Columbus- In the final game of the four-game series between the Columbus Clippers and the Pawtucket Redsox, the Redsox avoided the four-game sweek, 6-4. It would have been the Redsox first 4- game sweep in just under two years.
The Clippers went into Monday’s night game looking to accomplish their first sweep of the 2012 campaign. The Clippers had lefty Chris Seddon (2-1) on the rubber to start the game. It was former major league starter Brandon Duckworth’s (3-0) turn to pitch for the opposing Pawtucket Red Sox.
The Red Sox were able to get their first run of the ball game in the second inning after a solo home run to left center field by first basemen Mauro Gomez.
The Clippers responded very quickly, after the first batter of the second inning, Clippers’ left fielder Matt LaPorta, hit a towering homerun to left field to square up the score at one. Two batters later, with first basemen Russ Canzler sitting on first base after a single, designated hitter Beau Mills hit a home run to right to take the lead 3-1.
The top half of the third inning did not start off the way the Clippers had hoped after center fielder Che-Hsuan Lin reached base with a single and later scored on a wild pitch by Seddon. Then to make matters worse DH Tony Thomas was able to tie the game after he was brought into score on a single by second basemen Pedro Ciriaco.
LaPorta took Duckworth deep for his second time in two at bats, to make the score 4-3 at the end of three.
Columbus was threatening in the fifth, with Ryan Spilborghs getting on with a single, and LaPorta with a walk. Unfortunately the Clippers were unable to execute leaving two runners stranded to keep the score 4-3 at the end of five.
The PawSox got their first two batters of the sixth inning aboard after a double by Ciriaco, and a bunt single by shortstop Jose Iglesias. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway hit a sacrifice fly to center allowing Ciriaco to score, but Ezequiel Carrera was able to throw Iglesias out at third on the play for the second out of the inning. Seddon sat down Gomez on strikes to end the top of the sixth inning.
Left-hander Justin Thomas came into pitch for the Red Sox in the sixth inning. Duckworth’s ending stat line for the night was five innings, five strikeouts, and four earned runs.
One inning and two thirds was all Pawtucket needed from Thomas as he was replaced by Mark Melancon to finish out the seventh.
Seddons night worth of work was over after throwing seven innings, striking out five, and allowing four earned runs. Frank Herrmann replaced Seddon. With two outs in the inning, Pawtucket was able to string a pair of hits, but Herrmann was able to get out of the jam to keep the score tied at 4.
Garret Mock entered the game in the eighth inning in relief for the Pawtucket Redsox, and sat the heart of the Clippers order down 1-2-3.
After Carrera misplayed a ball hit by left fielder Daniel Nava, Kroeger was able to score to give the Redsox a late ninth inning lead. To add to the Clippers trouble, Lin hit a RBI double to make the score 6-4.
On the play there was a controversial call at the plate regarding whether Nava was safe or not. Manager Sarbaugh when arguing the call was asking, about which leg touched the plate, and when the umpire said his left, Sarbaugh replied with, “how can his left leg, which was in the air, touch the plate.”
After the double by Lin, that was all she wrote for Herrmann as he was replaced by Jose De La Torre, who got the Clippers out of trouble.
Columbus was silenced in the bottom half of the ninth, to make the final score 6-4.
Manager Mike Sarbaugh was impressed with the Red Sox bullpen, who managed to stymie the Clippers after LaPorta’s third inning jack gave them a 4-3 lead. “Their bullpen did a nice job... we just couldn’t get anything going later on…”
Garrett Mock was able to pick up his first win of the season, to improve his season record to 1-0. The loss in this one was awarded to Frank Herrmann.