Clippers thump the Chiefs, 12-2
COLUMBUS - The Columbus Clippers were able to even up the series on Friday night as they beat the Syracuse Chiefs 12-2.
“It was a complete team effort tonight,” Manager Mike Sarbaugh stressed on a win led by an explosive offensive effort. “Top to bottom, everyone contributed.”
Kevin Slowey picked up his third win of the season after pitching seven strong innings, striking out seven, and giving up one earned run.
Sarbaugh pulled Slowey aside after he came out of the game, and told him that, “tonight was the best he has seen him pitch all season.” Slowey (3-3) faced off against Chiefs left-hander Zach Duke (4-2).
In the top of the first inning, Slowey was able to sit the Chiefs’ hitters down in order. The Clippers responded in the bottom half of the inning with a two run home run by left fielder Matt LaPorta. It was his 12th homer of the season.
The Clippers’ bats were alive once again in the second inning as shortstop Jason Donald hit an RBI double to left center field which scored first basemen Russ Canzler. After two innings, the Clippers led the ball game 3-0.
Slowey got into a little bit of trouble in the third inning. He gave up a walk and a hit with two outs, but he was able to get out of the jam after a nice play by second basemen Cord Phelps to make the third out.
After throwing four scoreless innings, Slowey gave up his first run of the game in the fifth. With runners on second and third, center fielder Corey Brown hit a deep sacrifice fly to center field and shortstop Seth Bynum scored to make the score 3-1.
It didn’t take long for Columbus to respond. In the bottom of the fifth with two outs designated hitter Andy LaRoche hit a double off of the right center wall scoring two Clippers on the play to make the score 5-1.
That was all she wrote for Duke as he left after throwing five innings and giving up five earned runs, and was replaced by right-hander Erik Arnesen in the top of the sixth.
The pitching change did not faze the Clippers’ hot bats as they were able to tack on another run in the sixth inning. With catcher Luke Carlin reaching base on an error, Donald drove him in after hitting a triple to center field.
Lefty Corey VanAllen came in for the Chiefs in the bottom of the seventh. The Clippers loaded the bases and were able to score a run after Canzler hit a frozen rope to third basemen Carlos Rivero who was unable to make the play at home. The very next batter, Carlin hit a double down the left field line scoring two more Clippers’ base runners.
Right-hander Hassan Pena came in to pitch, but he couldn’t stop the bleeding as Canzler scored on an out and then with Carlin at third center fielder Ezequiel Carrera lined a single into right allowing Carlin to score. On the play Donald was thrown out at second base by the Chiefs right fielder. After a six run seventh inning the Clippers led the Chiefs 12-1.
Right-hander Dan Wheeler came into the game in the ninth inning and made his Clippers' debut, but he gave up a run after an RBI single by shortstop Seth Bynum.
The Columbus Clippers play again Saturday at 7:05 pm at Huntington Park in Columbus.