Clippers fall short of Chiefs 8-7
Winning streak snapped in extras
COLUMBUS- The Columbus Clippers' seven-game winning streak was snapped Thursday as they dropped a nail biter 8-7 in extra innings to the Syracuse Chiefs at Huntington Park.
After an hour and one minute rain delay, the game finally started and boy, was it a rollercoaster ride. Throughout the contest's duration, there were three lead changes and two ties before the Chiefs finally prevailed.
Although the Clippers lost a tough battle, manager Chris Tremie was proud of the way his team performed. “We were down, came back, got down again, came back again and almost came back again for the third time so that’s a great sign to see from the team,” Tremie said.
Reliever Nick Hagadone loaded the bases in the top of the 11thwith nobody out but got the next two batters to strikeout. The left-hander had first baseman Chris Marrero down to his final strike before giving up what turned out to be the game-winning hit, a two-RBI single up the middle.
Tremie praised his the southpaw’s toughness despite allowing the hit.
"He did a fantastic job,” Tremie said. “Bases loaded, two strikeouts and one pitch, a very close pitch and it could have been a different story. You know, that’s what happens sometimes. The good thing about it is that his composure stayed and found the result after the first couple of hitters. That’s a tough situation and he was really close to pitching out of it. If that ground ball goes at somebody, the inning's over.”
Catcher Omir Santos launched a solo bomb to left in the bottom of the 11th to make it a one run game once more but that’s all the Clippers could muster. After two walk-off victories in their previous series, the late-inning magic was not on Columbus’ side for this game.
Designated hitter Chun-Hsiu Chen continued his onslaught of Triple-A pitching with an RBI single with the bases loaded to give the Clippers a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
With one down, second baseman Matt Lawson was hit by a pitch to become the first base runner of the inning. Following a strikeout by right fielder Jeremy Hermida, first baseman Matt LaPorta waited back on a breaking ball and drove it through short for a single. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall then walked to load the bases and Chen slapped a base knock past diving shortstop Zack Walters for a run. LaPorta ran through manager Chris Tremie’s hold sign as he rounded third and was gunned down at the plate by right fielder Chris Rahl.
A solo shot off the scoreboard by former Major League pitcher and now a converted position player Micah Owings made it a 1-1 ballgame in the top of the second.
The Clippers answered right back with two more additional runs in the bottom half of the inning. Leading off, center fielder Tim Fedroff hit what appeared to be a routine foul out down the third baseline, but with the wind blowing out toward right field, the ball drifted into fair territory and third baseman Carlos Rivero could not make a play on it.
Shortstop Juan Diaz was then issued a free pass and Santos muscled an RBI double to the warning track in left-center to put the Clippers back on top 2-1. Lawson chopped a groundball to second which allowed Diaz to score for another run and make it 3-2.
Rahl hit what looked to be a routine fly ball to right field in the top of the third, but the wind carried it over the home run terrace and onto Nationwide Boulevard to narrow the deficit and bring the Chiefs one run closer to tying the game.
House looked solid through his first four frames of work but lost command of his pitches in the fifth which resulted in a four-run inning for Syracuse.
Two consecutive one-out walks followed by a bloop single to right by first baseman Chris Marrero loaded the bases for the Chiefs. Those free passes came back to haunt House in the next at-bat.
Owings belted his second home run of the game for a grand slam, turning the tables and giving Syracuse a 6-3 advantage.
On the night, House allowed six runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks in five innings.
Columbus tacked on a pair in the bottom of sixth to position themselves within a run of Syracuse. After a Fedroff walk, Diaz hit an RBI one-hopper to wall in left to cut the score to 6-4. Two batters later, left fielder Ezequiel Carrera roped a double to right to make it a one-run ballgame.
Chiefs closer Erik Davis came into close the game in the ninth but Carrera had other plans. The speedster lifted a fastball over the center field wall to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
Hagadone (1-1, 2.00 ERA) took the loss for Columbus while Davis (1-1, 1.59 ERA) picked up the victory for Syracuse. Relief pitcher Xavier Cedeno picked up his first save of the season by holding his team’s lead in the 11thinning.
The Clippers fall to 28-19 with the tough loss and the bump their record up to Chiefs 19-27.
Columbus right-hander Trevor Bauer (2-0, 3.23 ERA) will try for his third win of the season Friday as he faces off against Syracuse righty Danny Rosenbaum (4-2, 3.04 ERA). The contest is scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m.