Columbus Clippers cruise to 6-2 victory against Buffalo Bisons
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Clippers (38-33) used patience early and pop late with some quality pitching at all points in between to defeat the Buffalo Bisons (32-36), 6-2, in front of 8,558 fans at Huntington Park.
The win is the seventh consecutive for the Clippers and moves them one game closer to first after Indianapolis’ loss.
The Clippers showed plenty of patience in their three-run third. The three-run rally started when Ryan Rohlinger was hit by Buffalo starter Sean Nolin (2-4, 3.70 ERA). The next four batters reached base before Justin Sellers singled and was followed by three consecutive walks, which produced a pair of runs. The rally culminated with a sacrifice fly to center by Adam Abraham that scored Tyler Holt.
“We took advantage of what we were given at the time,” Clippers manager Chris Tremie said. “We were fortunate that they were able to give us some (pitches out of the strike zone) and we were able to not go out of the zone and chase them.”
The single by Sellers was the Clippers only hit through the first six innings and also extended a short hit streak to five games. Tyler Holt picked up the Clippers’ second hit leading off the seventh.
“I think we had one hit until the sixth or the seventh,” Holt said. “That’s a credit to guys having good at-bats, taking walks and timely hitting. The sac fly got the job done.”
Holt also worked two walks in back-to-back innings.
“I’m trying to do my job in the one and two hole and see pitches,” Holt said. “Hopefully (I am able to) put some barrel on it or take my walks, which I’ve been doing and get on base for those guys.”
The Clippers broke it open in the eighth when Giovanny Urshela started the inning with a double to center. Roberto Perez brought him in with a single to left. Audy Ciriaco drove a pitch to deep center that bounced away from Buffalo centerfielder Colby Rasmus and allowed Ciriaco a triple and the Clippers a four-run lead.
“To add those runs in the eighth inning and stretch the lead out really deflates the other team and makes you a lot more comfortable going (into the ninth) with four runs rather than the one run ball game,” Tremie said.
Kyle Davies (4-4, 3.81 ERA) started for the Clippers and went six innings and was the victim of some shoddy defense by the Clippers. An error by the shortstop led to the first run in the fourth. Kevin Pillar reached and then was driven in on a double to left by Brad Glenn.
Overall, Davies was charged with two unearned runs and gave up five hits and two walks with one strikeout.
“(Davies) had to work in the middle innings there,” Tremie said. I thought he looked stronger in the sixth inning than he looked all night. In his last outing, he looked really good in his late innings of work. He had done his job tonight: 100 pitches, he got us through six innings with the lead and he handed it over to the bullpen.”
Scott Barnes took over in the seventh and retired the next five batters before being removed for Vinnie Pestano. Glenn took a Pestano pitch to deep center where Holt leaped at the wall to steal extra bases away.
“We were playing deep so I kind of had a better angle than playing straight up,” Holt said of the catch. “I didn’t have to slow down; I didn’t have to speed up. I jumped and kind of closed my eyes and hoped for the best.”
Vinnie Pestano, allowed a hit in the ninth, but also struck out a batter and picked up his sixth save of the season.
The Clippers and Buffalo are set to play again on Wednesday night with the third game of the four-game set with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Huntington Park. Columbus is scheduled to turn to righty Travis Banwart (4-2, 3.59 ERA) for the 14th time this season.
He picked up a quality start in his last outing in the win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday night where he gave up three runs over 6.2 innings and was a bad bounce away from completing the seventh with one fewer runs whenAustin Romine lined a ball off his leg that rolled just out of reach.
Banwart picked up his fourth victory of the year in the game and his first win since May 17. He also tied for the team lead in wins with Trevor Bauer, who hasn’t pitched in Columbus since May 13.
Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.