WAPPINGERS FALLS, NY - Clay Buccholz rehabbed. Jake Romanski had two home runs. Manuel Margot had four hits. None of it mattered as the Lowell Spinners were swept by the Hudson Valley Renegades Sunday night on the heels of a five-run eighth inning, 11-9, in Hudson Valley.
The loss represented the first three-game losing streak of the season for the Spinners, dropping them four games out of a playoff spot with 10 to play.
Buchholz, making his first rehab appearance since he last pitched for the Red Sox in early June, got a three run cushion from the Spinners after the first three batters reached to start the game. Kevin Mager hit what should have been a double play ball to shortstop, but the ball ended up wide and two runs scored. A Danny Bethea sacrifice fly gave the Spinners a 3-0 lead before Buchholz even took the mound.
The Spinners defense served as a reminder that Buchholz was not in the Major Leagues. A two-error, no hit play led off the inning when Julian Ridings deep fly to left was dropped by Mager, who then struggled to pick-up the ball as Ridings circled the bases. After a walk, Ariel Soriano took a hanging curveball off the centerfield wall, scoring on a throwing error by Margot to tie the score at three. Buchholz would get the next two before back-to-back walks ended his outing at 38 pitched.
Lowell (35-28) would retake the lead in the third inning. Margot led off the inning with a single and Mager was hit by a pitch to put the first two men on. A Bethea double play moved Margot to third and he would come around to score on a passed ball, giving the Spinners a 4-3 lead.
The lead was short lived, as Hudson Valley (32-33) would score two in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead at 5-4. The Renegades would push the lead to two with a run in the fourth, as back-to-back doubles by Ty Young and James Harris gave Hudson Valley a 6-4 lead.
Romanski would pull the Spinners within one with a leadoff home run in the sixth inning and Lowell would take the lead in the seventh. Tzu-Wei Lin led off the inning with an infield single, scoring on a triple by Margot. After a Mager walk, a Bethea double play scored Margot to give Lowell a 7-6 lead.
The Spinners would add to the lead in the eighth on a lead-off home run by Jake Romanski, pushing the lead to 8-6, but things would fall apart in the bottom half of the inning.
With Mike Adams (0-1, 7.45) on for Corey Littrell the first six Renegades reached base. An RBI double by Soriano pulled the Renegades within one and a single by Young tied the game at eight. Singles by Harris and John Alexander would plate three more, giving Hudson Valley an 11-8 lead.
Margot doubled to lead off the ninth, scoring on a sacrifice fly from Bethea, but the Spinners would pull no closer, falling 11-9.
Buchholz struggled, allowing three runs, one earned, on a hit and three walks. He struck out one before leaving. Yunior Ortega got out of the first and then allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk over his next three innings of relief. He struck out two. Littrell was in line for his first professional win with three scoreless innings of relief, allowing three this while striking out two. Adams was the loser, allowing five runs on seven hits in his inning to forget.
Margot once again paced the Spinners offensively with a four-hit game. It was his fourth consecutive multi-hit game and he has now hit in all seven games since coming off the disabled list. Romanski hit the first two home runs of his professional career in a three-hit game, his second straight multi-hit affair, while Lin also had a two-hit night.
The Spinners are headed back to Lowell for the last six-games at LeLacheur for the regular season, sandwiched around a Friday trip to Norwich. They welcome the Aberdeen Ironbirds and Mike Yastrzemski to Lowell for a three-game set on Jenny Dell Bobble Head Night. First pitch from Ty Buttrey is slated for 7:05 p.m.