The Indianapolis Indians and Columbus Clippers matched-up for a very important three-game series in Indianapolis this past week, as the Clippers hoped to make-up some ground on the division leaders. After taking the series opener the Indians used solid pitching to take the final two games of the set and pick up a game on the second place Clippers.
Columbus marched into Indianapolis and took game one by a 6-1 margin over the Indians to pull within four games of the division lead. Clippers batters hammered out thirteen hits in the contest while Columbus pitching held the Indians to three hits.
Jose Ramirez had a huge night for Columbus. The second baseman was 3-for-4 with a double, two triples and a walk, he scored three runs.
Both teams opened the game with runs in the first inning. Columbus scored three times thanks to a pair of doubles by Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall combined with Jerry Sands ninth home run of the season, a two-run blast to right center field. Keon Broxton scored the Indians’ lone run in the inning on a Gustavo Nunez single.
Jose Ramirez, who tripled, scored on Jesus Aguilar’s RBI single in the top of the sixth inning to put the Clippers ahead, 4-1.
Ramirez added his second triple of the game in the eighth inning, ultimately scoring a on a wild pitch to make the score 5-1. Adam Moore added and RBI single in the Clippers’ final frame to give Columbus their 6-1 victory margin.
Jordan Cooper and Tyler Sturdevant combined for the three-hitter, with Cooper giving up all three hits on his way to earning his third win of the season. Sturdevant didn’t allow a hit but he did walk three, as he picked up his first save. Adrian Sampson was the losing pitcher for Indianapolis.
Indianapolis used outstanding pitching to defeat the Clippers 3-1 in the second game of their series. One night removed from a three-hit performance against the Clippers Angel Sanchez, Brad Lincoln and Yhonathan Barrios tossed their own three-hitter.
Sanchez (2-0) pitched seven innings and allowed two hits and two walks while striking out nine. Lincoln gave up a run on one hit, one walk and one strike out. Barrios got the save with a perfect ninth inning.
Shaun Marcum (4-1) took the loss for the Clippers. He gave up all three runs on two hits and one walk, all in the bottom of the first inning.
Keon Broxton was the catalyst in the first inning against Marcum. The speedy left fielder opened the game with a walk and stole second base, he tagged-up on a fly-ball to right field and advanced to third and scored on Corey Hart’s single.
Brent Morel tripled to plate Hart; he scored the third run of the inning on John Bowker’s sacrifice fly. That would be all the scoring the Indians would need as their pitching limited Columbus to one run in the eighth inning, an RBI double off the bat of Brett Hayes that scored Tyler Holt.
The rubber game of the series was controlled by Indianapolis pitching as the Indians picked up the win 2-1, limiting the Clippers to four hits, all singles.
Jerry Sands gave the Clippers a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when he hit a two-out single to right field that scored Jesus Aguilar.
Indianapolis tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a single, stolen base, sacrifice bunt and fielder’s choice.
The Indians scored the eventual winning run in the bottom of the third inning on an inside-the-park home run by Alen Hanson. Hanson drilled a 2-1 offering deep to right center field as the two outfielders converged on the ball it hit off the wall and shot towards center field, giving the speedy Hanson all the time he needed to round the diamond.
Liz Radhames was the winning pitcher for the Indians, pitching five innings and allowing one run on three hits and two walks, he struck out seven. Blake Wood earned his International League leading 20th save.
Columbus heads to Louisville for a short two-game series with the Bats while Indianapolis travels to Toledo for a pair of games with the Mud Hens.
By Mike Tanchevski