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Game Recaps 7/2: Valbuena's heroics lift Clippers

Game Recaps 7/2:  Valbuena's heroics lift Clippers
July 3, 2011
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Luis Valbuena (photo: Tony Lastoria)
Clippers walk-off against Bats

Luis Valbuena's walk-off homer gave the Clippers a 6-5 victory in ten innings on a beautiful Saturday night in the Arena District.

The Bats wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. With two outs in the top of the 1st, Yonder Alonso unloaded on Clippers starter Corey Kluber for a solo shot, his 10th long ball of the season, to the Wendy's Hamburger balcony in right field, giving Louisville an early 1-0 lead.

The Clippers would then go to work offensively in the bottom of the 1st. Ezequiel Carrera led off the inning with a line drive base hit up the middle. Carrera would then steal second then advance to third on a Jason Kipnis single. The batter, Chad Huffman, hit a tapper near the right side of the mound that Bats starter Daryl Thompson picked up and threw home to try to get Carrera who was coming home. The ball deflected off the glove of Bats catcher Devin Mesoraco, allowing Carrera to score and Kipnis to advance all the way to third. Kipnis would then come in on a Luis Valbuena RBI sacrifice fly, making it all add up to a Clippers 2-1 lead after one inning.

The second inning was another example of offensive success for Columbus. Tim Fedroff led off the frame with a single to right field. The very next batter, Matt McBride, belted his 1st home run with the Clippers this season, driving in Fedroff and increasing the Columbus lead to 4-1.

The Clippers would knock out Thompson in the bottom of the fifth when Jason Kipnis came into score on a two out RBI single by Luis Valbuena, making 5-1 in favor of Columbus.The Bats threatened offensively in the top of the sixth. Dave Sappelt and Yonder Alonso walked to begin the inning. Devin Mesoraco would then hit an RBI double to left field that drove in Sappelt to make it 5-2. The game would then be tied 5-5 on a three-run home run by Jeremy Hermida off the Columbus Dispatch scoreboard. Thankfully, Joe Martinez came into relieve Kluber and kept the ball game tied as Columbus got out of the frame.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Clippers set out to get the lead back. Jason Kipnis led the inning off with a walk. After Chad Huffman struck out swinging, Luis Valbuena walked to put runners on first and second with one out. That brought Jered Goedert to the plate. Goedert struck out swinging, leaving it up to Tim Fedroff. Unfortunately, Fedroff couldn't deliver for Columbus as he grounded to shortstop to end the inning.

The game would move into extra innings. It would be Luis Valbuena hitting the game-winning home run in the bottom of the tenth to give the Clippers a 6-5 victory in ten innings.

The Bats and Clippers will be back at it again Sunday evening. Jeanmar Gomez (8-2) will start for Columbus and will oppose Bats right hander Scott Carroll (6-3) in game scheduled to start at 5:05 pm.

Hernandez's heroics lead Aeros over Seawolves

Michel Hernandez broke a 6-6 tie in the top of the ninth inning with an RBI single that proved to be the game-winning run as the Akron Aeros went on to win game three of a four-game series against the Erie SeaWolves 7-6 Saturday at Jerry Uht Park.

Hernandez went 3-for-5 Saturday with three RBI.

Right-handed pitcher Rob Waite allowed the Hernandez RBI single in the ninth and suffered the loss for the SeaWolves pitching two innings of relief and giving up three hits.

Right-hander Bryan Price record the win for the Aeros tossing 2.2 innings of relief, allowing one earned run on three hits and striking out two while walking none. Righty Cory Burns pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth inning to pick up his league-best 21st save of 2011. Left-handed pitcher Matt Packer got the start for Akron lasting 5.1 innings, allowing five earned runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out two.

The Aeros (41-41) scored first in the top of the second inning. Nick Weglarz led off with a walk and Kyle Bellows followed with a single. With one out, Hernandez singled to load the bases. Weglarz scored on Raul Padron's walk to give Akron a 1-0 lead.

The SeaWolves (41-40) answered in the bottom of the frame. Bryan Pounds led off the inning with a solo home run to left field to tie the game 1-1. With two outs, Michael Bertram singled and scored on a Bryan Holaday RBI double giving Erie a 2-1 lead.

Akron retook the lead in the top of the third inning. With two outs, Beau Mills singled and Weglarz and Bellows worked back-to-back walks to load the bases. Mills scored on Ben Copeland's walk to tie the game 2-2. Hernandez followed with a two-RBI single to give the Aeros a 4-2 lead.

Erie got a run back in the bottom of the fourth inning on a Packer wild pitch to make it 4-3.

The Aeros added a run in the top of the sixth inning. Padron led off with a single and scored on a Karexon Sanchez RBI triple to make it 5-3.

Deik Scram hit a two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the frame to tie the game 5-5.

The SeaWolves took a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning on a Pounds RBI sacrifice fly.

The lead was short lived as the Aeros tied the game 6-6 in the top of the eighth inning when Juan Diaz grounded into double play that allowed Padron to score.

Akron won on the Hernandez RBI single in the top of the ninth inning.

