Clippers plate eight, beat Knights
Columbus beat Charlotte behind a five-run first inning.
COLUMBUS, OH - The Columbus Clippers have been run deficient over the last couple of weeks, but they took care of that notion in the first inning of Tuesday night’s 8-6 win over the Charlotte Knights at Huntington Park in front of 7,858 in attendance.
Columbus sent eleven batters to the plate in a five-run first inning and left the bases loaded off of Charlotte starter Erik Johnson (0-2, 6.09), who took the loss. Johnson helped the Clippers out by walking two batters and hitting two others. Audy Ciriaco provided the most damage with a two-out single that scored a pair of runs. Tim Fedroff drove in a run in the inning with a walk, followed by a RBI by Carlos Moncrief and Jose Ramirez RBI singles.
“It’s a great thing to come out and score runs,” Clippers manager Chris Tremie said. “We haven’t done a lot of that as of late and to come out and score five in the first inning is great. You try to add on to that and we did later on in the game. Scoring early in the game, especially the first inning is always nice, but there’s a lot of game left. If you really want to be picky, you’d like to have those runs in the seventh or eighth with a smaller window at the end, but I’ll take them anytime.”
The Clippers scored runs in three of the four innings that Charlotte starter Erik Johnson pitched. He allowed eight runs (all earned) on eight hits, three walks, two hit batters and did not strike out a batter.
“(Tuesday night) we did a good job of hitting pitches in the zone early,” Tremie said. “Then allowing (Johnson) to get behind in the count and walk a few guys and then put a good swing on a pitch late in the count.”
Giovanny Urshela walked with one out in the second and advanced first to third on Moncrief’s single. Ryan Rohlinger drove him home on a groundout to short. Urshela has batted .159 in his last 16 games with Columbus after hitting in each of his first six games. He has no homers and four RBI over that span. Urshela may have snapped out of the funk with the walk and a fourth inning RBI single to left.
Having made an impact in his debut on Monday night, Tyler Holt walked and scored in the first and followed that up with a double to lead off the fourth. Elliot Johnson drove him in with a triple off the centerfield wall before Urshela’s RBI single.
Kyle Davies (2-2, 4.40) started for the Clippers and was provided with plenty of run support. He gave up a couple of solo home runs to Andy Wilkins and Blake Tekotte. Wilkins home run was hit over Nationwide Blvd. located just outside the right field wall and is resting comfortably in a bush, ignored by pedestrians walking down the street.
He gave up a pair of runs in the second inning after giving up back-to-back, a Wilkins single followed by a Tyler Saladino double. Wilkins scored on a fielder’s choice when Clippers third baseman Urshela threw off target to home. The runner beat the throw anyway, so no error was charged. Jared Mitchell drove in the other run on a sacrifice fly to center.
Davies, who earned the win, was lifted in the seventh with two on and one out in favor of Kyle Crockett. Davies pitched 6.1 innings allowing seven hits, a walk and two home runs, but struck out five.
Crockett stranded Davies’ two runners and pitched the eighth. He struck out three consecutive batters and four overall, allowing one hit.
Frank Herrmann started the ninth. He gave up back-to-back one out singles. With the runners at second and third with two outs, Jordan Danks came to the plate. The Clippers played Danks, a left-handed hitter with a heavy shift. With nobody covering third, Herrmann stepped off the mound with his back foot and then ran toward the bag. The second base umpire Brian deBrauwere called Herrmann for a balk that allowed the run to score.
Danks singled in the second run ending Herrmann’s night. Vinny Pestano got the last out to earn a save, his third of the year.
The Clippers will send RHP Travis Banwart to the mound on Wednesday morning in the third of a four-game series against Charlotte. Banwart was tagged with his first loss of the season in his last start on Friday night against Durham. He tossed five innings and allowed three runs on seven hits and walked three, while striking out four.
Charlotte will counter with former Major League RHP Felipe Paulino. Paulino spent six years including the beginning of this season with the White Sox, Rockies, Royals and Astros combining for a 5.22 ERA in 95 games (65 starts).
TRANSACTIONS - 1B Jesus Aguilar recalled by Cleveland from Columbus…The Indians selected the contract of C George Kottaras from Columbus…C Chris Walllace transferred to Columbus from Akron (AA)…C Matt Colantonio transferred to Columbus from Mahoning Valley
Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.