Clippers sunk 6-5 in extras
Late inning heroics not enough for Columbus
COLUMBUS- After shortstop Juan Diaz slapped a single into the left and third baseman Nate Spears followed with a perfectly-placed bunt single, the Clippers looked poised keep the game alive. That was not the case however, as Columbus failed to execute and eventually fell to the Pawtucket Red Sox 6-5 in 10 innings Wednesday.
Catcher Omir Santos attempted to move the runners over with a bunt down the third base line but it was a tad too strong and Diaz was forced out at third. Designated hitter Ezequiel Carrera struck out in the next at-bat before right fielder Matt Carson walked to load the bases. Left fielder Jeremy Hermida took two hefty swings at fastballs up in the zone before watching a called-third strike on the outside of the plate to end the game.
We had an opportunity, got a runner on with a base hit by Diaz and a good bunt by Spears that they misplayed,” manager Chris Tremie said. “The idea is to move runners over to get an opportunity for a lot more ways to score from third base and advancing the winning run to second base. We had the top of the order coming up and you know, we just didn’t get the bunt down to the right area and that allowed them to make a play.”
Down 5-4 the entering the bottom of the ninth, Carrera lead off the inning by belting solo homer over the scoreboard in right center to tie the game. But reliever Bryan Price surrendered a one-out homer to Pawtucket catcher Dan Butler in the top of the 10th which would prove to be the go-ahead run.
Columbus center fielder Tim Fedroff contributed to three of the first four Clipper runs with a pair of big hits in the second and third innings.
In the bottom of the second, Fedroff walloped a Trevor Doyle fastball over the right field wall to give the Clippers an early 1-0 lead.
Carrera squeaked a groundball single between the hole at first and second to begin the bottom of the third. He then stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw by Butler. Carson followed by roping an RBI double that curved down the right-field line to put Columbus up 2-0.
After a strikeout by Hermida, second baseman Cord Phelps smoked a base hit to center and hustled his way to second on the throw to home. With both runners in scoring position and two down, Fedroff punched a two-run single into right field to increase the advantage to 4-0.
Clippers right-hander Trevor Bauer was solid in his brief outing. In the 3.2 innings he tossed, Bauer allowed no runs on three hits with four strikeouts and one walks. He exited the game after throwing just 63 pitches.
Tremie affirmed that nothing was wrong with Bauer and that he was not injured in any way. Looking ahead on Cleveland’s schedule, it’s possible that Bauer could be starting one of the doubleheader games against the Chicago White Sox on June 28. That could potentially explain why he was on a limited pitch count.
The Red Sox reduced the deficit in half with a pair of runs off of reliever Paolo Espino in the top of the fifth. With one out, Butler a laser-shot single down right field line and left fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker was then issued a free pass. Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. followed by looping an RBI base knock to mid-right field and first baseman Drew Sutton stroked another single to right to make it a 4-2 ballgame.
They then added an extra run in the top of the sixth when second baseman Justin Henry laid a sacrifice bunt down the first base line to score right fielder Alex Hassan from third. In the seventh, Sutton laced a two-bagger into the left field corner to bring Bradley all the way home from first and tie the game at four runs each.
Relief pitcher Chris Jakubauskas recorded one out in the top of the eight before loading the bases and leaving it up to righty Jerry Gil to get him out of the jam. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen for the Clippers as Gil issued a dreaded RBI walk to Bradley Jr. to vault Pawtucket ahead 5-4.
Red Sox reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith (5-0, 0.67 ERA) picked up the win in his 1.1 innings of work and Price (0-1, 6.38 ERA) was charged with the defeat.
The fourth loss in a row sinks Columbus even further at 34-39 and Pawtucket moves to 43-28.
The four-game series between the Clippers and Red Sox will conclude with a 7:05 p.m. affair Thursday. Southpaw T.J. House (1-6, 5.46 ERA) will attempt to turn things around for Columbus as he battles it out with right-hander Allen Webster (5-1, 2.98 ERA).