Clippers struggle, fall to Bulls 6-2
Columbus managed just two runs on eight hits in Sunday's loss.
DURHAM, NC – The Columbus Clippers (13-15) had another opportunity to break even on the season. They were successful two days ago, but not Sunday evening. A two-run home run in the seventh inning by Roman Ali Solis allowed the Durham Bulls (20-11) to take the final game of the four-game series 6-2 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
With so much promise two days ago, the Clippers ended up with an even 4-4 road trip after splitting the series against Durham two games apiece.
T.J. House (1-2) started and took the loss, though he pitched better than his final line suggested. House pitched seven innings and struck out nine batters over the course of a season-high 106 pitches. But, and this is a pretty big but, he allowed four runs, three of them earned on five hits and two walks. And one homerun.
On the encouraging side of things, in his second at-bat as a Clipper, Giovanny Urshela introduced himself to his new team with a solo home run to give Columbus the lead in the fourth. Urshela batted .300 with four homers and 19 RBI for Double-A Akron this season, and was reassigned to Columbus following the promotion of Jose Ramirez.
Durham used a reliever as a starter on Sunday, Doug Mathis, who hadn’t started a game yet this season. Not stretched out, he lasted four innings and gave up both runs scored by the Clippers.
Jim Patterson (1-0) followed him, and pitched three shutout innings for the win allowing one hit and a walk with two strikeouts.
Juan Sandoval pitched the final two innings, and earned his first save of the year.
Carlos Moncrief opened the scoring with a two-out single that drove in Tim Fedroff. Prior to Saturday’s 0-for-5 performance, the previous ten games, Moncrief was on a bit of a hot streak, batting .394 with a homer, two doubles, a triple and three RBI. In the previous 13 games to open the season, he was batting .163 with no home runs and three RBI.
Durham tied the score in the bottom of the first, on a RBI groundout by Cole Figueroa. They had House on the ropes in that inning with runners on the corners, until he coaxed another groundball from Wilson Betemit to short that started a double play, which ended the inning.
Figueroa added another RBI groundout to tie the game in the sixth.
The Clippers return home on Monday night and begin a four-game series against the Rochester Red Wings (Twins). Tyler Cloyd (1-2, 6.84) toes the rubber for the Clippers in the opener at 6:35 PM at Huntington Park.
Cloyd has struggled through three of his four starts, was better in his fifth effort. He allowed two runs in five innings against Norfolk in last Tuesday’s second game of a doubleheader. Cloyd’s effort went unrewarded because the bullpen blew the lead in the sixth inning, in a game that the Clippers, ultimately, lost 7-4. He gave up six hits, struck out two and walked one.
Rochester will send Brooks Raley (0-1, 4.63) to the mound. The former Chicago Cub will make his first start of the season, having already made seven relief appearances covering 11.2 innings.
- Cleveland recalled outfielder Nyjer Morgan today and optioned Nick Hagadone. Hagadone will be in Columbus when the Clippers open their upcoming home stand
- Brett Brach (left calf) was activated from the disabled list before Sunday’s game against Durham.
Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.