Game Recap 6/1: Brown's Pinch Hit Double Wins It For Clippers
What can Jordan Brown do for you? On Tuesday night, Brown delivered a pinch-hit, game-winning double as the Columbus Clippers defeated the Louisville Bats, 4-3. Brown was not in the lineup to begin the game but he came on during the bottom of the ninth as the Clippers won their seventh game of the season on their final at bat.
The hype at the conclusion of the game overshadowed the pre-game hype as Bats' starting pitcher, Aroldis Chapman visited Huntington Park. Chapman amazed the crowd of over 8,300 as he went seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out five. Chapman hadn't allowed a run since May 14th before giving up an RBI double to Josh Phelps in the second inning, Phelps' first hit as a Clipper. Tonight's outing was Chapman's longest on the season and he hit the 100 mile per hour mark once in the second inning, raising cheers from both Clipper and Bat fans.
The Bats tied the ball game up in the sixth inning, as Wilton Castillo hit his fifth home run of the season to right field off of Josh Tomlin, tying the game at one. The Clippers would answer in the bottom half of the frame as Josh Rodriguez drove in Phelps on a two out RBI single that dropped into right field.
The Bats took the lead in the seventh inning, scoring two runs on two hits as Castillo drove home the Bats' second run off Tomlin with a groundout to second. Chris Valaika gave the Bats the lead on the next pitch from Tomlin with an RBI single to center, driving in Luis Terrero, who doubled in the inning.
Tomlin went pitch-for-pitch with Chapman and out-pitched him early, retiring the first 11 batters of the game before Yonder Alonso singled to right field. Tomlin went seven innings, but gave up three runs on five hits on 99 pitches. Frank Herrmann came on and pitched two innings of relief, striking out the side in the ninth and picking up the win.
The Clippers conclude their home stand tomorrow against the Bats with Carlos Carrasco getting the start. Carrasco on the season is 3-2 on the year with a 4.36 ERA and will face Matt Maloney at 11:35 a.m.
Espino Stars in Relief as Aeros Win 5-3
Right-hander Paolo Espino upstaged the debut of heralded lefty prospect Nick Hagadone Tuesday night as the Aeros defeated the Erie SeaWolves 5-3. The crowd of 1,568 fans at Canal Park witnessed Akron win for the second straight contest thanks to a spectacular relief effort by Espino. The normally scheduled starter allowed just one hit in five shutout innings with seven strikeouts as the Aeros improved to 22-30 while Erie dropped to 25-27 on the year.
The SeaWolves struck in the very first inning against Hagadone thanks to a two-run home run by center fielder Wilkin Ramirez. The shot was his league-leading 15th of the season as Erie took an early 2-0 lead. Aeros designated hitter Matt McBride then helped the hosts return the favor in the bottom of that first with an RBI triple to score Tim Fedroff and cut the deficit to just a single run.
Erie scored again in the third as a two-out single by left fielder Andy Dirks initiated a rally. Hagadone then permitted two walks and a hit by pitch to bring home another runner and give the Wolves a 3-1 advantage. The lefty would pitch just one more inning, retiring all three batters he faced in the fourth but did not factor into the final decision. Espino took over in relief in the top of the fifth and held down the Erie offensive attack for the rest of the ball game.
The Aeros took the lead for good in the bottom of that fifth against Erie starting pitcher Brooks Brown. Shortstop Carlos Rivero drew a leadoff walk and back-to-back singles helped make it a one-run game yet again. After a pair of force outs, left fielder John Drennen then delivered the go-ahead hit with a two-run two-out double off the right field wall, giving Akron a 4-3 edge.
Rivero then helped the Aeros score the final run of the night in the eighth after yet another two-out rally. McBride drew a walk, first baseman Beau Mills punched a single and Rivero then plated McBride with a run-scoring single to right field.
Espino (6-2) earned the win with his masterful performance out of the bullpen, lowering his ERA to 2.36 in his past eight outings overall. Brown took the loss in dropping to 3-3 on the season by allowing four runs in six innings of work. Hagadone finished the night with five strikeouts against the two walks in his four frames while allowing three runs and three hits.
Drennen was the star of the night offensively as he finished with a pair of hits and the two RBI because of his double in the eighth. Third baseman Jared Goedert recorded yet another single as well to extend his hitting streak to 21 straight games, just one shy of the longest in franchise history.
The Aeros look to take a commanding lead Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. in this quick three-game series against Erie. Aeros right-hander Alex White (1-0, 2.57 ERA) faces off against Sea Wolves lefty Andy Oliver (3-2, 3.33 ERA) in the contest.
Kinston Falls to Wilmington 3-2
Kinston scored a run in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn