Clippers beat Indians 10-9 behind huge second inning
An eight-run second inning proved to be the difference for the Columbus Clippers on Sunday.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – As the old saying goes – nothing in life worth doing comes easy. Or better put by Marcel Proust, “so few are the easy victories as the ultimate failures.”
For the Columbus Clippers (3-7) Sunday afternoon’s 10-9 triumph was neither an easy victory, nor an ultimate failure, but it could have gone either way. The Clippers built an eight-run lead, and almost saw it disappear against the Indianapolis Indians (9-2) at Victory Field.
Trailing 2-0 in the second inning, the Clippers’ first three batters reached base without the benefit of a hit. Jesus Aguilar and David Cooper were both walked. Matt Carson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Tim Fedroff lined a single into a right that scored Aguilar and Cooper.
After Audy Ciriaco singled to drive in Carson, Roberto Perez came up with a big three-run home run to center to make it 6-2. The Clippers were not finished. Back-to-back doubles by Aguilar and Cooper produced two more runs and Columbus raced out to an early 8-2 lead.
The Clippers stretched their lead in the fourth, with back-to-back doubles by Ryan Rohlinger and Carlos Moncrief that produced a score. Two outs later, another run was driven home off the bat of Carson to give the Clippers a 10-2 lead.
So few are the easy victories. Indianapolis put three runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth.
Michael Martinez led the inning off with a triple. Blake Davis flew out to center, but it did not bring Martinez home. After walking Chase d’Arnaud, it appeared that Clippers starter Travis Banwart would get out of the inning without harm after striking out Jaff Decker for the second out.
Unfortunately, Barnwart gave up a two-run triple to Gregory Polanco, which ended his day. Barnwart would not factor in the decision. Scott Barnes (1-0, 1.35) took over and gave up a single to Andrew Lambo cutting the Clippers lead to 10-5.
Ultimate failure almost happened in the ninth.
Mark Lowe struck out Andrew Lambo to start the inning, but struggled to close the game.
Matt Hague singled, while Chris McGuiness and Chris Stewart both walked to load the bases. A third consecutive walk given up to Michael Martinez produced a run. Blake Davis grounded out to second, but the Clippers couldn’t get two and another run scored.
D’Arnaud made it a one-run game with a single to center, which signaled the end of the night for Lowe who was pulled in favor of Nick Hagadone. Hagadone walked Decker to load the bases before he struck out Polanco to end it and earn his first save of the year.
Barnes earned the victory, his first of the season, pitching two scoreless innings.
Phil Irwin (0-1, 16.50) started for Indianapolis, but did not last long. Irwin recorded one and a third innings allowing seven runs and earning the loss for the Indians.
Jay Jackson took over for the Indians midway in the second inning. Jackson logged four and two-thirds innings of relief work allowing three earned runs and fanned seven.
The Clippers and the Indians play the second of a three game series at Victory Field in Indianapolis Monday night.
The Clippers will start T.J. House (0-1, 4.50), who will be making his second start of the year. In his first start of the year, House took the loss after Chris Nelson hit a seventh -inning grand slam that gave the Bats a 4-1 victory. House pitched shutout baseball through six innings last Wednesday, but could not get out of the seventh.
Indianapolis will counter with Corey Sadler (1-0, 2.08), who’s lone victory of the year came on opening day in Columbus.
Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.