Game Recap 9/1: Kluber Puts Clippers on Brink of Playoffs
The Clippers ran their winning streak to four games, using more solid pitching and a big third inning to earn a 13th and final victory in 2010 against the Indianapolis Indians, 4-1. With the victory, Columbus could now earn a spot in the International League playoffs as early as Thursday.
Corey Kluber stepped into the rotation spot vacated by Carlos Carrasco and was solid in six innings of work. He gave up just the one run on four hits, while striking out four.
Trailing 1-0 in the third, the Clippers knotted the score with Matt McBride's lead-off home run. Two batters later, Josh Rodriguez' triple scored Luke Carlin, with Rodriguez then coming home on an Ezequiel Carrera single.
Columbus added an insurance run in the seventh when Rodriguez doubled home Carlin, shortly after both McBride and Manager Mike Sarbaugh had been ejected for arguing a call at first base. The Clippers outhit Indy on the night, 13-5. Saul Rivera gave Vinnie Pestano some much-needed rest, picking up his fifth save of the season by pitching around two walks in the ninth.
Louisville's kept pace with Columbus in the IL West Division with a win of their own. The Bats still trail by a half-a-game, but both teams appear to be in good shape for the postseason, with the division loser likely headed for a wild card berth.
The Clippers return home for the final two regular season games at Huntington Park Thursday and Friday. First pitch on Thursday is set for 4:35 p.m., moved up because of the Ohio State football game, with David Huff (7-2, 4.81) on the bump for Columbus against Toledo's Charlie Furbush (3-3, 5.24).
Aeros Thunderstruck by Trenton 4-2
The Aeros handed away the game they earned Tuesday in the wild card standings as they lost to Trenton 4-2 Wednesday at Waterfront Park. The loss brings Akron (70-67) closer to elimination as Harrisburg defeated New Hampshire. The two separate decisions put the Thunder (80-57) a step closer to clinching the Eastern Division regular season title.
Akron struck first in their opening at-bat for the third-straight game. Center fielder Jordan Henry led off with a single through the hole at shortstop. Henry eventually stole second, advanced to second on a ground out, and scored on a single up the middle by third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall.
Trenton answered as Justin Christian led off with a home run to left field. The Thunder would take a 2-1 lead in the second inning when Marcos Vechionacci scored on a fielding error by first baseman Miguel Perez. Their lead would increase to 3-1 after Christian hit his second homer of the game in the fifth inning.
The Aeros attempted to come back in the sixth as designated hitter Beau Mills singled to right-center field to score Chisenhall. Akron could not get any closer as they left two on base to end the frame.
The Thunder added an insurance run in the eighth as Daniel Brewer singled in Christian for the final 4-2 count.
Right-handed starter Rob Bryson (1-1) took the loss despite allowing only two runs (one earned) on one hit with two strikeouts. Andrew Brackman (4-7) earned the win after he allowed two runs on five hits in six innings of work.
Akron is once again 3.5 games back of the Senators for the wild card and has an elimination number of three with five games remaining in the regular season. Bowie was also a winner Wednesday and is three games ahead of the Aeros.
Akron southpaw Matt Packer (1-2, 3.60 ERA) will take the hill against Trenton