Friday, Aug. 10— The Lowell Spinners snapped the Renegades’ six-game victory streak, scoring three runs before the Gades even got to bat and holding on to win 9-5. While disappointed at the loss, I was primarily surprised that Hudson Valley did not bounce back in late innings as it has so often this season—15 times after being behind after seven innings, by Bob and Bev’s research.
The Renegades battled back to tie the game 4-4 after six innings but Lowell put the game out of reach with five runs in the final three innings. The loss left the Renegades three games ahead of Brooklyn in the McNamara Division after the Cyclones edged Vermont 1-0 in a pitchers’ duel. Please click here to read the game story on the Gades’ Web site.
Relief pitcher Gerardo Olivares, who was a catcher with the Renegades last season, was credited with the victory. Gerardo was acquired by the Boston Red Sox organization (of which Lowell is a part) during the off-season.
The sky was gradually clearing after a heavy downpour as I left the house and the grounds crew was putting the finishing touches on the field by the time I arrived at The Dutch. Jane Stewart, whose family’s longtime role as a player host makes her an excellent source of such information, greeted me and a few other regulars with the news that pitcher Shay Crawford had been promoted this afternoon to the Bowling Green Hot Rods, Tampa Bay’s long-season Class A affiliate in Kentucky. While happy for Shay, we voiced hope that this was not the start of multiple player shifts within the Rays organization because, quite frankly, we are in a pennant race, there is good chemistry among our players and we would prefer to keep a good thing going without disruption.
Joe and his family, including boys 11 and 6, were up from Chappaqua in the Interstate Battery seats and he and I shared a lot of good baseball conversation throughout the evening. Among other things, he told me the story of Ed Kurpiel, a minor-league player whose May 31, 1972, home run in Moana Stadium in Reno, Nevada, was arguably the longest ever recorded. I was not familiar with the story of the blast, measured at 738 feet, but learned a lot afterward by going online. Ed played for the Modesto Reds of the Class A California League and hit the homer against the Reno Silver Sox.
Tonight’s mascot dance party, led by Rookie, Rene and Rascal atop the dugouts, featured the full version of the Chicken Dance, which I thoroughly enjoyed doing (without the spins). I also signed two more ticket stubs for the scavenger hunt, bringing my total to seven.
Moths were in noticeable abundance for the first time this season. While harmless, their numbers were a bit disconcerting, especially given my occasional encounters with less benevolent insects, such as yellow jackets and mosquitoes.
There was a scary moment in the sixth inning when Lowell right fielder Kendrick Perkins, trying to run down what became a triple for Luke Maile, crashed into the right-field wall with an impact that could be heard all over the stadium. Two Renegades scored on the play but I sat in uncustomary silence; it just didn’t seem right to scream in celebration when a player was down on the field as long as Perkins was. I found out later that he was taken to a hospital, diagnosed with a concussion and was back on the team bus, hopefully none the worse for the experience.
A nice seven-minute fireworks display followed the game although, after the first couple of minutes, it was more sound than light; smoke from the initial bursts hung so heavy in the humid air that it largely obscured the visual component of the later pyrotechnics.
Outside the clubhouse I caught up with Gerardo, who told Bev and me that he had fond memories of his time as a Renegade and wished us well. We wished him well in turn.
The post-game camaraderie was its usual enjoyable self despite the loss, with negative emotions offset by a large pan of leftover baked ziti.
The fox made a brief appearance and at one point appeared to sit and look toward us. We whistled and called but got no noticeable response.
Next home game: Saturday, Aug. 11 vs. Lowell Spinners, first pitch 7:05 p.m.