Game Recaps 7/7: Head's 3-run shot headlines comeback
|Jerad Head (Photo: IPI)|
The Clippers avoid a four-game losing streak with a late rally, beating Toledo 6-3. Jerad Head's three-run blast headlines the comeback on Thursday night at Huntington Park.
The win for the Clippers is the 12th in 15 games against the Mud Hens this season.
The Clippers had a golden opportunity to get on the scoreboard first. Chad Huffman led the frame off with a double down the left field line. Looking to sacrifice Huffman over, Luis Valbuena bunted a ball towards the mound. Mud Hens starter Thad Weber fielded the bunt and threw to first, but the throw was not on line as it skipped away from first baseman Ryan Strieby to put runners on 1st and third with nobody out. The next batter, Jerad Head, hit a grounder that was picked up by third baseman Danny Worth. Unfortunately for the Clippers, Huffman was coming home on the play. He ended up getting tagged out in a run down for the first out of the inning.
Tim Fedroff then grounded into what should have been an inning-ending double play had it not been for Fedroff beating it down the first base line to reach safely. A Matt McBride groundout to third ended the inning and the Clippers scoring threat was put to bed.
Unlike the Clippers, the Mud Hens were able to capitalize on a chance to get on the board first. With two outs and a runner on second, left fielder Timo Perez double to left center to bring home Argenis Diaz and give Toledo a 1-0 advantage.
The Clippers looked to even the score when they batted in the bottom of the third inning. Ezequiel Carrera reached on a line drive to right field. Carrera then stole second to get into scoring position. He would advance to third on a Jason Donald groundout to shortstop. Jason Kipnis would walk to put runners on 1st and 3rd with two outs. Chad Huffman had an opportunity to redeem himself after the base running mistake in the previous inning, but he hit a weak grounder that was easily handled by Mud Hens catcher Jeff Kunkel for the final out of the inning.
The very next inning, Ryan Strieby opened the Toledo top of the 4th with a long solo shot to left field to make it 2-0 in favor of the Mud Hens. The Clippers would avoid further damage in that inning as Ezequiel Carrera snagged a sinking liner and doubled off a runner on second to put an end to the Toledo scoring threat.
In the bottom half of the fourth, the Clippers tried once again to get on the board, but again came up empty. Jerad Head singled with one out. That was followed by a Tim Fedroff walk. Matt McBride then lined into a double play as his liner was caught by Thad Weber and flipped to Mud Hens second baseman Carlos Guillen for the last out of the frame.
The sixth inning turned out to be a rough frame for Clippers starter Corey Kluber. Back to back singles by Carlos Guillen and Ryan Strieby started off the inning for Toledo. With Jeff Salazar batting, Kluber threw a wild pitch that got past his catcher, Paul Phillips, allowing Guillen to score from third to make it 3-0 favoring the Mud Hens.
The eighth inning proved to be the rally that the Clippers were looking for all game long. Carrera led off the inning with a bunt single. That was followed by a Jason Donald walk. Jason Kipnis got the Clippers on the board with an RBI single to make it 3-1. The next batter, Chad Huffman, was hit by a pitch to load the bases with still nobody out. Luis Valbuena then hit a chopper to first. A force out at second was the only play to be made as a second run came to make it a one run ball game 3-2.
After a pitching change by Toledo, Jered Head stepped to the plate and came up big when he belted a three run shot to left field to give the Clippers a 5-3 lead. It would become 6-3 when Matt McBride knocked in Tim Fedroff with an RBI single.
The lead was more than enough for Clippers closer Josh Judy, who closed out the game for his 13th save.
The Mud Hens and Clippers will renew acquaintances tomorrow as they conclude their short two game series between one another. Brayan Villareal (0-5) will start for Toledo while Jeanmar Gomez(9-2) will take the ball for Columbus. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
Aeros win behind Packer