Clippers fall to Mud Hens again, 5-3
TOLEDO - The Columbus Clippers lost their second series of the season Monday night, falling to the Toledo Mud Hens in the rubber match of the three-game series.
The Clippers (10-8), lost to the Mud Hens, 5-3, in front of 3,871 fans at Fifth Third Park in Toledo.
Toledo got out to a 5-0 lead after six innings, and despite a three-run top of the seventh inning by Columbus, were able to hold on for victory, shutting the Clippers’ offense down in the game’s final two innings.
Right-hander Toru Murata (0-1) got the start for Columbus, and only lasted four innings, giving up three earned runs while striking out four Toledo batters.
Toledo had left-hander Andrew Oliver (1-1) on the mound. He stifled Clippers’ batters through his six innings of work, striking out seven batters and giving up no runs through those innings. He came out for the top of the seventh inning, but walked the first two Columbus batters, who later scored, and was taken out.
Columbus only had three hits in the game, by first baseman Matt LaPorta, who went 1-for-4, catcher Matt Pagnozzi, who went 1-for-3, and shortstop Gregorio Petit, who went 1-for-3.
The Mud Hens got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Toledo first baseman Ryan Strieby hit a solo home run to center field.
A sacrifice fly to center field by Mud Hens’ second baseman Eric Patterson scored another run for Toledo in the bottom of the third inning. In the next inning, Toledo added one more run, again on a sacrifice fly, this time to left field by Mud Hens’ left fielder Jerad Head.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Toledo scored what turned out to be the game’s winning runs. Mud Hens’ designated hitter Brad Eldred hit a two-run home run to center field, giving Toledo a 5-0 lead.
The Clippers rallied in the top of the seventh inning, but the three runs scored were not enough to overcome Toledo’s lead.
Of the three runs scored by Columbus in the top of the seventh inning, two came on errors, one on a muffed groundball to shortstop and the other on a wild pitch.
Columbus and Toledo will now play a two-game series in Columbus, starting Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. at Huntington Park.