Game Recap 8/30: J-Rod A Smash Hit For Clippers
The Clippers took a big step toward the postseason Monday, with a three-run sixth inning and some solid bullpen work helping them to a 6-4 win in Indianapolis.
The Clippers jumped out to an early lead when Wes Hodges hit a two-run home run in the top of the opening frame. Akinori Iwamura answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the first off of Columbus starter Yohan Pino (10-8).
John Bowker's two-run blast in the fourth gave Indy the lead, but Columbus evened the score in the top of the fifth, when Jose Constanza scored on a fielding error by Powell, giving an RBI to Drew Sutton.
After Iwamura broke the tie by doubling home Kevin Melillo in the bottom of the fifth, the Clippers came back with a three-run inning in the sixth, highlighted by Josh Rodriguez' go-ahead two-run bomb.
Pino worked six innings, with Aaron Laffey, Josh Judy and Vinnie Pestano (save number 13) teaming for three innings of scoreless ball after he departed. The two teams combined for 11 extra-base hits on the night.
Columbus gained a game on Louisville, who lost to Toledo, and now trails the Bats by just a half-a-game in the International League's West Division. The club's lead in the wild card race expanded to three-and-a-half games with Buffalo's loss to Syracuse.
The Clippers have just seven regular season games remaining, including two more in Indianapolis. The series resumes Tuesday at 7 p.m., with Paolo Espino (2-2, 4.70) on the hill for Columbus against right-hander Chris Jakubauskas (1-3, 3.98).
Extra Innings Doom Aeros Again
Extra innings continued to be a bad omen for the Aeros as they fell to Trenton 4-3 in 10 innings Monday at Waterfront Park. The loss puts Akron (69-66) closer to elimination from the post-season while the Thunder (79-56) stays ahead of New Hampshire for first place in the Eastern Division.
Both teams scored in the first inning as Akron took the early lead on an RBI single by designated hitter Jerad Head that scored shortstop Cristo Arnal from second. Trenton responded with a leadoff home run by Justin Christian to tie the game. Lance Berkman, on rehab appearance with the Thunder, provided Trenton with a 2-1 lead when he scored on a Marcos Vechionacci groundout.
Trenton increased their lead when Rene Rivera hit a solo home run to center field in the sixth frame to make it 3-1.
The Aeros comeback started in the eighth when center fielder Jordan Henry tripled to right field and scored on a ground out by Arnal. First baseman Beau Mills led off the ninth, also with an extra base hit, as he doubled to center field. He would come home on an RBI single by catcher Juan Apodaca to send the game into extra frames.
Akron had a chance to take the lead in the top of the 10th when Arnal reached third after a single and a pair of wild pitches, but the next two batters lined out and struck out to end the threat. The Thunder made short work of the situation from there as Daniel Brewer led off with a single, moved to second on sacrifice bunt, and home for the game winning run on consecutive singles.
Right-handed reliever Omar Aguilar took the loss to fall to 2-6 as he gave up the three hits and one run in the 10th. Ryan Pope rebounded from blowing the save and earned the win to improve to 4-6.
The Aeros remain 3.5 games behind Harrisburg as the Senators lost to New Hampshire 8-7. Bowie improved its post-season chances with a 2-0 win against Altoona. The Baysox are now three games in front of Akron. The Aeros now have an elimination number of five.
Akron will face Trenton in the second of four games Tuesday as they send Alex White (8-7, 2.28 ERA) to the hill against the Thunder