Clippers Split Doubleheader With 1st Place Indians
The second half of the season for the Columbus Clippers started Thursday night, and the club opened play with a split against the Indianapolis Indians.
Columbus (46-46) played a doubleheader versus the first-place Indians. The Clippers took game one, a shortened seven-inning contest, 4-1. Indianapolis rallied to win game two, 2-1, but it took them extra innings to do it.
A solid pitching effort by right-hander Corey Kluber and a big home run from Matt Pagnozzi propelled the Clippers in game one.
After three-straight scoreless frames, Pagnozzi broke open the scoring in the top of the fourth inning. The Columbus catcher sent a pitch from Indianapolis left-hander Jeff Locke over the center-field wall, plating himself and Clippers’ third baseman Jared Goedert, who reached on a single. The hit was Pagnozzi’s only base knock of the game, but it was the difference in the opening contest of the series.
Behind six strong innings thrown by Kluber, Columbus held the Indians to one run. Indianapolis scored their lone run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth inning, but not before the Clippers added to their lead in the top of the frame.
A Cord Phelps double brought home designated hitter Vinny Rottino with two outs in the fifth. The Clippers second baseman, moved down in the batting order—from the three-hole to the sixth-spot—scored later in the inning on a botched groundball hit by Goedert. Phelps went 2-for-3 in game one, his first multi-hit game in more than two weeks.
Kluber (9-7) recorded a win for the second-straight start. His nine wins are a team high, as are his 104-plus innings pitched.
Both teams struggled at the plate in game two, with neither team plating a run through the first four innings.
Ezequiel Carrera drove in the first run of the game. The Clippers center fielder doubled to left field, bringing home Ryan Rohlinger in the top of the fifth inning.
Indianapolis bounced back with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning and scored the next run of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning for the win. In the bottom of the eighth, after a walk and a sacrifice bunt, the Indians scored on a base hit to center field.
Columbus and Indianapolis will play game three of the series on Friday at 7:15 p.m.