Clippers clinch division title with 3-1 win over Mud Hens
TOLEDO, OH – The Columbus Clippers (76-62) wrapped up the International League West Division Championship and a spot in the playoffs with a 3-1 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens (67-71) on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Field.
Luke Carlin worked a bases loaded walk in the seventh inning to break a 1-1 tie off of lefty Ian Krol. The walk was set up when Carlos Moncrief worked a 14-pitch walk to lead off the inning. Down a ball and two strikes, Moncrief six consecutive pitches and eight overall to work the walk off of Toledo starter Derek Hankins (7-14, 5.36).
Hankins gave up a base hit to Matt Carson and walked Elliot Johnson to load the bases.
The Clippers got quality pitching from starter Zach McAllister (7-1, 2.09) and relievers Shawn Armstrong and Bryan Price.
McAllister retired the first eleven batters he faced before issuing two-out walk to Jordan Lennerton in the fourth. His no-hitter was broken up in the next inning by Wade Gaynor, who singled on a soft liner that fell in front of Carlos Moncrief.
After Ben Guez struck out, Gaynor stole second and scored on a base hit to center by Manny Pino to tie the score at one.
McAllister went seven innings and gave up one run on four hits and a walk with eight strikeouts.
The Clippers got on the board first with a two-out first inning home run by Jesus Aguilar (19). It was his second homer in as many at-bats dating back to Monday’s walk-off.
Ryan Rohlinger drove in the third run in the deciding seventh inning with a sacrifice fly that scored Carson.
Shawn Armstrong pitched a one-two-three eighth and Bryan Price did the same in the ninth to clinch the division title and pick up his fourth save, each of which have come in his last four appearances.
The Clippers and the Mud Hens will finish the brief two game set on Wednesday at 6:30 PM.
C Luke Carlin drove in the winning run in the seventh. The last time Columbus played at Toledo, he hit a three run double in the ninth to give the Clippers the win.
INF Jesus Aguilar is currently riding a five game hit streak. He has four homers and eight RBI over that span. It started a game after his 11 game hit streak was snapped.
OF Matt Carson has seven hits in his last nine at-bats.
Toledo RHP has made five starts this season against Columbus. He is 1-3 with 7.40 ERA over 26.2 innings with two quality starts including Tuesday night.
Pawtucket defeated Buffalo 9-3 on Tuesday, which eliminated Indianapolis from the wild card. Pawtucket, Buffalo and Rochester are the only remaining teams that can win the wild card.
RHP Toru Murata (3-3, 5.52) makes the start on Wednesday for the Clippers. He gave up nine runs on ten hits and two walks with four strikeouts the last time he faced Toledo on August 17. He has made three starts against the Mud Hens this season and is 0-1 with 10.95 ERA over 15 innings.
He came back from the rough outing against Toledo to pitch 5.2 innings and give up one run on four hits and four walks with a pair of strikeouts to pick up the win in a 5-2 win over Louisville on Friday night.
Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.