The Columbus Clippers returned home to Huntington Park Friday night after a lengthy road trip and started off their home stand with a win.
Columbus defeated the Indianapolis Indians, 5-1, to open a four-game set against the International League’s best team. The Clippers, which went 4-4 on their eight-game road trip, scored more runs in their first game of their seven-game home stand than they did in any of their recent road contests. Columbus got serious production out of the bottom of its order and a lengthy effort by Roberto Hernandez on the mound.
At the plate, the Clippers’ bottom three hitters in the order—Gregorio Petit, Luke Carlin, and Aaron Cunningham—went a combined 5-for-12. Two of the Clippers’ final three hitters—Petit and Carlin—each had RBIs. Combined, Petit, Carlin and Cunningham, reached base eight times.
In all, seven of the nine hitters in the Columbus order had at least one hit. Besides Petit, who went 3-for-4 with a home run, right fielder Vinny Rottino paved the way with a two-hit game.
On the mound, Hernandez recorded his first win of the season in a Clippers’ uniform. The right-hander went seven innings, allowing one run on four hits. Hernandez struck out five and walked one. Indianapolis’ lone run of the game came on a double in the fifth inning by catcher Tony Sanchez.
Columbus got out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Petit hit a two-run homer to left field with one out.
The Clippers added to their lead in the sixth and seventh inning after Indianapolis plated its only run of the game.
A Luke Carlin single to center field plated Russ Canzler in the bottom of the sixth before Columbus added two more runs in the seventh. A Rottino single scored Tim Fedroff and Rottino later scored in the inning on a groundout by Canzler.
Columbus and Indianapolis will play game two of the series on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.