Bats, gloves flummoxed in 10-1 blowout
LOWELL - Bad hitting, poor pitching, and costly errors doomed the Scrappers Thursday night, as they dropped their third straight game, getting drubbed in Lowell by the Spinners 10-1.
It was one of those nights for the Scrappers where little went right. The Scrapper offense only collected four hits, and struck out an astounding 15 times. Three players in the Scrapper lineup struck out at least three times; Juan Romero with four, and Evan Frazar, and Charlie Valerio with three. Richard Stock and Tyler Naquin were the only batsman that avoided whiffing.
Scrapper lefty Ryan Merrit was tabbed to start, his fifth of the season. He worked 4.2 innings, allowing five runs on six hits. He worked a clean first inning, inducing three straight groundouts to short, but ran into trouble in the second when he allowed a leadoff single to David Chester. Chester advanced to second on a groundout, and scored the first run of the ballgame on and RBI double from J.T. Watkins. Merrit allowed a second straight double to give the Spinners a second run, and exit the second in an early 2-0 hole.
The Spinners tacked another run on Merrit in the fourth, when Chester smacked a leadoff homerun to make it 3-0. Then in the fifth, back-to-back one out throwing errors by Tyler Naquin and Joseph Wendle allowed the Spinners to add-on two more runs, both unearned. That was all for Merrit, who exited after 4.2 innings. He allowed five runs on six hits, but only three of the runs were earned.
Jacob Lee relieved Merrit in the fifth. Lee had been fantastic in his five prior outings, pitching 12.1 innings while only allowing one earned run with 18 strikeouts. His success didn’t follow him into this game, however, as the Spinners continued to pile on, getting to Lee for three more runs in the sixth when with two outs and the bases loaded, Mike Miller doubled to right field to clear the bases. They added two more in the seventh when Matthew Gedman took Luis Encarnacion deep with a runner on to extend their lead to 10-0.
The Scrappers were finally able to push across a run in the eight, when Tyler Naquin smacked a double to drive Jairo Kelly home from second. It was far too little, however, as that was all they could muster. Naquin’s double made him one of only three Scrappers to get a hit. Charlie Valerio added a single, and Richard Stock collected a pair.
Taking the loss for the Scrappers was starter Merrit, who moved to 2-2 on the season. Reliever William Cuevas picked up his first win of the year. With the loss, the Scrappers fall to 12-12. They will look to avoid the sweep and avoid dipping below .500 in the series finale tomorrow night at 7:05.