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Clippers blowout Braves 11-1, snap seven-game streak

The Clippers had six batters with two hits apiece in the blowout at Huntington Park.

Clippers blowout Braves 11-1, snap seven-game streak
Columbus Clippers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (47) continued his hot start to the 2014 season (2-0, 0.96 ERA) pitching 6.2 innings, while allowing 6 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts in Tuesday's 11-1 victory over the Gwinnett Braves. (Photo
April 23, 2014
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COLUMBUS, OH – The Columbus Clippers (7-10) got contributions from everybody in their 11-1 win over the visiting Gwinnett Braves (11-7) on Tuesday night. The Clippers dominated in all phases and snapped the Braves seven-game win streak.  

Trevor Bauer (2-0, 0.96) continued his flawless start to 2014, hurling six and two-thirds of quality, pitch-efficient baseball.  He allowed one run in the second inning and struck out three.

“He went out there [and had] good pitch distribution.  He used his fastball well, he threw it well, good breaking ball and some other off-speed pitches,” Clippers manager Chris Tremie said of his starting pitcher.  His strikeouts were down a little bit tonight compared to a lot of his outings but the efficiency was pretty good.  He had some ground balls – the double play.  He got some help from the defense and that’s what the games about.”

As well as Bauer pitched, it was the bats that stole the show.  All nine Clippers reached base, seven thanks to base hits.  The Clippers showed plenty of patience against Gwinnett starter Hector Daniel Rodriguez (2-2, 3.60) as they worked him for four walks over his five innings.

The Clippers accumulated eight walks and thirteen hits, which resulted in having base runners in each of the first six innings and seven of eight innings for the game.

Though Rodriquez was charged with the loss, Gwinnett relief pitcher Luis Vasquez struggled mightily against the Clippers. Vasquez stuck out Matt Carson to open the inning, but that would be the only out the Braves’ righty would record.

Vasquez, subsequently, loaded the bases allowing three consecutive walks before a double by Nyjer Morgan produced a pair of Clipper runs.  The reliever then walked Jesus Aguilar, which loaded the bases, and forced the Braves to turn the game over to reliever Atahualpa Severino.

Vasquez was charged with a couple of more runs when Bryan LaHair doubled into the right-centerfield gap. Severino closed the inning with back-to-back strikeouts, and putting an end to a four-run Clipper inning.

 For the night, Vasquez was tacked with four earned runs on one hit, four walks and one strikeout in one-third of an inning.

The double by LaHair was a welcomed sight because it snapped a 0-for-17 slump from the plate, which dated back to April 11. The former MLB All-Star first baseman would add another RBI double in the eighth.  The two hits doubled LaHair’s hit total for the season, and raised his batting average to a paltry .114. LaHair’s been relegated to backing up Aguilar this season.

Nyjer Morgan was in a bit of a slump as well, entering the game on a 0-for-11 streak.  The center fielder had two hits tonight, the second of which drove in a pair of runs.  Morgan, also, scored two runs, but struck out three times.

Columbus started the scoring thanks to a pair of gift-wrapped runs on Gwinnett errors in the first inning. 

The first run scored after Gwinnett catcher Christian Bethancourt threw a ball into right field trying to pick off Nyjer Morgan at first base.  Justin Sellers scored from third on the play. 

The second run came on a single to right by Aguilar that was bobbled by Joey Terdoslavich, which allowed Morgan to score.  Because Morgan was initially held at third, Aguilar was not credited with an RBI.

A two-run home run by catcher Roberto Perez extended the Clippers lead to 5-1.

Justin Sellers added to his night with a highlight-reel diving stop to start a 6-4-3 double play in the sixth.  For the night, Sellers collected two hits, walked twice and scored three runs to set the pace.

“Defensively he made several of the routine plays.  The double play may have been a turning point in the game right there,” said Tremie.  “Diving and being able to flip that ball to second and make that play was outstanding.  Good range; good first step on it and he had good at-bats tonight too.”

Clippers’ relievers Mike Zagurski and Austin Adams combined to finish the final two and a third innings.  Zagurski took over for Bauer with two outs in the seventh and coaxed a soft-liner to right to get out of trouble, while striking out a pair in the eighth.  Adams pitched the ninth and gave up a hit and three strikeouts. 

 The Clippers and Gwinnett continue their four-game series on Wednesday night at 6:35 PM.  Making his third start, T.J. House (1-1) will try to build off of two solid outings, most recently five shutout innings last Thursday night at Toledo, where he struck out six and allowed only three hits.  Gwinnett will counter with Mitch Atkins (1-2), who is also making his third start and fourth appearance overall.

Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.

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