The Aberdeen IronBirds bullpen gave up five earned runs over the final three innings Monday night and visiting Lowell beat the 'Birds, 5-3, at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium.
The loss snapped a five-game win streak for Aberdeen (11-12). The series finale is scheduled for 11:05 a.m. Tuesday at the stadium.
Aberdeen (11-12) starting pitcher Adam Stauffer didn’t have his best stuff, but he still managed to shut the Spinners out for five innings. “Today, I really didn’t have my best stuff, but it was just one of those games where you compete with that you do have,” Stauffer said. “Keep throwing fastballs, just keep filling up the zone, get outs making pitches when you have to. I did my job, can’t get upset about it.”
Stauffer scattered four hits and walked two, while striking out four. The 2017 19th round draft pick, Stauffer also learned Monday that he’s moving up to Delmarva.
Austin Hays, in an Aberdeen uniform on rehab from triple A, gave Stauffer and the IronBirds a quick 1-0 lead. Hays sent a pitch over the left field wall for his second home as an IronBird. “The at-bat was really good, I saw a lot of pitches, I think it was like an eight-pitch at-bat,” Hays said. “He left one up in the zone, I put a good swing on it, so, I was happy with that at-bat.”
Aberdeen gave Stauffer two more runs in the fourth. Tristan Graham reached on an error with one out to start the rally. Joey Ortiz and Andrew Fregia (2-3, bunt) both singled to load the bases. Maverick Handley (2-4) also singled to drive in Graham and Trey Truitt added a sacrifice fly to score Ortiz.
The "Birds squandered chances in the third and sixth innings with inning-ending double plays.
Following a scoreless inning from Kade Strowd (2 K’s), the Spinners got to Aberdeen relievers Yelin Rodriguez (1.1 IP) and Malachi Emond. Rodriguez gave up three hits, two walks and three runs, including a two-run home run.
Emond (1.2 IP)) allowed four hits and two runs. The big blow surrendered to Jaxx Groshans, who drove in the winning runs with a two-out, two-run double in the top of the ninth.
“It is frustrating, Stauffer didn’t have his best stuff and yet we have a 3-0 lead going in and we turn it over to the bullpen. Same thing we keep telling them every day, you got to throw strikes," Aberdeen manager Kevin Bradshaw said. “Frustrating, but hopefully we’ll learn, there were some mistakes made today.”
Despite the loss, Aberdeen came from five games under .500 (6-11) to pull even before Monday’s loss. “We could have easily gotten buried, really,” Bradshaw said. “This early in the year, the guys fought back. We had the good series in Brooklyn, scored some runs, made some plays when we had to, so yeah, winning 5-out-of-6, we’ll take it anytime.”
'Birds top Spinners
A five-run third inning led Aberdeen to a 5-2 win over Lowell in game one of the series played Sunday at the stadium.
Two runs scored with one out and three came on a Kyle Stowers triple. Stowers also scored on the play on a throwing error, one of two by the Spinners in the game.
Zach Watson and Austin Hays both doubled to plate the first two runs.
Pitching was the story as Dallas Litscher (2-0) shut the Spinners down for five innings on three hits, a walk and one run.
Reliever Griffin McLarty (1.2 IP) gave up three hits, two walks and the other run. Ruben Garcia walked one in a scoreless inning of work and Shelton Perkins also walked a batter in an inning and third to collect his first save.
'Birds get sweep
Aberdeen completed the sweep at Brooklyn on Saturday with a 5-4 win.
The IronBirds held a 5-2 lead into the eighth inning before Brooklyn scored two more (both unearned) to make it close.
Toby Welk (two runs) and Stowers both had two hits to lead the Aberdeen offense. Martin Cervenka (rehab) had one hit, but a big one, with a two-run, home run in the 'Birds three-run, third inning.
Morgan McSweeney (3K) threw two innings of scoreless of relief for the win, while Connor Gillispie struck out one over an inning and a third to post his first save.