Clippers rally late for big 10-7 win
LOUISVILLE – The Columbus Clippers (68-63) put together a late-game rally on Tuesday night to defeat the Louisville Bats (50-82) by a final score of 10-7.
The Clippers trailed 7-5 entering the seventh inning, but they were able to score five unanswered runs across two innings to take the lead and ultimately put the game away.
The scoring commenced in the third inning, as Columbus put five runs on the board to take a commanding early lead. First it was second baseman Cord Phelps getting an RBI single with the bases loaded, and then the next batter – left fielder Russ Canzler – brought in another run with an infield single to short. The final three runs of the inning came on a bases-clearing double to right by first baseman Lars Anderson.
This inning would be the end for Bats starting pitcher Tim Gustafson (4-5, 5.47 ERA), who allowed five runs on six hits and four walks.
However, Gustafson would not get credit for the loss. Louisville was able to score the next seven runs to come all the way back and take the lead. In the third inning, second baseman Henry Rodriguez hit a two-run double to center to make it 5-2. In the fourth, a run was walked in, and then shortstop Didi Gregorius tied the game with a two-run double to left. Finally, in the fifth, a couple of RBI singles by catcher Corky Miller and left fielder Cody Puckett put the Bats up 7-5. It was a big comeback, and one that could have possibly deflated the Clippers on both sides of the ball.
As a result, Columbus also had to go to their bullpen early. Starter T.J. McFarland (6-6, 5.20 ERA) left after 4.2 innings, and in that time he gave up seven runs on eight hits and six walks.
Luckily, the Clippers bullpen was able to shut down the Bats offense for the rest of the game. The same can’t be said of the other side, as Columbus came back themselves to take a late lead. Phelps once again got an RBI single with the bases loaded, and the next two runs were walked in by Bats reliever Nick Masset. It’s been for Masset of late; in his last six games with Louisville he’s managed an ERA of 8.10. He received credit for the loss, while the win went to Columbus reliever Matt Langwell.
Columbus entered the eighth inning with an 8-7 lead, but then added two more to put the final nail in the coffin. Both came on a two-run single by designated hitter Matt LaPorta with the bases loaded, and then reliever Scott Barnes put the game away in the ninth.
The Clippers will return to Huntington Park on Wednesday night to begin a three-game series against the division rival Toledo Mud Hens.