Indianapolis Indians Take 2 of 3 from Columbus Clippers
The Indianapolis Indians took two of three games from the Columbus Clippers at Huntington Park, despite issuing 18 walks in the series. The Clippers left thirty men on base and continued to hit sporadically as they’ve done all season.
Extra innings was the order of the day in the series opener at Huntington Park with the Indians prevailing, 4-3. The Clippers outhit the Indians nine to six but were unable string key hits together when needed, leaving eleven men on base.
The Indians wasted little time before scoring. They went up 2-0 in the top of the second inning on a pair of solo home runs by Brent Morel and Deibinson Romero. Columbus scored a run in the bottom of the second on Adam Moore’s RBI single that scored Audy Ciriaco, who had led-off with a double.
Jesus Aguilar doubled and scored in the third inning after Indianapolis second baseman Alen Hanson misplayed a Carlos Moncrief ground ball. That tied the game at two, and seemed to put the momentum with the Clippers. But the momentum did not last long.
With the game tied 2-2, Romero hit his second home run of the game, his third of the season, to left field to put the Indians up 3-2.
The lead was short-lived as Francisco Lindor, Tyler Holt and Jesus Aguilar banged out three singles in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game 3-3. Lindor scored on Aguilar’s RBI.
The Clippers missed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the eighth inning when they had runners on second and third with one out before pitcher John Holdzkom struck out Dustin Hood and Lindor.
A little league game broke out in the top of the tenth inning. Ryan Webb replaced Austin Adams and got Elias Diaz to ground out. Romero singled to right, but was thrown out by Moncrief trying to take second. Gorkys Hernandez reached on a two-out walk then stole second and was balked to third when Webb failed to come set. Pedro Florimon then doubled to center to score Hernandez with what would be the game winner.
Each team used five pitchers in the ten inning affair. Brad Lincoln got the win and Blake Woods earned his second save of the season for Indianapolis. Webb took the loss.
The second game of the series looked as if it might also go extra innings until the Clippers were able to break it open in the bottom of the seventh inning on their way to a 5-4 victory to even the series at a game apiece. The Indians continued to hit home runs in Huntington Park as Gorkys Hernandez belted his first home run of the season in the top of the first inning, giving the Tribe a 1-0 lead. The shot was the Indians fourth in two nights.
That lead held up through 6 2/3 innings. Indianapolis starter Adrian Sampson was lifted after six shutout innings for reliever Deolis Guerra. Guerra struck out Ryan Rohlinger and got Michael Martinez to fly out before allowing back-to-back singles to Destin Hood and Adam Moore. On Hood’s single, he reached second on a throwing error by Guerra before scoring the tying run on Moore’s RBI single. Guerra then gave up a double to Francisco Lindor and walked Tyler Holt to load the bases.
The Indians decided to make a pitching change. Bobby LaFromboise came on to face James Ramsey who promptly sailed his second home run of the season over the wall in left-centerfield. The grand slam gave the Clippers a 5-1 lead.
Indianapolis turned the game into a nail-biter, scoring three runs in the ninth, before Austin Adams got Steve Lombardozzi to fly out to centerfield with the bases loaded.
Ramsey’s grand slam made him the hero of the day, but there were other Clippers who had big nights. Moore went 3 for 3 and Hood 2 for 4 to compliment the team’s attack. Giovanni Soto was the winner and Adams got the save. Guerra (1-1, 4.32 ERA) was the losing pitcher.
Nick Maronde (0-2, 6.30 ERA) took the hill for the Clippers in the rubber game of their series with Indianapolis, as the Indians countered with Chris Volstad (1-1, 2.25 ERA). The game was played at 11:35 in the morning on a chilly but sunny day.
Columbus entered the contest with the international League’s second best team ERA at 2.23, but the worst team batting average, .182. The offense had shown signs of life as they had collected at least eight hits in each of their last four games, but they are still the only International League team not to have a ten-hit game this season.
Both teams had runners on base early in the contest, but only the Clippers were able to capitalize. Audy Ciriaco doubled to left and scored on a Michael Martinez single in the second inning.
Jesus Aguilar, who was issued a one-out walk in the third, and scored on Zach Walter’s triple to deep center field. Walters, on a rehab assignment, joined the team earlier in the day, and got the start at third base, batting clean-up. Ciriaco doubled home Walters to give the Clippers a 3-0 lead after three innings.
Indianapolis tried to cut into the Clipper lead in the top of the fourth inning with back-to back two-out hits, but were thwarted by Maronde who struck out the side. Maronde worked quickly, seldom letting the clock below the ten second mark. He allowed one run in five innings of work, with nine strike outs and one walk.
Indianapolis got on the board in the top of the fifth inning when Gorkys Hernandez scored on a Deibinson Romero ground ball. Hernandez launched a triple to center to put himself in scoring position, and scored on the RBI groundout.
Dustin Molleken worked the sixth for the Clippers and got knocked around for a pair of runs on two doubles and a single. Elias Diaz and Steve Lombardozzi each doubled and scored, Mel Rojas Jr. added an RBI single to knot the game at three.
Diaz led off the eighth inning with a solo homer to left center and the flood gates opened against reliever Kyle Crockett. The lefty gave up five runs on five hits before registering the first out of the inning. Charlie Leesman, who relieved Volstad in the sixth inning, took an 8-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth where he and Brad Lincoln gave up two runs on five walks. Blake Wood ended the threat striking out Walters with the bases loaded.
Tempers flared in the ninth after Carlos Moncrief was called out on strikes. He was ejected when he turned to argue. Manager Chris Tremie came to his player’s aide and was also shown the door. The Clippers added another run in the inning only to fall short when Lindor struck out to end the game.
Leesman (3-1) worked 2 2/3 innings in the win and Wood picked up his third save. Crockett (0-1) was the loser.
The Clippers continue their home stand as they welcome the Louisville Bats for a four-game series while the Indians travel to Toledo for four games with the Mud Hens.
By Mike Tanchevski