The Columbus Clippers traveled to Harbor Park to face the Norfolk Tides in a three-game series and they came away with only one win in their brief stay.
Two four-run innings gave the Norfolk Tides a 9-5 come-from-behind victory over the Columbus Clippers in the first of three games to be played at Harbor Park.
Columbus scored in the first three innings to take a 4-0 lead. A Jerry Sands sacrifice fly and RBI single by James Ramsey plated two in the first and solo homers by Brett Hayes and Jerry Sands in the second and third innings constituted the scoring.
All was for naught as Dariel Alvarez and Michael Almanzar blasted a pair of home runs in the bottom of the fourth inning off Clippers starter Jordan Cooper. Alvarez led-off the inning with a solo shot to center field and three batters later Almanzar clobbered a three-run homer to left field to tie the game 4-4.
Almanzar’s fielder’s choice in the bottom of the sixth inning put the Tides up 5-4.
Columbus tied the game 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth inning on Tyler Holt’s fielder’s choice.
The bottom fell out for the Clippers in the home half of the eighth inning as Giovanni Soto got knocked around for four runs on three singles, two walks, a fielding error and wild pitch.
Columbus banged out 13 hits in the loss, leaving 11 runners on base. Tyler Holt, Jose Ramirez, Lonnie Chisenhall, James Ramsey and Brett Hayes had multi-hit games for the Clippers.
Soto took the loss for Columbus.
Norfolk took game two of the series, 4-2, on the strength of a strong pitching performance by starter Chris Jones and relievers Wesley Wright and T.J. McFarland.
Jones, who got the win, pitched five innings, allowing one run on six hits with five strike outs. Wright pitched one inning and gave up a Lonnie Chisenhall solo home run in the top of the sixth inning. McFarland pitched two perfect innings to earn the save.
The Tides scored single runs in the first, second, fourth and sixth innings, all off Clippers starter Cody Anderson.
Anderson pitched 5.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits and four walks. He had two wild pitches in the first inning that led to the Tides first run of the game.
A pair of singles by Sean Halton and Julio Borbon combined with a Jose Ramirez throwing error gave the Tides a 2-0 lead after two innings.
Tyler Naquin, Jose Ramirez and Jesus Aguilar hit consecutive singles for Columbus in the third inning to cut the lead to 2-1.
Norfolk added a run in the fourth on a lead-off walk followed by a Sean Halton RBI double.
Chisenhall pulled the Clippers back to within a run, 3-2, with his second home run as a Clipper, in the sixth inning.
The Tides answered the Chisenhall homer in the bottom of the inning with a Paul Janish RBI single that ended the scoring for the night.
The Clippers defeated the Tides 6-3 in the third of three games at Harbor Park. Toru Murata (5-2) was the winning pitcher, while reliever Austin Adams picked up his fourth save.
Murata pitched eight shutout innings only to give up a single and two-run home run in the ninth inning before he was lifted for Dustin Molleken. Murata spread around ten hits and didn’t walk a batter in his outing.
Lonnie Chisenhall continued to swing a hot bat since being sent down by the Indians. Chisenhall was three-for-four with a walk and RBI. In seven games with the Clippers Chisenhall’s slash reads: .407/.500/.741; he has two home runs, three doubles and seven RBI.
The Clippers jumped on Norfolk starter Michael Bowden for four runs in the top of the first inning, the first six hitters reached base. They added a fifth run in the second inning on a Chisenhall double and a sixth run in the fifth inning on a Carlos Moncrief single.
Eight of nine starters reached base for the Clippers as they had eleven hits and reached on five walks.
Columbus continues their road trip with four games at Durham. Norfolk packs their bags for four games in Toledo.
By Mike Tanchevski