Columbus Clippers Gain Road Split Vs. Indianapolis Indians
The Columbus Clippers and Indianapolis Indians split their opening series, two games apiece, as they began International League play at Victory Field in Indianapolis, Indiana. The IL West rivals each won back-to-back games and relied on strong pitching. Columbus posted a 1.06 ERA in allowing four runs in four games with two shutouts; while Indianapolis allowed eight runs with a 1.75 ERA and one shutout.
GAME 1, Clippers Win 4-0
The visiting Columbus Clippers defeated Indianapolis 4-0 in the 2015 season opener. Three Columbus pitchers combined for the five-hit shutout. Bruce Chen (1-0) earned the win and Nick Kingham (0-1) took the loss.
Kingham, a top prospect of the Pirates, and the well-traveled Chen were both effective through six innings. Chen gave up no runs on three hits with three strikeouts and one walk while Kingham allowed one run on four hits and no walks, striking out four.
Columbus scored the first run of the game on a fifth inning homerun by Michael Martinez, a solo shot to dead center. The utility infielder played with Indianapolis last season and signed a minor league contract with Cleveland in February.
The Clippers added two more runs in the top of the eighth inning off Indianapolis’ reliever Charlie Leesman.
Ryan Rohlinger opened the eighth inning with a walk and moved to second on a Brett Hayes sacrifice bunt. Cleveland’s top prospect, shortstop Francisco Lindor, got his first run batted in of the season after he tripled home Rohlinger. Lindor then scored on a James Ramsey single, giving Columbus a 3-0 lead.
Tyler Holt tripled in the top of the ninth inning and scored an insurance run on a Rohlinger sacrifice fly, giving the Clippers a 4-0 lead.
Right-handed reliever Jeff Manship relieved Chen in the seventh inning, and pitched through the eighth. He struck out five and allowed two hits.
Bryan Price closed out the game, retiring the final three Indians hitters.
Ramsey and Holt each had two hits for the Clippers and Hunter Morris had a pair for Indianapolis.
GAME 2, Clippers Shutout Indians, 3-0
In Game 2, Columbus pitching continued their dominance over Indianapolis, holding the Indians scoreless for the second consecutive game in a 3-0 victory. The Indians had six hits in the game, all singles, no more than one in an inning.
Danny Salazar (1-0) pitched six innings and allowed four hits while striking out seven. Enosil Tejeda, C.C. Lee and Shawn Armstrong each went one inning with Armstrong earning the save.
Columbus jumped on losing pitcher Adrian Sampson (0-1) in the opening frame, scoring a pair of runs on James Ramsey’s homerun. Ramsey’s two-run blast to right scored Francisco Lindor, who opened the game with a walk.
The Clippers’ third run of the game was also set-up with an inning-opening walk. Tyler Holt started the top of the third inning with a base on balls, Ramsey followed with a single to left field. With two-on and none-out, Jesus Aguilar doubled to center field sending Holt home.
Ramsey and Aguilar had two hits each on the night; Ramsey has two hits in each of the first two games to pace the Clippers.
GAME 3 , Indianapolis’ Pitchers Turn Tables, Shutout Clippers, 2-0
Indianapolis owned the shutout in game three of the four-game series, as the Indians defeated Columbus, 2-0, in a game that saw the Clippers get one hit.
Chris Volstad (1-0), the winning pitcher, allowed the lone hit in six innings of work. He struck out two and walked one.
Blake Wood earned his first save of the season, pitching the ninth inning and striking out one. A.J. Morris and Bobby LaFromboise each pitched an inning, LaFromboise struck out the side in the eighth inning.
Both Indianapolis runs came in the home half of the fourth on a pair of sacrifice flies. Jose Tabata led off with a triple and Brent Morel reached on an infield single. Morel stole second and both runners advanced a base on Deibinson Romero’s sacrifice fly. Morel then scored on Jaff Decker’s sacrifice fly.
Nick Maronde (0-1) took the loss for Columbus. In five innings, he allowed both runs on four hits and three walks, with three strike outs.
Carlos Moncrief had the only Clipper hit of the night, a single to center field in the top of the second inning.
GAME 4, Indians Late Run Gives Series Split
The Indians took game four by a 2-1 margin to split the season opening series with the Columbus Clippers. Indianapolis left eight men on base, as they had runners on in every inning but the sixth, but were only able to score single runs in the first and eighth innings.
For the second consecutive game Columbus bats were ineffective versus Indians pitching, spraying three harmless singles throughout the park.
Wilfredo Boscan (1-0) earned the win. In six innings of work he gave up one run on two hits and no walks with six strike outs.
Indians center fielder Gorkys Hernandez opened the bottom of the first with a single and stole second. He scored when catcher Chris Stewart hit a smash down the left field line that deflected off Columbus third baseman Ryan Rohlinger.
The Indianapolis run held up until the top of the sixth inning when the Clippers took advantage of a wild pitch and a pair of throwing errors. Clipper catcher Adam Moore reached on a throwing error by second baseman Steve Lombardozzi. Moore took second on a Michael Martinez single. Boscan then uncorked a wild pitch that Stewart retrieved and wildly threw to third, allowing Moore to score.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning and the game knotted at one, C.C. Lee relived Giovanni Soto for the Clippers. Following a Brent Morel groundout, Lee walked Elias Diaz and allowed him to take second on a wild pitch, before giving up and RBI single to Mel Rojas Jr.
The 2-1 lead would hold up as John Holdzkom recorded the save by sending the Clippers down 1-2-3 in the ninth.
The Clippers head to Louisville for a quick two-game set and Indianapolis hosts the Toledo Mud Hens for a pair of games.
By Mike Tanchevski