COLUMBUS- The Columbus Clippers just can’t seem to catch a break these days.
After trailing 5-0 early in the game, the Clippers battled back to take a 8-5 lead but could not hold on to it as they collapsed against the Indianapolis Indians 10-9 in extra innings Saturday.
The Indians picked off right where they left off Friday, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning and another in the second off of starter Carlos Carrasco
After retiring the first batter of the game, Carrasco walked former Cleveland Indian infielder John McDonald
. Designated hitter Chris d’Arnaud followed by smacking a sharp grounder down the third base line for a double. First baseman Matt Hague
was then hit in the back to load the bases. Center fielder Felix Pie
continued with his fifth hit of the series, this time a bases clearing triple in the gap between right and center field. The relay throw from second baseman Cord Phelps
to catcher Omir Santos
was off the mark, allowing Pie to score from third and give Indianapolis an early 4-0 lead.
With McDonald on second in the following inning, d’Arnaud lined an RBI base hit just under the glove of a diving Lonnie Chisenhall
at third to make it 5-0 Indians.
The Clippers responded in a big way, bringing 10 hitters to the plate in a monstrous eight-run inning in the bottom of the second.
Chisenhall kick-started the offensive assault by doubling high off the wall in right center. Phelps followed by poking a soft base knock into left and designated hitter Jeremy Hermida
grounded an RBI single just out of the reach of second baseman Josh Harrison
. Carson then chopped a grounder up middle to McDonald at short but the ball was dropped on his transfer to second, allowing Phelps to cross the plate for another run. In the next at-bat, shortstop Juan Diaz
lifted a game-tying three-run homerun to left center to even the score 5-5.
Santos followed by whacking a two-bagger off left field wall and two batters later, left fielder Tim Fedroff
laced an RBI single into right field for another run. Chisenhall capped of the Herculean inning with a mammoth two-run shot over the right field balcony and onto Nationwide Boulevard to give the Clippers an 8-5 advantage.
Carson pounded a solo shot deep into the left field bleachers in the bottom of the third to put Columbus’ up 9-5.
The lead was short-lived however as the Indians came back to tie the game with four more runs in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back doubles by right fielder Jerry Sands
and Harrison made it a 9-6 ballgame. Then, with one down and two runners on, Indianapolis called for a hit-and-run and was successful. With both base runners moving on the pitch, Hague scorched a double past Ezequiel Carrera
in right. Carrera laid out for the ball but missed it on the attempt. Third baseman Jared Goedert
creamed yet another two-bagger to right field to even the game at nine runs a piece.
It was not until the tenth inning that either team would score again. With two down and runners in scoring position, Brett Carroll
singled on a groundball to Diaz at short to bring home the game-winning run. Columbus went down in order in the bottom half of the tenth to end the contest.
Both starters struggled to find their rhythm. Carrasco lasted just four innings, allowing eight earned runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and three walks. His counterpart, righty Brooks Brown
, tossed a mere two innings, surrendering five earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
Right-hander Jerry Gil
(5-1, 4.19 ERA) picked up the loss for Columbus while Indianapolis’ Ryan Reid
(6-1, 0.52 ERA) earned the victory.
On the positive side, relievers Benny Suarez
and Louis Head
impressed in their Triple-A debuts for the Clippers after being called up from Class A Lake County earlier in the day. Suarez tossed two innings of scoreless baseball without allowing a hit and Head pitched 1.2 innings of relief with two strikeouts.
The Clippers’ fifth loss in a row brings their record to 29-27, and the Indians improve to 38-19, increasing their lead in the International League West to a commanding 8.5 games.
Columbus will give the nod to left-hander T.J. House
(1-3, 5.53 ERA) Sunday and Indianapolis will counter with right-hander Chris Morton (0-1, 4.50 ERA). The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.