Columbus Clippers Break Losing Streak with Series Closing Win

Columbus ClippersThe Columbus Clippers returned home to Huntington Park on Monday and they continued their downward spiral, dropping both ends of a seven inning double-header to the Toledo Mud Hens, 4-2 and 2-1. The losses extended the Columbus losing streak to five.

Game one featured a Francisco Lindor home run in the third inning that gave the Clippers a 2-1 lead which they took to the top of the sixth inning. Toledo knocked in three runs in the top of the sixth off starter Toru Murata to take a 4-2 lead and end any Clipper hopes of a win. Jefry Marte and Corey Jones drove in the runs with RBI singles.

Mike Belfiore upped his record to 2-7 with the win and Alberto Cabrera notched his fifth save. Belfiore pitched six innings and gave up two runs on eight hits, he struck out seven. Murata dropped his record to 3-2 with the loss.

The nightcap took a familiar turn as the Clippers scored a run in the bottom of the first on a fielder’s choice that plated Lindor who reached on a single.

In the Toledo fourth Xavier Avery and Dixon Machado hit back-to-back singles before Daniel Fields hit a two-out triple that scored a pair of runs.

Derek Hankins held Columbus hitters at bay for six innings on three hits and one walk. Nick Maronde dropped to 0-7 with the loss. Maronde allowed four hits and one walk with five strike outs.

The Clippers were handed their sixth consecutive defeat on Tuesday as Toledo dumped Columbus 4-1. The Mud Hens took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a Xavier Avery double and RBI single from Steven Moya and they never looked back.

Jefry Marte homered in the seventh inning to give the Hens a 2-0 lead, and Avery’s sacrifice fly in the same inning made the score 3-0.

The Clippers scored a run in the bottom of the seventh when Audy Ciriaco doubled home James Ramsey, who earlier in the inning hit his 11th double of the season.

Toledo slugger Mike Hessman clobbered his eighth homer of the season in the eighth inning to end the scoring.

Four Toledo pitchers combined to hold the Clippers to four hits and three walks while recording eight strikeouts. Ross Seaton won his first game of the season and Alberto Cabrera netted his sixth save.

Michael Roth was the losing pitcher dropping his season mark to 5-2.

Columbus salvaged their short home stand in the final game against Toledo with a 1-0 victory. The lone run of the game came in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Businessman’s Special was played in a brisk two hours.

Columbus used small ball to score the winning run. Brett Hayes opened the home half of the eighth inning with a double, he advanced to third on an Audy Ciriaco sacrifice bunt and scored on Francisco Lindor’s sacrifice fly in foul territory.

Tim Melville pitched all eight innings for the Mud Hens. He allowed only three hits and three walks in the losing effort and dropped his record to 2-5.

Jhoulys Chacin lasted seven innings for Columbus but didn’t factor in the decision. Chacin struck out eight Mud Hens and allowed five hits and three walks.

Kyle Crockett earned the win with one inning of relief work and Giovanni Soto faced two batters in the ninth to get the save.

The Clippers, 2-8 in their last ten games, have dropped to third in the International League West with a record of 27-27.

The Columbus Clippers get a day off before they visit Toledo for a three game set this weekend.

By Mike Tanchevski