Clippers fall just short in loss to Braves, 3-2
Both Columbus and Gwinnett recorded nine hits and one error on Friday.
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Joey Terdoslavich’s two-run single in the bottom of the sixth was enough for the Gwinnett Braves (31-29) to escape with the win 3-2 in the final game against the Columbus Clippers (29-32) this season in a game that took just under three hours to complete at Coolray Field.
The Clippers had a major opportunity to score the tying run in the ninth. Jose Ramirez walked to lead off the inning and then stole second, barely making it on a high throw from catcher Christian Bethancourt. Tyler Holt bunted in what looked like a sacrifice attempt to the third base side of Gwinnett closer Juan Jaime, but he was slow getting to the ball and Holt beat it out for a hit setting up first and third with nobody out.
With Elliot Johnson batting, Holt broke for second and this time Bethancourt’s throw was on target and Holt was out on the stolen base attempt. Even with the good throw, Holt appeared to slide his hand on the bag as the tag was being applied to his head by shortstop Ozzie Martinez. The tie did not benefit the runner in this case and after a brief conversation, Clippers Manager Chris Tremie was satisfied enough with the explanation from umpire Chad Whitson.
Johnson grounded a slow bouncer to second on a drawn in infield and Tremie held Ramirez at third as Johnson was thrown out at first. Juan Jamie coaxed a grounder to short off the bat of Giovanny Urshela to end the game for his 11th save of the year.
Clippers starter Kyle Davies (2-4, 4.33) kept the Braves off balance for most of the night. He tossed six innings and gave up three runs on nine hits and a walk with two strikeouts, but was saddled with the loss. He finished the night with an even ten groundball outs compared to just two fly outs.
Davies was solid through the front five, but Gwinnett got to him in the sixth. Tyler Pastornicky led off with a single and one out later Christian Bethancourt doubled. Joey Terdoslavich came through with the game winning liner into centerfield that scored both runners.
Giovanny Urshela launched a solo home run over the fence in left to give the Clippers a 2-1 lead in the fourth for his fifth homer of the year. The next batter, Roberto Perez singled and two outs later, Tim Fedroff worked a walk, but the Clippers could not add to their lead.
The Clippers started the scoring with a groundout by Tyler Holt that scored Justin Sellers, who singled earlier in the inning with one out. Since his return to Columbus from Cleveland, Sellers has a hit in six of the seven games he’s played coming into Friday night’s game and has three runs batted in while batting .400 (10-25).
Gwinnett starter Gus Schlosser was chased with two outs in the sixth after an error and a walk put two runners on with two outs. Lefty Atahualpa Severino (3-1, 3.12) took over and got out of the inning by striking out Tim Fedroff. He would get credit for the win.
The Clippers leave Gwinnett County having taken six out eight contests against the Braves this season, by a combined score of 47-17. It marks the fifth consecutive season that the Clippers have won the season series against Gwinnett.
On Saturday the Clippers head to Charlotte for a four-game series with the Knights. Starting for the Clippers is right-hander Travis Banwart (3-2, 3.63). He will be opposed by Dylan Axelrod (2-5, 4.73).
Axelrod and Banwart opposed each other on May 28 in a pitcher’s duel. Axelrod went six innings and allowed a run whereas Banwart went seven innings and allowed two runs. The game was won by Charlotte on a three-run homer in the tenth so neither starter factored in the decision.
TRANSACTIONS – Cleveland optioned 1B Jesus Aguilar to Columbus, but he was not active for the game.
Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.