Game Recaps: Monday 5/18
Clippers move into first place with win
It took more than nine innings, but was worth the wait for the Clippers as they vault into first place on the strength of a 5-4, 11-inning win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
Early on, Columbus saw a steady diet of breaking balls from Yankees starter Casey Fossum. Though the Clippers had a base runner in each of the first three innings, they could not move the runner past first base. In the first inning, Fossum walked Travis Hafner and Chris Gimenez to start the frame. After an Andy Marte Single, Jordan Brown hit a sharp grounder that first baseman Eric Duncan, but Duncan's throw home was a poor and Hafner scored.
Tomo Ohka carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, when catcher Chris Stewart doubled to the left-center field gap with two outs. Ohka got the next batter to end the frame, but the shutout would not last. With one out in the sixth, Reegie Corona drilled a solo homer to tie the score 1-1. At that point, every run scored by the Yankees in the series had come on homers.
The Clippers tallied three runs in the top of the sixth inning when Mark Melancon entered in relief. Jordan Brown had the second of his three hits to start the frame and advanced on a ground out. Wilson Valdez dropped down a bunt single putting runners on the corners for Michael Brantley, who had gone 0-for-2 with two strikeouts against Fossum. Melancon's first pitch to Brantley broke the tie as the catcher let it get away for a passed ball, scoring Brown and sending Valdez around to third. Brantley drilled a double to score Valdez and later scored on a wild pitch to make it a 4-1 game.
Scranton put up one run against Rich Rundles in the eighth inning. Rundles was on for Vinnie Chulk, who threw a scoreless seventh inning in relief of Ohka. In the ninth, the bullpen couldn't hold the lead. Blaine Neal got one out before back-to-back singles and a hit batter loaded the bases for Justin Leone, who doubled to tie the game 4-4.
Tony Sipp came on to strike out two batters to force extra innings. Sipp struck out the side again in the tenth, setting the table for the offense to score in the eleventh. Wilson Valdez led off with a single and was bunted to second base. A Trevor Crowe walk put two on for Andy Cannizaro, who was called upon to pinch hit for Travis Hafner. Hafner left after a 3-for-4 night at the plate. Cannizaro responded with a go-ahead RBI double. Frank Herrmann set the side down in order in the bottom of the inning for his first save.
The finale of the four-game series is Tuesday at 11:05am. Kei Igawa will pitch for the Yankees against the Clippers Kirk Saarloos.
Kinston Falls 1-0
The battle between the top two pitching teams in the Carolina League lived up to the billing as Potomac shutout Kinston 1-0 Monday night at Historic Grainger Stadium.
Potomac starter Will Atwood was great for Potomac, giving up just two Kinston singles in six innings. He walked two and struck out six. Kinston starter Russell Young fired back with six scoreless frames, giving up seven hits (all singles) while walking one and striking out three. The shutout continued as the bullpens took over with Kinston