Game Recap 6/25: Sarbaugh Wins No. 500
The Columbus Clippers defeated the Gwinnett Braves, 7-5 on Friday night at Huntington Park. The win gave Clippers' manager, Mike Sarbaugh, his 500th of his career and also put Columbus 15 games above .500, matching their best mark this season.
The Clippers took over the lead in the sixth inning as they scored four runs on five hits after trailing 3-1. Jared Goedert led off the scoring spree with his seventh home run of the season and Nick Weglarz continued his hot hitting at Huntington Park when he drove home Wes Hodges on an RBI double to left. Brian Bixler recorded his second hit of the night, a slow-rolling single past the first base bag, scoring Weglarz and giving Columbus their first lead of the night at 4-3. Bixler later scored on Brantley's second RBI of the night. The Clippers tacked on two important insurance runs in the eight on a Matt LaPorta double which ended up being the difference.
The Braves had early leads in the contest as Matt Young drove home the first run of the night on an RBI double to left in the third. Then in the top of the sixth, Gwinnett got home runs from Barbaro Canizares and Jordan Schafer but couldn't hold the lead against Columbus. Gwinnett made it close in the ninth with two runs, bust Justin Germano came in and closed the door.
Carlos Carrasco pitched effectively all night, pitching seven innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits and striking out eight. He improved his record to 6-3 on the year, one win shy of the team lead shared by Yohan Pino and Josh Tomlin.
Tomorrow, the Clippers and Braves meet up at 7:05 p.m. in game two of their four game series at Huntington Park. Jeanmar Gomez (4-7, 5.76) will take the hill for Columbus against Tim Gustafson (7-4, 4.92) of Gwinnett.
Aeros Offense Falls Flat in 5-3 Loss to B-Mets
The Aeros failed to capitalize on several offensive opportunities Friday night at Canal Park in a 5-3 defeat against the visiting Binghamton Mets. Post-game fireworks attracted 7,374 fans to downtown Akron for the contest where starting pitcher Alex White surrendered three unearned runs in yet another quality start but catcher Mike Nickeas powered the Binghamton offense. The game broke a tie between the two interdivision rivals, as the B-Mets are now 37-36 on the season while the Aeros are 36-37.
With one out in the bottom of the second, Akron left fielder Tim Fedroff started a rally with a lining triple down the right field line. Fedroff scored three batters later on a single to center by Jordan Henry against Mets starter Mike Antonini for the first run of the game.
Nearly the exact same thing happened in the third as John Drennen again lined a triple to right field against Antonini. Designated hitter Jerad Head followed immediately afterwards with an RBI infield single to short, giving the hosts the early two-run advantage.
After cruising through the first five innings, White struggled against the Binghamton lineup in the sixth. Sean Ratliff singled while a Lonnie Chisenhall error at third base prolonged the inning. White then threw a costly wild pitch, leading to a run-scoring groundout just before the hot-hitting Nickeas gave the visitors a 3-2 lead with a two-out homer to left.
The Mets then added to the Akron deficit thanks to a seventh inning rally that featured a solo homer by Brahiam Maldonado and a double play that plated Raul Reyes.
Meanwhile, the Aeros offense struggled against the Binghamton pitching staff as the team failed to capitalize on a leadoff double by Head in the sixth. Akron rallied again in the seventh as Jason Kipnis drew a leadoff walk, Chisenhall singled to right and an error advanced both runners. Drennen then plated Kipnis with a groundout but new reliever Emary Frederick stranded the bases loaded by forcing Damaso Espino to fly out to center.
Cristo Arnal began the bottom of the eighth inning with a double, but Mets pitchers retired the final six Aeros to capture the opener of this three-game series.
Antonini (5-5) earned the win in averting damage over 5.1 innings while White (2-4) took yet another tough loss despite his fifth quality start. The highly touted right-hander permitted seven hits in six innings along with the three unearned runs and three strikeouts as he now has a 1.77 ERA in seven starts for Akron. Binghamton closer Manuel Alvarez finished the contest and delivered a perfect ninth inning for his third save of the season.
The Aeros finished the night 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base overall. Two hit by pitches, six walks and seven hits (including four for extra-base) were not enough to propel the team to a third straight home victory. Binghamton