Cloyd pitches gem in Clippers 4-2 win over Bats
Columbus Clippers starter Tyler Cloyd pitched eight innings of four hit ball, while allowing zero earned runs.
LOUISVILLE, KY – In his first two starts of the season, Columbus Clippers (2-6) starting pitcher Tyler Cloyd has done his best Jekyll and Hyde impersonation.
After giving up six earned runs in 3.1 innings last Sunday, Cloyd was outstanding in his return performance in the Clippers 4-2 win over the Louisville Bats (4-3) on Friday night.
Cloyd retired the first nine batters he faced and was pitch efficient (86 in eight innings). In a 2-1 game in the seventh, the Bats threatened with back-to-back singles to start the inning from Felix Perez and Chris Nelson. Cloyd got Mike Costanzo to line out to center and coaxed a ground ball to second for a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
He finished his night as strong as he began it, by retiring the side in order in the eighth.
The Bats did not reach base until a leadoff single in the fourth off the bat of Hernan Iribarren. He got the next batter Jason Bourgeois to ground into a double play and it seemed as though he would get through the inning unscathed. A fielding error by first baseman Bryan LaHair on a ground ball led to another big hit from Nelson. Nelson hit a line drive double to right that scored Perez and gave the Bats a 1-0 lead.
The Clippers came back in the sixth. With one-out, Jesus Aguilar lined a single to left. Tim Fedroff grounded a single to right and it was misplayed by Felix Perez. His error allowed Aguilar to score from first to tie the game, and Fedroff advanced all the way to third.
Matt Carson gave the Clippers the lead for good with a line drive single to left, which scored Fedroff and chased Bats starter Tim Crabbe (0-1, 1.59), who took the loss.
The Clippers added to their lead in the ninth. Carson led off with a single to right and Bryan LaHair worked a walk. After a sacrifice bunt by George Kottaras to advance the runners, David Cooper – pinch hitting for Audy Ciriac and Jose Ramirez both grounded singles to right that scored Carson and LaHair to give the Clippers a 4-1 lead.
Clippers manager Chris Tremie decided not to send Cloyd back out for the ninth and opted instead for Mark Lowe (0-0, 4.15) to close out the game. It was not easy, but Lowe got the job done for his second save of the young season. With one-out Jason Bourgeois reached on an infield single to third.
Lowe struck out Perez, but gave up a single to Nelson. Costanzo got Bourgeois home with a single to left, but Lowe got Mike Wilson to lineout to center to end the game with the tying run at first.
These two teams conclude their three game series with a 2:05 PM afternoon tilt at Louisville Slugger Field Saturday afternoon. The Clippers will trot out Travis Banwart (1-0, 1.50) who pitched very well in his 2014 debut against the Louisville Bats on Tuesday night giving up one run in six innings. The Bats will counter with Chein-Ming Wang (0-1, 7.20).
Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.