Clippers struggle in key at bats, lose 4-2
TOLEDO - Poor execution at the plate and some timely hitting by the Toledo Mud Hens doomed the Columbus Clippers Tuesday night.
Columbus lost to the Mud Hens, 4-2, at Fifth Third Field in Toledo. The Clippers had won game one of the series, 4-1, on Monday night.
Right-hander Thad Webster stifled the Columbus bats for the seven innings he was in the game. The Clippers managed six hits against Webster, but the right-hander shut the door when Columbus got people on base.
Columbus went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, leaving nine runners on base
Designated hitter Matt LaPorta came through for the Clippers’ offense in the top of the fourth with a homer to center field. Columbus’ other run came in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Vinny Rottino, scoring right fielder Trevor Crowe.
Toledo got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning with a two-out rally. After back-to-back singles by Rob Brantly and Bryan Pounds, the Mud Hens’ catcher came through with Toledo’s third-straight hit with the Clippers one out away from getting out of the inning. Bryan Holaday doubled to left field, plating both Brantly and Pounds.
Holaday, batting eighth, was a thorn in the side of Clippers’ pitchers all game long. He was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.
Unlike the Clippers’ performance in the clutch at the plate, the Mud Hens’ ability to hit with runners in scoring position propelled their offense. Toledo went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Toledo added to its lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Mud Hens reeled off four-consecutive singles with one out in the inning. Once again, Brantly and Pounds started it off, with base knocks to center field. Like the second inning, Holaday followed up their hits with one of his own, loading the bases. A single to right by Argenis Diaz drove in Brantly, and Pounds scored one batter after Justin Henry grounded into a fielder’s choice at second.
Of the nine hits Columbus left-hander David Huff gave up, seven came in the second and sixth inning. Huff lasted six frames, allowing four runs while striking out three Mud Hens.
Columbus and Toledo will play game three of the series on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.