Clippers hang on to split series with the Red Wings 3-2
COLUMBUS- The Columbus Clippers squeaked past the Rochester Red Wings 3-2 to split the four-game series at a two games apiece.
Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 1.90 ERA) cranked out a wonderful performance for his first win of the season. The Venezuelan-native tossed six frames, allowing one run on four hits and fanned seven batters without issuing a walk.
“It was a really good outing for Carlos,” manager Chris Tremie said. “He threw the ball well, you know, six strong innings. He threw some good fastballs, mid to upper 90’s with some good sliders.”
Third baseman Ryan Rohlinger continued to thrive in his new role as the second hitter in the batting order, going 1-2 with a single, two walks and a sacrifice bunt.
Rohlinger has been on a tear, batting .391 (9-22) with three doubles since being inserted into the second position in the order on April 29. In that six-game span, he has also posted an astounding .556 on-base percentage.
“Ryan always gives quality at-bats when he’s up there,” Tremie said. “He can hit the ball the other way. He can get down and bunt. He can hit-and-run if necessary and he can move runners over. He fits that role (the two-hole) pretty good for our club right now.”
The Red Wings gained an early 1-0 advantage in the top of the second inning.
First baseman Chris Colabello stroked a double in the left-center gap to lead off the inning. Designated hitter Jeff Clement then singled down the left field line to score Colabello and put his team on the board.
The Clippers evened things up at one-all in the fourth and tacked on another run in the sixth to take the lead.
Right fielder Jeremy Hermida roped a base knock to left to start the fourth inning and increased his on-base streak to 16 games. Designated hitter Matt LaPorta followed with walk by pitcher Samuel Deduno. In the next plate appearance, first baseman Cord Phelps struck out swinging but the ball rolled past catcher Chris Hermann to advance the runners to second and third. Center fielder Hunter seized the opportunity and rifled a single up the middle to bring Hermida home and make it a 1-1 game.
With two outs in the sixth, Hunter reached base on a throwing error by shortstop Doug Bernier. Second basemanMatt Lawson then smacked a single to center and shortstop Juan Diaz doubled high off the right field wall to give Columbus a 2-1 lead.
The Clippers added an extra run to boost the score to 3-1.
Left fielder Tim Fedroff doubled off the wall in right-center to start off. Rohlinger then laid a sacrifice bunt down the first base line to advance Fedroff to third. Following a Hermida strikeout and an intentional walk to LaPorta, Phelps came through with a sharp RBI single that bounced off second basemen Eric Farris’ glove.
Rochester narrowed the deficit in the eighth inning to bring them within a run of tying the game.
After pitching the seventh inning, reliever Matt Langwell allowed the first two batters he faced in the eight to reach base and was soon replaced by left-hander Nick Hagadone.
The lefty fanned Hermann for the first out but center fielder Clete Thomas reached base on a force out at second. With two down, Hagadone issued two-straight free passes to hand the Red Wings a run and make the score 3-2.
The Clippers loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth inning, but came up without anything to show for it.
Closer Preston Guilmet pitched the final 1.1 innings to earn his International League leading ninth save of the season.
Deduno (0-0, 0.00 ERA), pitching in his first Triple-A game of the year, also had a solid outing. The 29-year-old allowed one unearned run on five hits while striking out and walking four batters each.
Reliever Virgil Vasquez (2-2, 4.40 ERA), who came on in the sixth and gave up what turned out to be the go-ahead run, took the loss for Rochester.
The victory puts the Clippers record at 16-14 while the Red Wings sink to 12-18.
Columbus will open a four-game series against the Charlotte Knights beginning on Monday at 6:35 p.m. The starting pitchers for both teams are yet to be determined.
Cleveland Indians center fielder Michael Bourn will begin his rehab assignment Monday as well. The leadoff hitter suffered a laceration on his right index finger while sliding into first base in a game against the Chicago White Sox on April 14.
Tremie said the Clippers will ease Bourn back the into the swing of things.
“He’ll play center field tomorrow and likely DH the next day,” Tremie said. “After that we’ll go from there.”
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