The friendly confines of Huntington Park are what the doctor ordered for the Columbus Clippers as they returned home following a 1-7 road trip to Rochester and Syracuse. They opened their latest home stand with a three-game sweep of Charlotte to stay 2.5 games behind Indianapolis in the Western Division of the International League.
The Clippers overcame an early deficit to defeat Charlotte 10-3 in the first game of a three-game series. Toru Murata (1-0) won his first game of the season and Carlos Moncrief hit two home runs in the game. The Clippers had thirteen hits on the night, seven for extra bases.
Charlotte jumped on Murata for a pair of runs in the top of the third inning as the Knights banged out four consecutive singles.
The Clippers came right back with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Singles by Adam Moore and Francisco Lindor set the table for a Tyler Holt triple the tied the game at 2-2. Holt scored on a Zack Walters sacrifice fly to give the Clippers a 3-2 lead.
Jerry Sands and Carlos Moncrief hit solo homers in the bottom of the fourth inning to put Columbus up 5-2.
The fifth inning is when the Clippers broke the game open scoring five runs on five hits. Walters and Giovanny Urshela opened with back-to-back doubles followed by a pair of singles from Sands and James Ramsey. With two on and two-out Moncrief hit his second homer of the game to put the game out of reach at 10-2.
Matt Davidson hit a meaningless home run for the Knights in the sixth inning.
Columbus used pitching to take game two against the Knights. The 2-0 victory came as a result of five-hit combined effort by Michael Roth (2-1) and Austin Adams (Save No. 3). The duo struck out seven and walked one in the shutout.
Adam Moore scored both Columbus runs. The first was a solo homer in the third inning to give the Clippers a 1-0 advantage, the second came in the eighth inning. Moore walked to open the inning and took third on a Michael Martinez bunt. He eventually scored on a Francisco Lindor sacrifice fly.
The Clippers swept the Charlotte series winning game three 5-2. Columbus scored one in the fourth, two in the sixth and two in the seventh innings in the victory. Jordan Cooper (1-1) held the Knights scoreless over six innings; he allowed three hits and three walks while striking out six.
Giovanni Soto and Shawn Armstrong each gave up a run in the victory.
The Clippers are still struggling to hit the ball; batting .238 as a tea. They are second in the league in home runs with, 22.
Columbus faces Pawtucket three times to close out the home stand while the Knights travel to Toledo for three games.
By Mike Tanchevski