Carrera, Clippers stay hot
COLUMBUS—Prior to the All-Star break, Ezequiel Carrera was hitting .258 and the Clippers were 45-45. Post All-Star break, the Clippers center fielder is hitting .467 and Columbus is 58-50.
There might not be a Clipper playing better since the Triple-A summer classic, and there probably isn’t a Columbus player more responsible for the Clippers surge since the July 11 All-Star game than Carrera.
Saturday night, Carrera was yet again a big part in a Columbus victory, as the Clippers surged past the Rochester Red Wings for the fourth-straight night, 8-5. Columbus, coming off back-to-back victories in which the club scored a combined 29 runs—a franchise record over two games—had 13 hits in front of 11,271 fans at Huntington Park Saturday night.
Carrera had three RBIS, going 3-for-5 with a double, but plenty of other Clippers contributed on way to Columbus coming within 1.5 games of the Wild Card spot. First baseman Matt LaPorta and third baseman Jared Goedert had two hits a piece, while shortstop Gregrorio Petit reached base three times.
On the mound, Columbus starter Jeanmar Gomez struggled, allowing five runs over 6.1 innings of work. Thankfully for the Clippers, it didn’t realy matter, as the club had little trouble plating runs against Rochester starter Liam Hendriks, who gave up seven runs on 12 hits in five frames.
Columbus got out to an early lead, scoring four runs over the first two innings after Rochester plated a run in the top of the first. LaPorta had an RBI double, Goedert scored a run on a single and Carrera had an RBI single through the first two frames.
After Goedert hit a solo shot in the third, Carrera, who is batting over .500 since the All-Star game, got things started for Columbus in the fourth. The center fielder led off the inning with a double, and later scored on a LaPorta single.
The Red Wings got within a run after scoring two runs in the top of the fifth, but Columbus had an answer. A Carrera single to center scored Clippers’ catcher Luke Carlin in the bottom of the inning. The Clippers scored again in the seventh on a bunt single by Petit.
Columbus, at eight games over the .500 mark—a season-high, trails Pawtucket in the Wild-Card race by 1.5 games.
The Clippers play game two of its series against Rochester Sunday evening at 6:05 p.m.