The Columbus Clippers and Louisville Bats played a mid-week four-game series with each team hosting a pair of games. Columbus picked up a pair of crucial wins at home in games one and two. The Bats returned the favor taking games three and four at Louisville.
The opening game saw Columbus score 12 runs on 12 hits in a 12-4 rout of the Bats. Eight of nine Clippers got hits in the game. James Ramsey was hitless but walked twice and scored a run. Adam Moore, Jose Ramirez and Tyler Holt each had two hits and Zach Walters added two RBI.
Jesus Aguilar and Adam Moore each homered. Aguilar’s was a grand slam in the fifth inning and Moore’s, a two-run blast in the sixth.
A five-run fifth inning capped off by a six-run sixth tied a bow on the contest as the Bats added meaningless single runs in the seventh-eighth-ninth innings.
Pitcher Josh Tomlin, on a rehab assignment, started for the Clippers and threw four innings, allowing one run on four hits. Tomlin didn’t walk a batter and struck out four. Jarrett Grube (4-0) finished the contest and earned the win. Grube pitched five innings and gave up three runs on six hits and one walk; he did have seven strike outs.
Columbus took an early lead in game two and held on for a 7-6 win. A four-run third inning that featured a Zach Walters two-run home run propelled the Clippers to victory.
Jesus Aguilar added his second home run in as many days in the first inning, the two-run shot gave Columbus a 2-0 lead.
Louisville was relentless throughout the game scoring single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but the Clippers four-run third inning was enough to thwart the Bats offensive.
Toru Murata won his eighth game of the season against four losses. Murata lasted 5 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on nine hits and one walk, he struck out three. Shawn Armstrong saved his twelfth game of the season following an uneasy ninth inning. Armstrong struck out the side after he allowed a leadoff triple followed by and RBI single which brought the Bats to within a run.
The Bats shutout the Clippers 2-0 in the third game of the series, the first played in Louisville. Robert Stephenson, Jose De La Torre and Collin Balester combined for the shutout. Shaun Marcum and Tyler Sturdevant pitched eight quality innings for Columbus; they struck out 11 Bats hitters, but didn’t receive any run support in the outing.
The final game of the series was never close as the Bats spread out 10 singles on their way to a 7-4 win and a split in the home and home series.
Columbus starter Michael Roth was charged with seven runs on nine hits and three walks in his five innings of work. The left-hander gave the game away in the bottom of the second inning allowing five singles, a walk, a hit batter and a throwing error on his way to giving up six runs.
The Clipper offense was stymied by starter David Holmberg, who only allowed one run on seven hits in a six inning outing.
Columbus heads home for three games with Rochester.
By Mike Tanchevski