The Aeros will look to split this four-game series with the SeaWolves on Sunday. Akron will give the ball to right-handed pitcher Austin Adams, who is 5-7 with a 3.88 ERA in 2011. He will face left-handed pitcher Jay Voss, who is 3-3 with a 4.02 ERA this season. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1350 AM or online at Coverage begins at 6:20 p.m.

K-Tribe Held Scoreless in 3-0 Loss

The K-Tribe ran into a red hot pitcher, as Frederick blanked the Indians 3-0 Saturday night at Historic Grainger Stadium.

Frederick starter Oliver Drake was very good giving up just three hits in 8 1/3 innings of work. Drake (7-3) struck out four and walked two batters. Drake's last start was a complete game, nine-inning shutout. Drake's ERA dropped to 2.24 (third in the Carolina League) after the outing.

Frederick started the scoring in the top of the third inning, as Dale Mollenhauer and Brian Ward led off with a pair of walks. With two outs later in the inning, Mollenhauer was on third and Steve Bumbry at first. Bumbry was suddenly caught in a run down between the bases, but by the time Kinston tagged him out, Mollenhauer had scored from third base.

A walk led to another run in the fourth inning, when Tyler Townsend reached on the free pass with one out. On a hit and run, Townsend advanced to third base thanks to a Miguel Abreu single. Abreu would score when Kipp Shutz followed with an RBI ground out. Back-to-back singles to start the top of the sixth inning by Manny Machado and Townsend set the table for another score in the sixth inning. Machado would score on an Abreu sacrifice fly later in the frame, giving Frederick a 3-0 lead. Kinston starting pitcher T.J. House (5-7) picked up the loss, giving up five hits and three earned runs. He walked three in the loss.

Kinston's bullpen was strong again, as Rob Bryson went two innings, giving up one hit. He struck out four. Bryson has not giving up a run in 10 1/3 innings of work for Kinston this season. Kyle Landis gave up one hit in his one inning of work. He struck out one and lowered his ERA to 1.02. Sean Gleason picked up his Carolina League leading 22nd save for Frederick. Tyler Holt has two of Kinston's three hits, as the outfielder went 2-for-4 with a triple.

Kinston will take on Frederick in a Sunday matinee at 1:30 pm from Historic Grainger Stadium. Clayton Cook will make the start for Kinston. The K-Tribe continues the homestand with a special July 4th game Monday at 6:30 pm. The contest will feature a fireworks show after the game.

Hawks Crush Captains 15-2

Lake County lost the game series to South Bend losing Saturday night 15-2. The Captains lost four of six on the home stand.

Captains pitching combined for nine walks, and seven wild pitches and the defense committed three errors in a night where nothing went well for the club.

Gersen Montilla hit his first homerun of the season in the first inning for South Bend to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Ray Willy Gomez added a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 edge.

In the third inning, the Silver Hawks scored four runs; Yazy Arbelo drove in a pair with a double. Gomez scored the fourth run on a wild pitch by Captains' pitcher Mike Goodnight to make it 6-0.

South Bend scored four times in the fourth to open up a 10-0 lead. Luis Encarnacion allowed all four runs, on four walks and two wild pitches. Matt Helm singled in a run and scored on a wild pitch. Gomez added his second RBI of the night. Roberto Ortiz picked up an RBI with a bases loaded walk.

In the fifth inning, Arbelo drove in his third run of the game on a ground out to second scoring Walters who tripled to reach.

Robeto Ortiz picked up his second RBI for South Bend with an RBI ground out in the sixth inning to make it 12-0.

In the seventh inning, Yazy Arbelo finished off a career night hitting his 20th homerun of the season, a three run shot for a total of six RBI on the night and a 15-0 lead for South Bend.

Lake County avoided the shut out putting up two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. An RBI double by Brian Heere and an RBI single by Nick Bartolone make it 15-2.

Tyler Grren (3-2) picked up the win tossing five innings, no runs on just one hits, no walks and three strike outs. Mike Goodnight (5-7) took the loss allowing six runs, five earned on four hits, walking four and striking out two.

Lake County begins a six game road trip on Sunday night in Lansing at Cooley Law School Stadium at 6:05PM. The Captains will toss RHP Cole Cook (3-8) against RHP Marcus Walden (3-2) for the Lugnuts. Catch all the action on ESPN 970AM or online at

Scrappers lose game one to Batavia, 8-3

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers tallied eight hits in their game Saturday night against Batavia, but timely hitting and patience at the plate proved a bit too much to overcome as the Muckdogs took the first in a two-game series 8-3.

Joseph Colon (0-2) got off to a rocky start for the Scrappers in the first inning, giving up three runs and getting to the end of the Batavia lineup before recording the third out. Batavia starter Todd McInnis (1-0) gave up a run in his first frame when a Jake Lowery double scored Bryson Myles from second base. Both pitchers settled in after that, but with 81 pitches and four runs surrendered, Colon left the game after just three and two-thirds innings.

Shortstop Tony Wolters hit his first home run of the year off Batavia reliever Eric Binder in the bottom of the sixth and Jake Lowery scored on an Alex Lavisky ground rule double, but those would be the last Scrapper runs of the game. Batavia would add another run in the seventh inning and three more in the ninth.

The second game of the two-game series is Sunday, July 3 at Eastwood Field. First Pitch is scheduled for 5:05pm.

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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