The Columbus Clippers completed their second consecutive series sweep and pulled within two games of the International League Western Division lead. The three wins were particularly significant as they were against division leader Indianapolis Indians. Indianapolis took an early lead in all three contests forcing the Clippers to play catch up, which they did fiercely, outscoring the Indians 22-7.
The Clippers hammered out 35 hits in the series as they defeated the Indians by scores of 6-2, 6-2 and 10-3.
Zach Walters and Brett Hayes each had two RBI in the first game as the Clippers came back from a 2-1 deficit to score three runs in the sixth inning and two runs in the eighth. Jerry Sands hit an RBI double and Hayes added a two-run single in the sixth, while Walters slammed a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth, his fifth home run of the season.
Shaun Marcum (6-1) pitched seven innings in the win. He allowed two runs on six hits and struck out six. C.C. Lee and Shawn Armstrong each added a perfect inning for Columbus. Angel Sanchez (3-1) took the loss for Indianapolis.
Columbus took the second game by the identical 6-2 score. The Clippers again came from behind, belting out five doubles in the victory. Second baseman Michael Martinez and center fielder Tyler Naquin each had a multi-hit game. Martinez added three RBI’s and Naquin had one.
Jesus Aguilar opened the scoring for the Clippers with a two-run single in the bottom of the first inning, giving the home team a 2-1 lead. Naquin’s double in the second and Martinez’s double in the fourth put the Clippers up 4-1. They added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on Martinez’s bases loaded single to center field.
Five Columbus pitchers worked the game with Will Roberts (1-1) earning the victory. Robert went five innings and gave up one run on four hits and two walks, he struck out two. Carlos Marmol picked up his second save as a Clipper, working 1.1 innings allowing one run on one hit and a pair of walks.
Columbus exploded offensively in the series finale scoring 10 runs on 15 hits against five Indianapolis pitchers. Of the 15 hits only three were for extra bases.
Brett Hayes and Jerry Sands each had three RBI and Lonnie Chisenhall added two more, all nine starters had a hit.
Indianapolis looked as if they were going to pull out one win in the series with a 3-1 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth inning. Columbus had other plans.
The Clippers sent 12 batters to the plate. They had six singles, two doubles and a walk in an eight run inning. Indianapolis pitchers Josh Wall and Jeff Inman were tagged with all eight earned runs.
Trey Haley won his first game as a Columbus Clippers pitcher in two scoreless innings of relief.
The Triple-A All-Star break has Columbus idle until July 16th when they open a four game series at Buffalo. Columbus and Indianapolis meet again at the end of July for a four game series at Huntington Park.
Outfielder Tyler Holt, first baseman Jesus Aguilar and pitcher Shawn Armstrong are on the International League All-Star roster.
By Mike Tanchevski