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Game Recaps 5/16: Kluber has much needed good outing

Game Recaps 5/16: Kluber has much needed good outing
May 17, 2011
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Corey Kluber (Photo: Tony Lastoria)
Columbus Clips Indianapolis 5-2

Columbus Clippers starter Corey Kluber surrendered just a pair of runs on four hits in his seven innings of work, while relievers Carlton Smith and Josh Judy did not allow a hit in two innings of relief, to avoid a four game series sweep by defeating the Indianapolis Indians 5-2 in front of a season high crowd of 12,168 Monday afternoon at Victory Field.

The Clippers improved to 26-12 with the victory. Columbus with the win also avoids a sweep at the hands of the Indians, who clinched a series victory with a win in Sunday's contest.

Corey Kluber (7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) pitched past the fifth inning for the first time this season and also earned his first victory of 2011 after scattering just four hits, to earn the victory and bump his record to 1-3. Smith (1.0 IP) followed Kluber with a perfect eighth inning, while Judy (1.0 IP, 1 BB) shut the door in the ninth, with a two-out walk the lone blemish on his resume, to notch his sixth save of the year.

The Indians opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, when SS Chase d'Arnaud led off with a single and stole second before LF Alex Presley walked. Then after Presley and d'Arnaud pulled off a double steal, RF John Bowker tapped an RBI groundout in front of the plate to score d'Arnaud and give the Tribe an early 1-0 lead.

Columbus, however, answered with a single score of their own in the top of the third to even the game at 1-1 thanks to a clutch two out single. SS Luis Valbuena began the rally when he walked and moved to second on a groundout before 2B Cord Phelps drove in Valbuena with a single to right.

The Clippers then took over the lead with two more runs in the fifth courtesy of a pair of clutch two-out base knocks. After Valbuena singled to center, CF Ezequiel Carrera deposited the third pitch of his at-bat over the right field wall for his second home run of the season to give Columbus a lead they would not relinquish.

Indianapolis would cut the deficit to one run in the sixth behind back-to-back doubles to begin the frame. 2B Brian Friday laced the second pitch of the inning down the third base line, before Presley followed two offerings later with his own two-bagger down the left field line to score Friday.

The Columbus lead jumped out to a three run margin in the seventh thanks to two more two out hits. LF Jerad Head led off with a walk and stole second, before being sent home on Valbuena's RBI double off the center field wall. Valbuena would then move to third on an Indians' fielding miscue prior to coming home on 2B Cord Phelps' RBI base knock to center.

Valbuena (2-for-3, 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB) scored three of Columbus' five runs and along with Phelps (2-for-4, 2 RBI) posted multi-hit efforts for the Clippers.

Columbus returns home on Tuesday and will face Pawtucket. Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez is slated to go for the Clippers.

Lynchburg Beats Kinston 11-0

Lynchburg pitcher Zeke Spruill pitched a complete game shutout, downing Kinston 11-0 Monday night at Historic Grainger Stadium.

Spruill faced one batter over the minimum, allowing three singles from the K-Tribe. Spruill (2-4), struck out five and did not walk a batter.

Lynchburg got to Kinston in the top of the first inning, with three straight two-out hits. Two runs scored helped by a K-Tribe error and a dropped pop up. Kinston starter Brett Brach, who started the night with the best ERA in the Carolina League, then retired the next seven Hillcat batters. The Hillcats would add to their 2-0 lead on a two-run double by Braeden Schlehuber in the top of the fourth frame. In the fifth inning a hit batter and a single set up a RBI ground-out by Geraldo Rodriguez. Brach then walked Barrett Kleinknecht to load the bases. Kinston then went to the bullpen to put Travis Turek into the game. Turek's second pitch to Braeden Schlehuber was hit over the left field wall for a grand slam, giving Lynchburg a 9-0 lead. The Hillcats would add another run to leave the fifth frame with a 10-0 advantage.

Brach (3-3) picked up the loss, giving up eight runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out three. Turek gave up two runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings, walking two and striking out two. Adam Miller had another good inning out of the K-Tribe pen, not allowing a hit while striking out three in two innings. Francisco Jimenez gave up a run on a hit and a walk in the ninth inning for Kinston.

The four game home series will continue tomorrow for Kinston as T.J. House will get the start for the K-Tribe.

Follow Tony and the Indians Prospect Insider on Twitter @TonyIPI. Also, his latest book the 2011 Cleveland Indians Top 100 Prospects & More is available for purchase for $20.95 to customers in the US (shipping and handling extra).

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