INDIANAPOLIS – It was a shootout in Indianapolis on Saturday night as the Columbus Clippers (47-47) fell to the Indians (58-36) by a final score of 12-9. Both teams were able to put together a few big innings, but it was the Indians who scored the final six runs and ultimately came away with the victory.
An RBI groundout by Columbus designated hitter Vinny Rottino gave the Clippers a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Indianapolis would strike back with five runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame. Designated hitter Brandon Boggs hit a three-run home run to left field – his seventh of the year – and two batters later catcher Tony Sanchez launched his fourth homer of the year to right and made it 5-1.
This would be as bad as the night would get for Clippers starter David Huff (4-4, 4.98 ERA), as he would go on to last five innings and avoid getting the loss. All in all he allowed six runs on eight hits and four walks while striking out three.
The evening was much shorter for Indy starter Justin Wilson (7-4, 4.06 ERA), who allowed Columbus right back in the game and was pulled after three innings of work. Wilson’s troubles started in the third when he allowed a Rottino three-run homer to make it 5-4, but it was the start of the fourth when things really got out of hand.
The inning began with a solo shot by right fielder Russ Canzler, his thirteenth homer of the season. He then gave up three straight hits before getting pulled from the game. His bullpen was unable to bail him out, and the Clippers would tack on more runs thanks to a two-run single by center fielder Ezequiel Carrera, an RBI single by left fielder Jason Donald, and a sacrifice fly by first baseman Matt LaPorta. After four, Columbus had a 9-6 lead over the Indians.
Unfortunately for a Columbus, not a whole lot went right after that. The Clippers offense would be kept off the board while Indy would eventually take the lead right back. A three-run homer in the sixth inning by center fielder Starling Marte tied the game, while an RBI single by second baseman Anderson Hernandez made it 10-9. The loss went to Clippers reliever Dan Wheeler while the win was awarded to the Indians’ Doug Slaten.
The Indians would tack on two more runs in the eighth innings to make it 12-9, and a solid ninth by closer Tim Wood ended the game without further drama. It was Wood’s thirteenth save of the year.
The Clippers will complete their weekend series in Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon with a contest beginning at 1:15 p.m.