Game Recap 8/13: Clippers Strike A Cord
The Columbus Clippers decided that one day out of first place was enough, as they opened a huge weekend series against the Louisville Bats with a 12-4 victory Friday night at Huntington Park. Until Thursday, Columbus had spent 120 straight days in first place, but a pair of big innings helped them back into the International League West lead.
Wladimir Balentien's two-run homer in the second inning gave the Bats the early lead, but the Clippers responded with three runs in their half of the frame on a bases-clearing Jose Constanza triple - aided by a setting sun in the eyes of Louisville left fielder Todd Frazier, which prevented him from cutting the ball off in the gap.
Columbus then broke the game open in the fifth. Constanza doubled, then advanced to third on a bunt single from Ezequiel Carrera and scored on a Cord Phelps single. Jared Goedert's double plated both Carrera and Phelps and then Drew Sutton, against his former team, capped off the inning with a two-run home run.
That would be plenty of run support for David Huff, who gave up a run in the eighth and lasted seven-and-two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on five hits while striking out three. He improved to 7-0 as a Clipper in 2010.
For good measure, Phelps added a grand slam off of Jason Isringhausen in the bottom of the eighth. Sam LeCure, who lasted just five-and-a-third and was responsible for the first eight runs scored by Columbus, took the loss to fall to 7-3.
The Bats added a meaningless run against Carlton Smith in the ninth to account for the final score.
The big three-game series resumes Saturday night at 7:05, with righty Paolo Espino (0-1, 4.26) slated to start against Indy southpaw Travis Wood (5-6, 3.12).
Aeros Blast Rock Cats Friday, Win 11-7
A franchise-record tying three triples and a seven-run fifth inning highlighted an 11-7 victory for the Aeros Friday night over the visiting New Britain Rock Cats. Akron pounded 17 hits on the night including six of the extra-base variety while tying season-highs with the six runs and seven base hits in the fifth. The win improved the Aeros to 60-57 this season and just 2.5 games behind second-place Bowie in the Western Division wild card race while the last-place Rock Cats fell to 34-85.
New Britain began the scoring early against Akron starter Kelvin De La Cruz in the first two frames. Juan Portes plated two runs with a double to left and an RBI single from Joe Benson gave the visitors a quick 3-0 advantage.
Two errors helped the Aeros later in that second as a misplayed infield single turned into a run and center fielder Jordan Henry continued the rally with a run-scoring hit to center.
De La Cruz struggled again in the third inning as the Rock Cats extended their lead to 6-2. Two more walks preceded a clutch two-out, three-run home run into the left field canal from Jeff Howell that put the hosts in a large early deficit.