AUBURN — A mostly lifeless performance on offense guarantees that the Auburn Doubledays will lose their second straight home series.
The Doubledays had no answer for Lowell starter Eduard Bazardo, leading to a 6-1 loss to the Spinners Thursday at Falcon Park. Overall, Auburn was held to four hits.
Facing Bazardo for the first six innings, Auburn went down in order four times including the fifth when the right-hander struck out the side.
Bazardo also held the Doubledays to one hit through five innings until back-to-back doubles from Telmito Agustin and Carson Shaddy gave Auburn its first run in the sixth.
“He commanded his fastball and had a good mix of off-speed pitches,” Doubledays manager Jerad Head said. “He was throwing everything for a strike and we had trouble getting anything going.”
Doubledays starter Francys Peguero couldn’t match Bazardo’s dominance. The usually reliable Peguero’s fifth start of the season was his worst, allowing six runs, four hits, four runs with two strikeouts.
It was the first time this season he was charged with more than one run. Peguero entered the game with a 1.42 ERA, but that ballooned to 2.74 after Thursday’s struggles.
“I think he a little trouble falling behind in counts,” Head said. “Just one of those days. He’ll bounce back over the next five days for the next one.”
Lowell was ahead 1-0 in the first before Auburn could blink as Jaren Duran began the game with a triple and came home on Brandon Phillips’ sacrifice fly. The Spinners followed with a pair of multi-run innings; Lowell added three runs in the third and two more in the fifth.
After scoring its first run in the sixth, Auburn had a chance to put Lowell on its heels in the seventh. Pablo O’Connor, who finished with two of the Doubledays' four hits, led off with a double while Israel Pineda and Nic Perkins followed with one-out walks.
As quickly as the Doubledays’ rally started, it ended; Jose Sanchez’s hit into a double play to prevent any more runs from coming home.
Auburn had another golden opportunity to put a dent in Lowell’s night in the ninth. Pineda reached on an error to start the inning and Cody Wilson was hit by a pitch to put two runners on, but Nic Perkins hit into a double play that again sucked the life out of a potential comeback.
“We had an opportunity in the seventh and ninth with a few runners on. We were just trying to keep that line moving and a couple double-play balls kind of killed it,” Head said. “We showed a little bit of fight but just couldn’t get any traction.”
One of the few bright spots for Auburn was an effortless appearance from reliever Aaron Barrett. Barrett, who exited the Doubledays’ season opener on June 15 with some arm discomfort, had struggled in two of three outings since.
Against the Spinners, Barrett went three up, three down with a strikeout.
“I think that was his best outing to date since coming back,” Head said. “The ball was coming out cleaner and he had a good feel for his off-speed pitches. I think a lot of his timing was coming back. Encouraging for him and hopefully he’ll just keep getting better.”
Auburn (14-11) will try to prevent a sweep against Lowell Friday at Falcon Park.