Clippers drop game one to Pawtucket, 5-1
PAWTUCKET - Clutch hitting wasn’t a strong point for the Columbus Clippers Friday night in Pawtucket, and the team paid for it.
The Clippers (17-17) lost to the Red Sox (23-13), 5-1, dropping the first contest in a four-game set in Rhode Island.
Columbus had seven hits in the game, but went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. The Clippers lone run came on a solo home run by second baseman Cord Phelps in the top of the ninth inning with the game fairly in hand. Phelps went 2-for-4 with a double and the homer.
Pawtucket right-hander Doug Mathis stifled the Columbus bats when he needed to.
Mathis (2-2) got out of a two-on no-out jam in the top of the second inning and pitched Phelps’ double in the top of the sixth frame to keep the Clippers scoreless. His night ended after Clippers’ third baseman Jose Lopez popped out with Phelps on second base in the top of the sixth.
Left-hander Chris Seddon, Mathis’ counterpart Friday, wasn’t as potent on the mound.
The Red Sox made their hits count, going 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and built a comfortable lead after five innings.
Pawtucket scored a run in the first and third innings before pouring on three more in the bottom of the fifth inning to go up 5-0.
Seddon (3-2) allowed two doubles and a single in the fifth, and the Columbus defense didn’t help him. A throwing error by Lopez on a bunt single down the third-base line allowed Red Sox third baseman Nate Spears, who led the inning off with a double, to score all the way from second base.
Taking the loss, Seddon went six innings, striking out a season-high six batters while giving up five runs.
Ben Copeland had perhaps his best game in a Columbus uniform. The right-fielder, who spent the beginning of the year in Double-A with Akron, went 2-for-3 with a double.
Beau Mills and Russ Canzler also added hits in the game.
Columbus and Pawtucket will play game two of the series on Saturday at 6:05 p.m.