Game Recaps: Saturday 4/25
Matt LaPorta and David Huff carried the Columbus Clippers to their first back to back wins at Huntington Park, defeating the Indianapolis Indians 6-3 Saturday night . Huff pitched six innings, allowing only four hits and three runs with seven strikeouts and two walks. Two hits and all three runs came in the second inning when Huff walked Steve Pearce then gave up back to back home runs to Neil Walker and Jeff Salazar. It was only the second time in Huff’s minor league career that he has allowed multiple home runs in a game.
The Clippers offense got off to a fast start in the first inning when Michael Brantley led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a single by David Dellucci and scored when Wes Hodges grounded into a double play. The first inning scoring wasn’t done yet. LaPorta would follow with a walk and Luis Valbuena hit a rocket home run that easily cleared the 22 foot wall in right field.
The scoring continued in the second for Columbus. Stephen Head started the inning with a double off the 405 foot mark in left center and, a few batters later, was brought home by a Dellucci single. LaPorta, who went 3-3 and also had a walk, sent a solo home run deep into the bleachers in the fifth inning. The Clippers final fun was accounted for in the seventh inning when, with two outs, Hodges hit a single and LaPorta followed with a triple to the wall in right center field.
Scott Roehl and Rich Rundles combined to pitch two scoreless relief innings, allowing only one hit and two walks. Matt Herges pitched the ninth for his third save of the season.
The Clippers will wrap up their first home stand at Huntington Park tomorrow at 1:05pm. Pitching for Columbus will be RHP Tomo Ohka (1-1, 3.57) and taking the mound for the Indians will be LHP Tom Gorzelanny (1-0, 4.86).
Lofgren Sparkles Again in 4-3 Win
AKRON, OH – Chuck Lofgren tossed six no-hit innings and Jerad Head’s bloop RBI single in the bottom of the seventh served as the difference as the Aeros nipped Altoona 4-3 before 2,841 fans at Canal Park Saturday afternoon. Akron continued the best start in franchise history by improving to 13-3, while the Curve fell to 4-12.
Lofgren ran into a mini-jam in the first, walking Jim Negrych and hitting Jose Tabata after retiring the first two hitters of the game. The left-hander recovered to strike out Jason Delaney on a high fastball however, and that punch-out started a dazzling run of 16 consecutive outs for Lofgren, carrying him through the sixth.
There were some fireworks in the bottom of the first when Curve starter Daniel Moskos fired a fastball behind Akron’s Beau Mills with the bases empty and two gone, but while both the benches and bullpens emptied order was restored after just a few minutes, and there were no further flare-ups in the game.
The Aeros got Lofgren some run support in the fourth, as Jose Constanza legged out a triple into the left field corner to start the inning and Mills followed two batters later with a sacrifice fly to right to make it 1-0. Carlos Santana then immediately doubled the advantage, belting a 3-1 offering from Moskos into the canal beyond the left field wall to push the margin to 2-0.
Head opened the bottom of the sixth with a first-pitch solo shot to left-center that just barely cleared the fence, but Altoona rallied in the top of the seventh once Lofgren departed after reaching his pitch limit. The first five Curve hitters reached base against reliever Carlton Smith in the seventh, with an RBI double from Brad Corley putting Altoona on the board and Steve Lerud following with a two-run single through the box to tie the game at 3-3 and relegate Lofgren to a no-decision.
Moskos gave the run right back in the bottom of the inning though, doing himself no favors by walking Nick Weglarz on four pitches to open the inning. Josh Rodriguez followed with a perfect sacrifice bunt, and Armando Camacaro hit a smash to second that ricocheted off the chest of Altoona’s Jim Negrych for an error, putting runners on the corners and forcing Negrych from the game. Moskos also departed at that point and was relieved by Lincoln Holdzkom, but Head greeted him by dumping an 0-2 pitch into shallow center field as Weglarz raced home with the go-ahead run. Smith then worked a perfect eighth while not allowing a ball out of the infield, and Vinnie Pestano bounced back from his first blown save of the year Friday by pitching a hitless ninth.
