IronBirds Win in Lowell, 5-3; Snap Spinners Streak at Six-Straight Victories
LOWELL, MA – The IronBirds plated four runs in the eighth inning on Thursday night in Lowell and came from behind to defeat the Spinners, 5-3. RHP Sander Beck tossed four scoreless frames out of the bullpen and picked up his second win of the season. In his professional debut, RHP Branden Kline allowed three runs on four hits over three innings of work. The Orioles’ 2012 second round pick struck out five and walked one on the night.
CF Anthony Vega led off Thursday night’s contest with a bang. Facing RHP Pat Light, Vega hit a solo shot to right field. Vega’s fourth home run of the season gave the Birds and early one-run advantage.
Branden Kline took the mound in the bottom of the first inning for the first time in his professional career. The Frederick, MD native retired the side in order including a strikeout of DH Devin Marrero.
In the second inning, Kline ran into some trouble. With one out, Kline walked 2B Mookie Betts. RF Aneury Tavarez followed up Betts. Tavarez hit a deep shot to centerfield. CF Anthony Vega raced to the warning track but could not make the play. Betts scored on the play as Tavarez trotted into third with a triple. CF Matty Johnson gave the Spinners the lead with a RBI single and 3B Matt Gedman capped off the inning with a RBI double to left-center.
As expected, Kline exited Thursday night’s game after three innings. He allowed three runs on four hits while walking one and striking out five. Kline did not factor in the decision.
After two hits in the first inning, the IronBirds did not pick up another hit until the eighth inning. Facing RHP Raynel Velette, RF Lucas Herbst led off the frame with a fly ball to right-center. RF Aneury Tavarez and CF Matty Johnson did not communicate and the ball dropped in between the two. Herbst stood at second with a leadoff double. After a Joel Hutter fly out advanced Herbst to third, 3B Torsten Boss walked to end the night of RHP Raynel Velette. RHP Yunior Ortega entered out of the Spinners’ bullpen. 1B Cameron Edman did not waste anytime facing Ortega. Edman hit a two-run double to tie the game at two. Two batters later, pinch hitter Sam Kimmel hit a grounder to second that plated Edman from third. SS Anthony Caronia capped off the four-run frame with a sac fly to right field.
Pitching with the lead for the first time in the night, Sander Beck retired the side in order in the eighth. Beck faced the minimum over four innings out of the bullpen.
Tommy Winegardner tossed a scoreless ninth inning en route to his team-leading seventh save of the save. Beck (2-3) picked up the win on the night while Yunior Ortega (2-3) got the loss.
With the win, the IronBirds improved to 24-32 on the year and matched their win total of the 2011 season.
The IronBirds and Spinners will finish up their three-game set on Friday night. RHP David Richardson (3-3, 4.21) will take the hill for Aberdeen while Lowell will turn to RHP Madison Younginer (0-0, 3.00). First pitch of the rubbermatch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from LeLacheur Park. Coverage on the IronBirds Radio Network will begin at 6:50 p.m.