Locked in a pitchers duel, the Vermont Lake Monsters struggled to gain the advantage. And as Vermont struggled, the Staten Island Yankees took advantage.
Ryan Gorton took the loss for Vermont, going two innings in relief giving up a pair of hits and the lone run.
“It’s pretty frustrating,” Richie Martin said, who collected one of Vermont’s five hits. “You play solid defensively pitch well, swing the bats pretty well, just unlucky tonight.”
Vermont fell behind 1-0 in the fifth inning when Junior Valera clubbed a two-out double to left field, scoring Estrada from second base. As Valera pulled into second, the ball sailed over the head of Jesus Lopez.
Moments That Mattered:
Double trouble: With two gone in the fourth inning, Nick Collins ignited a Vermont rally, lining a base hit to left field. Seong-Min Kim followed with a wall ball double to right field, before Jesus Lopez plated both runners with a double to deep left center.
Lopez lofted a deep fly ball to the alley in left, sending Valera back towards the track. Valera appeared to have a bead on the ball, but the ball continued to tail off the bat of Lopez, who was hitting from the left side of the plate, trailing all the way behind Valera, spinning him around as the ball dropped in near the track.
All of the lights: Staten Island answered immediately in the top of the fifth inning. Evan Manarino, who replaced starter Heath Bowers in the fourth inning, gave up a pair of singles early in the inning, putting runners on first and second with one away.
Hendrix followed with what appeared to be a routine fly ball to left field, but Lake Monster left fielder Brett Siddall lost the ball in the lights, and watched helplessly as the ball dropped 15 feet behind him, scoring the lead runner.
Manarino avoided further damage by inducing a pop out and then, with the bases loaded, getting Ryan Krill to pop softly to third.
Lead dog: Bowers, who tossed three innings of one hit ball, continues to have an impressive summer. The 24th round selection out of Campbell College has managed to hold the opposing team scoreless in four of his nine appearances, while keeping opposing hitters off the bases. Bowers has allowed more than two hits in just two of his outings, while opposing hitters are hitting just .242 against him.
Like all the other recent college selections on the Lake Monster roster, Bowers is typically held to three innings of work per outing as Vermont and the Oakland A’s don’t want to overwork their young arms.
“You know you don’t have very much time to show what you’ve got,” Bowers said, who has a WHIP of 1.31 in 16 innings of work. “You don’t hold anything back. You make sure you execute pitches well, just try to get as much quality work in as you can in a short period of time.
“You’re trying to go out there, show off your stuff, get guys out. Just try to put up zeroes every time.”
Ducks stranded: As the Vermont bats slowly came to life following the three hit outing on Monday night, they fell quiet when the Lake Monsters needed them most. Vermont
The Lake Monsters finished the game 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, the lone hit coming off the bat of Lopez. Vermont managed to get just seven base runners via their five hits and a pair of walks, but left five of them on.
Bully-pen: While Vermont has had limited success against the Staten Island starters through the first two games of the series, they have had none against the Yankee bullpen.
In an 8-3 victory on Monday night, Travis Hissong and Ethan Carnescombined for 4.2 perfect innings of work, striking out six. The bullpen dominance trailed over into Tuesday nights game as Will Carter tossed three innings of no-hit baseball, issuing just one walk, before Michael Schaub (W, 3-1) and Andre Del Bosque (S, 1) combined for three innings of perfect baseball of their own.
“We’re getting ourselves out,” Martin said of the Lake Monsters struggles with the Yankee bullpen. “I don’t think they have any special stuff, we just have to make adjustments and play better offensively.”