TROY, NY --- Ben McQuown went 2-for-4 with a two-run single to tie game 2-2 and then scored after a leadoff triple in the sixth inning as the Lake Monsters tied a team record with its sixth straight road win in one season as Vermont completed a three-game sweep of the Stedler Division champion Tri-City ValleyCats 4-2 in New York-Penn League action Wednesday night at Bruno Stadium.
It is the first time that the Lake Monsters have won six straight games on the road since winning their final six road games of the 1995 season (won first three of 1996 for a combined nine straight road victories). Five of the six wins have come at Tri-City, including Vermont's first three-game sweep of a road series since the Lake Monsters swept won three straight at Bruno Stadium August 29-30, 2013.
The ValleyCats took an early 2-0 lead off Vermont starter Jerad Grundy on three straight singles in the first inning and a pair of doubles in the second inning. But Grundy along with relievers Dominique Vattuone, Tyler Hollestegge and Fernand Cruzado held the ValleyCats scoreless over the final seven innings on four hits and 10 strikeouts.
Vermont tied the game in the third as John Nogowski walked and Jose Chavez got an infield single with one out before McQuown singled them home with a two-out single. McQuown, who is hitting .308 (12-for-39) over his last 10 games, led off the sixth with a tripleand scored on a wild pitch by Tri-City reliever Brandon McNitt (1-1). The Lake Monsters added an insurance run in the ninth as Nogowski led off the inning with a single and later scored on a Ryan Huck sacrifice fly.
Grundy allowed two runs on nine hits with four strikeouts before leaving the game with two outs in the fifth and runners on the corners. Vattuone (2-1) came on to strikeout Jose Solano to end the threat, then had two walks and three strikeouts in two more scoreless innings to earn the win. Hollstegge worked around a pair of walks for a scoreless eigthth, while Cruzado struckout the side in the ninth inning for his fourth save of the season.
Vermont (32-39) is now 15-9 in the month of August, assuring the Lake Monsters of their first winning August since 2000 (13 straight losing months of August since). Vermont pitchers have allowed two runs or less in each of the 15 wins during the month. Tri-City (43-28), which clinched the Stedler Division on Monday, have lost eight of their last nine games.
The Lake Monsters will look to win their season-high fourth straight on Thursday when Vermont opens a three-game series at Staten Island beginning at 7:00 pm. After games with the Yankees Friday and Saturday, the Lake Monsters return to historic Centennial Field for their final two home games of the season against Tri-City on Sunday and Monday (both games at 5:05 pm).
Paul Stanfield is the Media Relations Director for the Vermont Lake Monsters.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.