Error-plagued Clippers fall to Chiefs, 4-1
Columbus allowed two costly errors in the sixth inning, which led to 3 Chiefs runs.
COLUMBUS, OH – When base runners are hard to come by, you have got to make every single one count.
That’s exactly what the Syracuse Chiefs (19-17) did on Sunday afternoon as they defeated the Columbus Clippers 4-1 thanks to some timely hitting, and the home team’s defensive errors.
For the first four innings the game was a true pitchers duel. Kyle Davies (1-1), making his second start of the season for Columbus (19-16), only allowed one base runner through the first four frames.
His opposite number Blake Treinen (1-0) matched him step for step. Treinen struck out four and also faced 13 batters in that same span.
When Davies walked Destin Hood with one out in the fifth, the Clippers still didn’t seem under any great pressure. Hood – who stole six bases in AA before being called up to AAA on May 1 – stole second, and when Brandon Laird singled to center he easily made it home to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead.
The Clippers tried to respond immediately in the bottom of the inning, but Matt Carson grounded into an inning-ending double play to relieve the danger for Syracuse.
Fielding errors began to plague the Clippers in the sixth when Justin Sellers threw past Jesus Aguilar at first to allow leadoff hitter Jeff Howell advance to second. Two straight singles gave the Chiefs a 2-0 lead on runners on first and second with nobody out.
Steven Souza Jr. stepped to the plate for an at-bat that made an impact on the game, and maybe the Clippers’ season as well. He grounded to Giovanny Urshela at third, who then stepped on the bag and threw over to first. His double play attempt was high, however, allowing another run to score, and it forced a collision between Aguilar and Souza Jr. at first. Both stayed in the game, but Audy Ciriaco eventually replaced Aguilar in the seventh.
Clippers manager Chris Tremie said Aguilar still needed to be evaluated, and that the decision to take him out of the game came from the staff wanting to be cautious.
“We’ll take a look at him this afternoon and then tomorrow morning, see how he’s feeling. But we think he’s going to be okay, we think it’s just a bruise,” Tremie said. “We just felt like [taking him out in the seventh] was the best thing to do today.”
Souza then stole second, and a bloop single to left by Jhonatan Solano put the visitors up 4-0.
Elliot Johnson and Luke Carlin led off the home half of the sixth with a single and a double, respectively. But two flyouts and a groundout meant only the Clippers came away with just one run from the inning.
Tremie said that playing from behind and good opposition pitching were two key factors in the final outcome.
“The errors helped contribute to giving up a couple of runs, and anytime you get behind in a ballgame you fight to try and get back,” Tremie said. “Their pitchers were pretty good today, they threw the ball well against us and it just didn’t work out for us.”
Manny Delcarmen came in for the save in the ninth, but after getting two flyouts he gave up a double and a walk, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Carlos Moncrief. But, the Columbus rightfielder popped out on just the second pitch of the at-bat to end the game.
The loss snaps a six-game winning streak for the Clippers, and an eight-game home winning run. Tim Fedroff went 0-4 to end his 25-game on-base streak, the team’s longest of the season.
The Clippers will send Travis Banwart to the mound as they look to win the series against the Chiefs on Monday at 10:35 a.m. before heading out on an eight-game road trip.
- After clearing waivers on May 9, Elliot Johnson was outrighted to the Clippers lineup for the first time on Sunday afternoon.
- Brett Brach, who was activated from the disabled list on May 4, was released.