Carlos Rodriguez continued his hot return tonight, chipping in a 2-run homer, a triple, and an outfield assist as the Spirit downed the Worcester Tornadoes 6-3 in front of a packed house at Fraser Field.
Dennis Robinson had an outing very similar to his last one in New Haven. He wasn't dominant - he gave up 7 hits and 4 walks in 6.2 innings pitched - but he worked his way out of a lot of jams and was only charged with 3 earned runs as he picked up his third victory of the season. His fastball was consistently in the 85-86 mph range, and he ratcheted it up to 88 and 89 to earn a few outs in big spots. He stayed strong throughout, hitting his high of 89 mph in the 6th inning.
Much like last night, the Spirit rattled Worcester's starter early. Matt Weagle fell to 2-4 for the Tornadoes as he got knocked around for 6 runs in 6 innings of work.
In the 2nd inning, Carlos Rodriguez opened the scoring with a smoked 2 run homer to right field.
One inning later, Worcester threatened to bounce right back. Andrew Wishy blasted a fat one over the rightfield fence to halve North Shore's lead. Then, Robinson walked a man and gave up a single to Dom Ramos to put runners on the corners with 1 out. A stroke of good fortune rescued D-Rob after that. Keith Beauregard smashed one toward short, and Jerson Perez made a NICE leaping catch. He tossed it over to first to double off Ramos - one of many hard-hit double (and triple) plays on the day.
After escaping that jam in the top of the 3rd, the Spirit extended their lead and got all the runs they would need to win. Jerson Perez followed his stellar defensive display in the top half of the inning with a leadoff double in the bottom half. BJ Weed then chopped one at the second baseman Ramos, who made a stupid decision, throwing the ball to 3rd in an attempt to throw out Perez. He overthrew the 3rd baseman, Perez jogged home with the 3rd Spirit run, and Weed moved up into scoring position.
After Gary Roche legged out a bunt single, Mike Torres brought home Weed to make it 4-1 Spirit.
Then, we stepped into bizzaro world. Luis Lopez hit a liner at the shortstop, Omar Pena. Pena dropped the liner, but obviously neither Roche nor Torres left their bases. Pena stepped on 2nd, retiring Torres, tagged out Roche for the 2nd out, then threw to first where Lopez was retired. Bing-bing-bing --- triple play.
Luckily, that wound up not being a big factor in the game, as Carlos Rodriguez's triple in the
4th followed by a wild pitch netted another insurance run.
There was some more scoring in what amounted to the baseball equivalent of 'garbage time,' but Jamie Baker (1.1 IP, 0 ER) and Derek Drage (1.0 IP, 0 ER, SV) paved the way to North Shore's 3rd straight victory and 5th in the last 6 games.
The Spirit go for the sweep at 1 PM tomorrow and Bic will be on the hill.