Clippers split doubleheader with Indians
Trevor Bauer leaves mark in Columbus debut
The Columbus Clippers split a doubleheader against the Indianapolis Indians Saturday. Columbus snatched the first game 2-1 behind the impressive debut of Trevor Bauer, but Indianapolis would prevail with a 5-0 victory in the second match up. Each contest was seven innings.
Manager Chris Tremie was proud of his team's performance even though they were unable to win both contests.
“Doubleheaders are tough in the respect of sweeping doubleheaders,” Tremie said. “It’s just one of the things in baseball. But you know, I think we ran across a guy who threw the ball well, and a couple guys out of their bullpen threw the ball well. We hit a couple balls that didn’t fall, but overall I think we played a pretty good game. We just faced some good pitching.”
Bauer’s first game in the blue and white was one to remember. Through his six innings of work, the highly-touted prospect fanned nine batters and allowed just one run on four hits.
He was called-up to Cleveland on April 4 to fill in for left-hander Scott Kazmir, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique injury. In his first start with the Tribe two days later, Bauer struggled to find his command as he issued seven walks in the five innings he pitched. He was demoted back to Columbus the following day.
Some more seasoning at the Triple-A level could be just what he needs to get back into the big leagues, and Saturday was a good start.
“He threw the ball well,” Tremie said. “He did a nice job with his fastball. He threw some really good breaking balls, good sliders and overall commanded the ball well and had a solid six innings.”
The Indians took an early 1-0 lead when designated hitter Brett Carroll launched a 92 mile-an-hour Bauer fastball to left center that cleared Huntington Park and bounced onto Nationwide Boulevard.
Columbus had a golden opportunity to score in the bottom half of the third inning when third baseman Ryan Rohlinger doubled off the left field wall with one out, but they were unable to capitalize as catcher Roberto Perez struck out swinging in the next at bat and center fielder Tim Fedroff grounded out to second base to end the inning.
Bauer ran into trouble in the top of the fourth when he issued a pair of two-out walks. With runners on first and second, first baseman Matt Hague smacked a single to right field. Second baseman Brandon Inge looked like he was going to score as he rounded third, but a laser from right fielder Jeremy Hermida to Perez met him in a bang-bang play at the plate for the out.
The Clippers finally got to Indianapolis starter Kris Johnson in bottom of the sixth. Left fielder Tim Fedroff led off the inning with a walk. In the following at bat, Luis Hernandez laid down a picture perfect sacrifice bunt down the first base line to advance Fedroff to second. Designated hitter Matt Carson then hammered a 1-0 pitch into the grass patch in left center to give Columbus the lead 2-1.
That homer would prove to be the game winner.
Closer Preston Guilmet came on in the seventh to shut the door on the game but it didn’t come easy for the 25-year-old. After retiring the first two batters, Guilmet gave up a line drive single to third baseman Jared Goedert and then walked center fielder Alex Presley. Left fielder Felix Pie flew out to deep center field to end the game and secure Guilmet’s third save of the season.
Other than giving up the Carson homerun, Johnson turned in a solid performance. He allowed just four hits in the six innings he pitched. Unfortunately for the right-hander, one of those hits cost him the game and dropped his record to 1-1.
The second game was a different story for the Clippers however.
Left-hander David Huff got off to a rocky start and allowed four runs in the first inning. Presley leadoff with a soft fly ball to left center that he hustled out for a double. Huff then gave up a free pass to Goedert before surrendering a double to shortstop Jordy Mercer that cleared the bases.
The pitcher seemed to settle down when he struck out the next two hitters but that appearance soon faded. First baseman Matt Hague singled to right to bring in another run and two batters later, catcher Tony Sanchez zipped a ground ball to left to score Hague and put the Indians up 4-0.
After the 35-pitch inning, Huff had to head to the showers early, as he was replaced by reliever Fernando Nieve.
Inge added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when he sent a homer off of former all-star Matt Capps over the wall in left center.
Play was stalled in the middle of the third when the lights along the right side of the stadium suddenly went out. If the game would have ended there, the result would have been no different.
“They threw some guys with some good arms at us,” Tremie said. “They had good stuff, kept the ball down and you just have to tip your hat. They did a nice job.”
Reid (1-0) picked up the win in relief while Huff (0-1) was charged with the loss. Columbus and Indianapolis both move to 6-4 on the season.
The Clippers have been shutout out three times through the first 10 games of the season. In 144 games last year, they were blanked just four times.
The Clippers will conclude their series with the Indians at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. The starting pitcher for Sunday’s game is still undecided, but it’s likely that right-hander Joe Martinez (0-1) will get the nod for Columbus and square-off against Indianapolis righty Phil Irwin (1-0).