Clippers start season off with two wins
INDIANAPOLIS- After a low-scoring outing in their 2013 debut, the Clippers’ bats came alive in Indianapolis in game two of their series against the Indianapolis Indians.
Indians’ center fielder Alex Presley and shortstop Jordy Mercer started off the game with back to back doubles, giving Indianapolis a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Indianapolis struck again in the third, almost identically, with doubles by third baseman Jared Goedert and left fielder Felix Pie to extend the lead to 2-0.
Things were very quiet for the Clippers until the fourth inning, when suddenly the bats came alive.
Second baseman Luis Hernandez got the inning started with a single up the middle. After a Matt Carson fly out, Opening Day hero Jeremy Hermida moved Hernandez to third with a single of his own. Catcher Yan Gomes popped out setting up Clippers’ first baseman and slugger Mike McDade with two runners on base and two outs. McDade smacked a double over the head of Felix Pie scoring both runs and tying the game for the Clippers. Shortstop Juan Diaz singled in the next at-bat, giving the Clippers a 3-2 lead.
The bats came out again in the very next inning for Columbus. Cedric Hunter walked to start off the inning and, after a lineout by Tim Fedroff, was moved over by Hernandez who reached on an error. After a Carson strikeout, Hermida was walked loading the bases for Gomes. With two outs and the bases loaded, Gomes got the job done with a single to right field, scoring a run and keeping the bases loaded for Mike McDade. McDade was walked, and another run came in for the Clippers.
With a 5-2 lead, Clippers starter Corey Kluber allowed a run in the bottom of the 5th on a solo home run from Alex Presley.
Columbus answered right back in the top of the 7th with a home run of their own, this time a two run-shot from Jeremy Hermida that extended the lead to 7-3.
The Indians added a run on a Hermida fielding error in the bottom of the ninth, but the comeback effort came up short, and the Clippers were able to pull out the win, 7-4.
Overall, Corey Kluber had a decent outing for Columbus. In six innings Kluber allowed three runs on six hits, and even though he allowed five doubles and a home run he only gave up one walk. Jerry Gil relieved Kluber and pitched two scoreless innings and set up the save for Clippers reliever Preston Gullmet.
In the series finale on Saturday, Clippers starter Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to make his first start as a member of the Cleveland Indians’ organization. All eyes will be heavy on Daisuke, especially with the injury to Scott Kazmir and the rough start by Brett Myers on Thursday night in Toronto. For Indianapolis, Kyle McPherson will be on the bump, hoping to take at least a game from Columbus in this three game set.
Hayden Grove can be emailed at email@example.com or found on Twitter @H_Grove.