Connecticut starting pitcher Endrys Briceno kept the Spinners in check as he put together his best performance of the season, throwing six innings of scoreless ball, allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out five as he earned his second victory of the year.
“His last two outings have been amazing,” said Tigers manager Andrew Graham. “He made some great adjustments, is pounding the zone and attacking hitters. His first couple of outings he was getting behind and leaving the ball up, but he’s made some great adjustments.”
On the other side of the spectrum, Spinners pitching allowed eight walks and seven hits on the night as the Tigers found themselves with at least one runner on base in every inning but the ninth.
Juaner Aquavivas led the Tigers attack, going 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored and five other Connecticut batters picked up a hit on the night.
“When we struggled earlier in the season we had no patience at the plate and were getting ourselves out,” said Graham about his team’s offense. “We’ve been talking to them about plate approach and discipline and it’s starting to show.”
Lowell batters struck out nine times and they collected only two hits through the first seven innings, with their lone run coming in the ninth on a Kolbrin Vitek double that plated Devin Marrero.
The lone bright spot on the evening for the Spinners was pitcher Pat Light who got his third start of the season, faring much better than his prior two outings. Given a two inning limit once again, Light did not allow a run or a hit, walked two and struck out three of the eight batters he faced.
“The first start was rough, almost as if I was watching myself out of my body,” said Light. “Tonight I felt good overall. It was nice to get that first [outing] throwing up a zero out there. Even though I struggled a bit in the second inning, I felt in control of the game.”
It was the Spinners fourteenth loss in the month of July as they fell to 9-22 overall. The Tigers improved to 13-18 on the season and 2-3 against Lowell.
NOTES: Kolbrin Vitek returned to the place where his professional career kicked off two seasons ago. The Red Sox first rounder from 2010 was the designated hitter for the Spinners on Thursday night as he continues rehabbing an intercostals strain (ribs) that has had him out since May 21st. Prior to reaching Lowell he batted .273 in four rehab games with the Gulf Coast Red Sox. He went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI on Thursday night and is expected to play third base for Lowell on Friday night before returning to Double-A Portland.
Center fielder Williams Jerez will miss the remainder of the season after he injured his thumb in a July 14th game against Staten Island. The 2011 second-rounder will undergo surgery to repair the damage.
Deven Marrero made two errors in the game at shortstop. Jake Stewart, the game’s leadoff hitter, grounded a fairly routine ball to Marrero’s left that he could not handle and in the fifth inning he went home on a grounder with runners on second and third, but his throw went wide, resulting in a run. He came into the game with three errors in ten games at short.
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