Clippers give Bats a beating, 10-1
LOUISVILLE – Everything went right for the Columbus Clippers (67-63) on Monday night as they trounced the Louisville Bats (50-81) by the final score of 10-1.
With the victory, the Clippers pulled within 2.5 games of the International League Wild Card. Only the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and the Pawtucket Red Sox sit above them.
The game was well in hand right from the start, as second baseman Cord Phelps got things going with a leadoff double to right field. He came home two batters later on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Matt LaPorta, and the Clippers piled on from there. With two outs and the bases loaded, shortstop Juan Diaz launched a grand slam to right field. Just three outs into the game, Columbus had a 5-0 lead.
As great as the Columbus offense was on Monday, the pitching was even better. Starter David Huff (6-6, 5.05 ERA) tossed a masterful game, allowing just one run on two hits and a walk in eight innings of work. He also struck out five on the way to the win; his first victory since July 19.
The lone Bats run came in the bottom of the second inning off a solo shot to right by center fielder Denis Phipps. It was Phipps’ 14th home run of the year, and his fourth in the last three games.
The Clippers put together a second five-run inning in the fourth. Catcher Luke Carlin and center fielder Aaron Cunningham got back-to-back doubles to kick off the frame, and then Phelps was walked to load the bases. Right fielder Vinny Rottino then hit a double of his own that brought two runs in, and then the next batter – designated hitter Russ Canzler – did the same to make it a 9-1 Clippers lead. The final run came in on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Lars Anderson.
As great as Huff was for the Clippers, the Bats struggled mightily on the mound. Starter Chad Reineke (5-9, 4.70 ERA) was pulled after just three innings of work, but in that time he gave up eight runs on six hits and four walks. His reliever Travis Webb didn’t do much better, as he allowed two runs of his own. The Louisville pitching was effective for the final five frames, but the damage was already done.
The Clippers will conclude their series in Louisville on Tuesday night with a contest beginning at 7:05 p.m. The team will then return to Columbus for a three-game set against the Toledo MudHens.