The Columbus Clippers won their second series in a row taking two of three games from the Louisville Bats at Huntington Park. The series taxed the Clippers pitching staff as two of the games went 11 innings. The Clippers lineup has been reshuffled with the loss of Giovanny Urshela (called up to Cleveland) and Audy Ciriaco (DL) as well as the addition of Lonnie Chisenhall and Tyler Naquin.
Columbus scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning off Jumbo Diaz to defeat the Louisville Bats 6-5 in the series opener. The Clippers played from behind the entire game, staking the Bats to leads of 2-0, 3-2 and 5-2, before they scored runs in the final three frames to earn the win.
Dustin Molleken’s record remained unblemished at 4-0 with the win. The Clippers reliever pitched two scoreless and hitless innings while striking out a pair. Starter Michael Roth and reliever Shawn Armstrong didn’t fare as well. Roth lasted six innings and was charged with three runs on eight hits and two walks while Armstrong allowed two runs on three hits.
Jumbos Diaz, recently sent down by the Reds due to his ineffective pitching, continued on the same track as he wasn’t able to hold a 5-4 Bats lead in the ninth. Diaz allowed a lead-off single to Francisco Lindor before getting Michael Martinez to pop out on a bunt attempt. Jesus Aguilar delivered a game tying triple before Jerry Sands singled home the game winner.
Lindor, Aguilar and Sands led the Clipper offense. Each had two hits.
Josh Satin, Chris Dominguez and Chris Berset each had two hits for the Bats; one of Dominguez’s hits was a fourth inning two-run homer.
Game two saw the Clippers bullpen fail to hold a three-run lead in the ninth inning on their way to a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Five Clippers relievers were used to support an outstanding start by Jhoulys Chacin, Chacin pitched six shutout innings, only giving up three hits and four walks, but that wasn’t enough as the Bats put up three runs in the ninth and eleventh innings.
Things looked good for Columbus as they scored single runs in the first, third, sixth and seventh innings, building a 4-1 lead heading into the ninth inning. Jerry Sands and Tyler Naquin belted solo homers while Jesus Aguilar and Brett Hayes added RBI hits.
Louisville tied the game in the ninth on four singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly off Clipper relievers Giovanni Soto and Jeff Manship.
Dustin Molleken, working for the second night in a row, was knocked around for three runs in the top of the 11th inning. A fielding error by centerfielder Tyler Naquin also aided the Bats inning.
Jose De La Torre was the game winner for the Bats. He upped his record to 3-3.
Columbus closed out their home series with the Louisville Bats earning a 3-2 victory on a walk off hit by pitch of Lonnie Chisenhall. It was the second consecutive 11 inning game for the Clippers.
Chisenhall, Francisco Lindor and Tyler Naquin paced the offense. Lindor had three hits and Chisenhall and Naquin had two each.
Columbus took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning after Jose Ramirez scored on an Adam Moore fielder’s choice.
Louisville tied the game 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning on Josh Satin’s second home run of the season.
The Bats took a 2-1 lead on their second home run of the game, a solo shot by Ryan LaMarre in the top of the seventh inning. Columbus tied the game 2-2 in the home half of the seventh on three singles, the last of which scored Adam Moore.
That’s the way the game remained until the bottom of the 11th inning when the Clippers were able to pull out the unconventional win. James Ramsey began the inning with a lead-off double; Francisco Lindor’s sacrifice bunt movedRamsey to third before Tyler Naquin was intentionally walked. Jesus Aguilar lined out for the second out of the inning, Jerry Sands then walked to load the bases. That set the stage for the Chisenhall plate apperance and walks off the hit by pitch.
Columbus hosts Syracuse four times while Louisville returns home to play host to the Durham Bulls for four games.
By Mike Tanchevski