in the sixth, Blake Kelso sent an offering from Lawson into right field. The ball glanced off the glove of Chao-Ting Tang, but Kelso was credited with the Lake Monsters' only hit.
Should it have been ruled an error?
"I think so," Lawson said. "It was like a popup and our right fielder, I thought he caught it. He put his glove up and it hit off his glove. He didn't dive or anything for it."
Mozingo reached third and scored on Russell Moldenhauer's forceout. A wild pitch helped Vermont climb within 6-2.
Lawson snapped a personal three-game losing streak, improving to 3-3 with a 2.54 ERA since becoming a starter in mid-July. He finished his college career at North Carolina-Charlotte as a reliever and began his professional career in the same role after signing with Detroit as a non-drafted free agent.
"Either one is fine," Lawson said. "I do like to start, but relieving is fine as well. I really don't care. Whatever the Tigers want me to do, I'll do."
James Robbins homered, singled and drove in three runs for Connecticut (33-33), which climbed into a first-place tie with Vermont in the New York-Penn League's Stedler Division. Ryan Soares contributed three hits and a pair of RBIs.