Smith (2-0) got the win in relief, but the story in the game was Lofgren. The “Big Swede” allowed just two base runners over his six sterling innings, and set a personal season-high with seven strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 1.13 on the year, and this outing followed his start in Bowie in which he retired the first 10 hitters of the game and carried a no-no into the fifth. Moskos (1-1) allowed all four runs in the loss, and Pestano’s save was his seventh of the year. Constanza went 3-3 with a walk and finished a home run shy of hitting for the cycle, and Head was 2-3 with his second home run and two RBI.
The Aeros will try to take four of five in the series with the finale Sunday afternoon at 1:35 p.m. Frank Herrmann (1-1. 2.12 ERA) will go for Akron against Altoona southpaw Tony Watson (0-2, 11.57 ERA).
Gomez is Great as Kinston Beats Lynchburg 8-1
K-Tribe starter Jeanmar Gomez went seven innings, giving up just four hits and no earned runs as Kinston went on to beat Lynchburg 8-1 Saturday night at Historic Grainger Stadium. Gomez (2-2) struck out a season high six and walked one for his second win of the year.
Kinston got solid contributions up and down the lineup as every starter reached base safely and eight of the nine notched at least one hit. Kinston took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning on back to back RBI hits from Ronald Rivas and Roman Pena. After an RBI double by Cord Phelps in the bottom of the fourth inning, Matt McBride made it 5-0 with a two-out RBI single. Kinston would add three more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning with a bases loaded walk taken by McBride and a bases loaded, two RBI single from Matt Brown. Kinston scored their final seven runs of the game all with two-outs in an inning. McBride went 3-for-4 with two RBI, a run scored and a walk. Brown was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored. Rivas and Alex Castillo also had two hits for Kinston.
Chen-Chang Lee pitched the final two innings for Kinston, giving up just one hit, a home run to Maiko Loyola. Lynchburg starter Matt McSwain (0-1) took the loss for Lynchburg.
The K-Tribe will try to salvage a series split from Lynchburg Sunday afternoon at 2pm at Historic Grainger Stadium. Kinston’s Eric Berger (1-1, 1.93) will get the start for Kinston.
Shorebirds Stop Captains 4-1
Jed Stephen had two hits and two RBI’s including his first home run of the year to lead the Delmarva Shorebirds to a 4-1 win over the Captains 5-1 on Saturday. Stephen is from Caldwell Ohio and attended the Ohio State University.
The Shorebirds scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning when Elvin Polanco reached on an infield hit but when the throw to first went wide, Kyle Hudson scored and it was 1-0. The Birds tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a RBI single by Brendan Monaghan that scored L.J. Hoes and it was 2-0. The lead went to 3-0 when Stephen singled home Ron Welty in the top of the sixth inning. Stephen added a solo home run in top of the eighth inning to up the lead to 4-0.
The Captains lone run came in the eighth inning when Nate Recknagel singled home Ryan Blair and it was 4-1.
Captain’s starter Russell Young took the loss going six innings and allowing three runs, two earned on seven hits, walking one and striking out five. At one point Young had retired eleven batters in a row. Mike McGuire came on in the seventh inning and threw two innings and allowed one run. Kyle Landis pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
Nate Nery got the win for Delmarva going five scoreless innings and allowing four hits, walking two and striking out four. Nery is now 2-0. Brent Allar and Raul Rivero each tossed an inning of scoreless ball. Joe Esposito pitched the eighth and allowed one run. Brandon Cooney pitched the ninth inning to pick up his third save of the year.
The Captains are off on Sunday and will start a three games series on Monday at Hagerstown. Game time on Monday is 6:30 PM and the Captains will send RHP Joey Mahalic (0-1, 1.29) to the mound against RHP Marocs Firas (0-0, 3.60) for Hagerstown.