Columbus falls below .500 with 4-3 loss
INDIANAPOLIS – One day after the Columbus Clippers and Indianapolis Indians combined for 21 runs on 26 hits, the two teams met again on Sunday afternoon for a much more defensive affair. The Indians (59-36) defeated the Clippers (47-48) by a final score of 4-3 to take the three-game series and once again force the Clippers below .500.
The victory went to Indianapolis starter Rick VandenHurk (9-1, 3.43 ERA), who allowed just two runs on six hits in six innings on the mound. This came just a week after the Clippers handed VandenHurk his first loss of the year in a game at Huntington Park.
The game began well for the Clippers, as first baseman Vinny Rottino continued his hot streak and knocked an RBI double to left to give his club a 1-0 lead. It was Rottino’s 12th RBI in 13 games with Columbus, and he’s hitting .341 in that stretch.
The Clippers wouldn’t be able to generate much more offense the rest of the game. Their other two runs would both come from third baseman Russ Canzler, who hit an RBI double in the fourth and launched a solo shot to left in the eighth that single-handedly kept Columbus in the game. This homer was his 14th of the year.
The Indians weren’t exactly putting on an offensive clinic, but their situational hitting proved strong enough to outscore the Clippers by one. Two of their four runs came in the second inning off an RBI double by shortstop Chase d’Arnaud and an RBI single by second baseman Anderson Hernandez. After two innings Indy had a 2-1 lead.
Right fielder Brandon Boggs was responsible for the final two Indianapolis runs, as he hit a couple crucial RBI singles in the third and fifth innings. After five it was 4-2, and Canzler’s eighth-inning homer would be the only scoring on either side after that.
The loss went to Clippers starter T.J. McFarland (3-3, 5.44 ERA), who fell in his second straight start against the Indians. His performance Sunday was much more respectable when contrasted to his eight-run fiasco last Saturday at Huntington Park, but it wasn’t enough for the victory. All in all he gave up four runs on nine hits in five innings pitched.
The Columbus offense was stifled in the ninth once more by Indianapolis closer Tim Wood, who set the Clippers down in order and got his 14th save of the year.
The Clippers will return home on Monday to begin a four-game set against the Louisville Bats. First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m.
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