The Columbus Clippers faced a few rainouts but were able to take two of three games from the Durham Bulls at Huntington Park. All three games were contested over seven innings due to the double-header make-up rules.
Columbus scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning and held on to defeat the Durham Bulls 3-1 in seven innings in the first game. The game was a rain out make-up that was scheduled to be the front end of a double-header.
Jerry Sands got the Clippers on the board with a two-out single that scored Tyler Naquin and Jose Ramirez. Naquin reached via a walk and Ramirez doubled to reach base.
Ryan Brett cut the lead to 2-1 with his third home run of the season in the top of the fourth inning. The solo shot to left came off starter Jarrett Grube.
Jesus Aguilar’s RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning gave Columbus a 3-1 cushion.
Grube won his second game as a Clipper pitching five inning allowing one run on four hits. He struck out six. Shawn Armstrong picked up his tenth save of the season.
Tampa Bay’s top prospect, Matt Moore, lost his second game of the season.
Durham finally broke through and defeated Columbus for the first time in 2015 in the second game of the series. The Bulls used a four-run second inning combined with a one hit, five inning effort from starter Robert Zarate to defeat the Clippers 5-0. The game was the first of two, and was shortened to seven innings.
Zarate walked two and struck out three in the win. Preston Guilmet closed out the game, pitching two scoreless innings allowing three hits and one strike out.
Mikie Mahtook and Richie Shaffer walked to open the bottom of the second inning for Durham. A double-play looked to minimize the scoring but a pair of singles followed by another walk and a Ryan Brett double turned minimal scoring into a four-run inning.
The Bulls added another run in the top of the seventh when Corey Brown was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring J.P. Arencibia.
The Clippers rebounded to take the rubber game of the series 3-2. Both teams scored a run in the sixth inning but Columbus was able to hold on for the win in the seven inning nightcap of the twinbill.
Tyler Naquin hit his second home run of the season to put the Clippers on top 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Richie Shaffer tied the game in the top of the second with his tenth homer of the season.
Columbus broke the 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fifth on Brett Hayes RBI single to center field. Again the Bulls came back to tie the game in the very next frame. A Taylor Motter solo shot over the center field wall tied the game at 2-2.
Tyler Naquin scored his second run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning on a Jose Ramirez sacrifice fly.
C.C. Lee came on in the top of the seventh inning. Following a lead-off single, Lee got Vince Belnome to ground into a double-play before Bobby Wilson lined out to end the game.
Carlos Marmol won his first game of the season for the Clippers with Lee earning the save.
Columbus travels to Indianapolis to face the division leading Indians for three games, the Clippers trail the leaders by five games.
By Mike Tanchevski