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Columbus Clippers give up 3 in extras, lose to Pawtucket, 5-3

Columbus Clippers give up 3 in extras, lose to Pawtucket, 5-3
Photo credit: Brittany Chay/flickr
July 8, 2014
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Back-to-back 10th-inning home runs byAndres Torres and Travis Shaw put the Pawtucket Red Sox (48-46) in front for the first time and sent the Columbus Clippers (49-43) on the wrong side of the scoreboard for the second consecutive game.

Bryan Price (0-1, 5.06 ERA) gave up three runs in the 10th inning thanks to four consecutive Paw Sox hits.  With one out Jonathan Herrera singled to left.  Andres Torres hit one off the scoreboard in the right-center and was followed by a rocket shot to left by Travis Shaw to give Pawtucket a three run lead. 

Alex Webster had trouble finding the strike zone through the first couple of innings, but once he found it, he shut the Clippers down for his remaining five frames.  Webster walked three batters and hit another in the first two innings, but didn’t surrender another free pass until his final inning.  He left the game with a no decision.

But the Clippers were only able to get to him for two runs.  They left five runners on base during the first two innings of the game when they had him on the ropes.

“We didn’t come through with runners in scoring position and that was pretty much the difference in the game,” Clippers manager Chris Tremie said.  “We had some hits and some people on base, we just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities.”

Tyler Cloyd started for the Clippers and held Pawtucket in check for 6.1 innings.  Other than allowing a pair of runs in the sixth inning, Cloyd continued his run of steady performances with his third consecutive quality start.

“Cloyd (pitched) a really nice game,” Tremie said.  “Getting that deep into the game and only giving up two runs and really not even giving them up until deep in his outing gave us a good chance to win.”

Since pitching five scoreless at Syracuse, has a 2.84 ERA over 63.1 including Friday night and a 5-2 record over that span.  Like his counterpart, his efforts went unrewarded after leaving the game tied with one out in the seventh.  Tremie attributed his success to his command and his ability to throw all three of his pitches for strikes.

“He’s commanding the ball now,” Tremie said.  “Early on in the year, he was a little bit up in the zone.  His command wasn’t as good as it is now.  His command and his pitches, that’s the difference.”

Pawtucket tied the game in the sixth when four consecutive hitters reached base beginning with a walk by Travis Shaw.  He advanced to second on a passed ball, then scored on a double to the left field corner.  Alex Hassandrove him in on a single to right to tie the game.

The Clippers got a little lightning and thunder action for the first two runs of the game.  In the first, Jose Ramirez led off the inning with a swinging bunt.  It was fielded by Pawtucket starting pitcher Allen Webster, who threw wide of first. 

The ball trickled far enough away for Ramirez to break for second.  The second baseman Jonathan Herrera fielded the ball, but threw wide of second and the ball sailed into left field allowing Ramirez to end up at third.  The throw from left was wide as well, but a backup kept Ramirez at third and saved the Paw Sox of another error.  Ramirez would score two batters later on a ground ball double play.

Justin Sellers provided the unlikely thunder to Ramirez’s lightning in the second with his first home run of the year.  It was a solo shot that just cleared the wall in the left field corner.

Lefty Zach Britton (2-3, 5.50 ERA) pitched the ninth to get credit for the win.  Carlos Moncrief hit a solo home run, his ninth, off of Miguel Celestino with two outs in the tenth, but it wasn’t enough.  Celestino recorded the last out for his first save of the year.

The Clippers and the Paw Sox are scheduled to meet for the final game of their four game set on Wednesday night.  Right hander Toru Murata (0-0, 5.31 ERA).  This will be his fourth start with the Clippers this season and sixth overall appearance.  He pitched four innings on Friday night, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven.

Opposing Murata for Pawtucket is righty Steven Wright (3-1, 2.40 ERA).  The knuckleballer has one career start against his former team.  He gave up one unearned run over four innings and walked five batters last April 29.

Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.

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