Game Recaps: Sunday 6/7
Clippers sneak past Braves 3-2
The Clippers downed the Gwinnett Braves 3-2 on Sunday. Unlike the opening game of the series, both clubs got on the board early and Columbus scored late for the win.
The Clippers scored first in the opening frame after a Michael Brantley walk, Tony Graffanino doubled and went to third on the play at the plate. Matt LaPorta drove in Graffanino one pitch later to make it 2-0.
Braves lead-off man Reid Gorecki homered to the left field corner. The ball appeared to be off the wall for a double, but the umpires changed the call to make it 2-1. Brian Barton hit solo home run in the second inning to tie the score.
The Clippers broke the tie with some two-out magic in the seventh against Vladamir Nunez (2-2), who was on in relief for Tony Armas. Armas pitched five innings, allowing two runs from two hits. After retiring the first two batters, Nunez walked Mickey Hall and with the runner moving on a full count pitch, Brantley delivered a double to break the tie and ultimately, win the game 3-2.
A trio of relievers worked 2.1 scoreless innings for Columbus. Joe Smith took over for starter Jack Cassel (5-4) in the seventh and pitched one inning. Frank Herrmann got the final out of the eighth and Vinnie Chulk pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his third save of the season.
The third game of the series will be at 7:00pm Monday. Lefty Zach Jackson will battle fellow southpaw Francisley Bueno.
Big 8th Inning Paces Aeros Again
The Aeros closed out their marathon, 11-game, 10-day road trip with a 7-4 win over Altoona Sunday night.
Beau Mills got Akron on the board with a solo homer leading off the second, but Altoona answered in the bottom of the fourth with Hector Gimenez’s two-out RBI single to left. The Curve then pulled ahead in the sixth, as Jason Delaney opened the inning with a double and scored when Aeros starter Ryan Edell threw Steve Lerud’s sacrifice attempt down the right field line for a two-base error. Gimenez then pushed the margin to 3-1 with a sacrifice fly later in the inning.
The tide turned in the eighth however, as with a man on and two away Carlos Rivero hit a grounder to the hole at short. Altoona’s Brian Friday made a nice diving stop and fired to second, but Cristo Arnal beat the throw and kept the inning alive. Curve reliever Corey Hamman then walked Nick Weglarz on four pitches to load the bases, and forced in a run when he walked Jared Goedert on five pitches to make it 3-2.
That was all for Hamman as Altoona called on right-hander Moises Robels, but John Drennen ripped Robels’ first offering into the right field corner, clearing the bases with a three-run triple and putting Akron ahead to stay at 5-3. Jerad Head then gave the Aeros some breathing room, drilling a two-run homer over the bleachers in left field to make it 7-3.
The Curve managed a run in the ninth thanks to Gimenez’s fifth homer of the season before Vinnie Pestano came in to close out his 14th save.
After an off day Monday, the Aeros will finally return home to Canal Park for the first of a three game set with New Hampshire. Josh Tomlin (5-4, 4.75 ERA) will go for Akron with lefty Luis Perez (4-5, 3.80 ERA) taking the hill for the Fisher Cats.
Kinston Swept at Winston-Salem
Kinston’s first extra-inning affair on the road this season ended in similar fashion to the rest of its weekend in Winston-Salem with a crushing 4-3 defeat in an 11-inning marathon. The loss resulted in a four game sweep of Kinston by Winston-Salem. The sweep was one of epic proportions for the K-Tribe. It was the first time any team in the Carolina League has swept Kinston in a four-game series since Wilmington did so July 28-31, 2005. That same month in ’05 was the last time Winston-Salem swept Kinston in a series of any number of games. Kinston lost three one-run games in the four game set, bringing their record in one run games to 7-16 this season. Kinston is also 0-4 in extra inning games.
Salvador Sanchez led off the bottom of the 11th inning with a double and after an intentional walk, a sacrifice bunt and another intentional pass, Winston-Salem’s Greg Paiml served a Kyle Landis (0-4) nothing-and-two pitch into left field for the walk off winner. It was the second time this series the Sash walked off with a win.
Earlier in the contest, Kinston struck first after a one-out triple in the first inning by Lucas Montero and an RBI groundout for Lonnie Chisenhall.
Winston-Salem tied the game in the bottom of the first without recording a hit. Starter Bryce Stowell walked leadoff man Dale Mollenhauer, who promptly stole second and reached third on catcher Alex Castillo’s throwing error. Mollenhauer then scored on a Jimmy Gallagher sacrifice fly.
Errors continued to plague the K-Tribe, as they committed a season high four in Sunday’s game and a total of 11 in the four-game series. Two unearned runs in this one ended up being the difference.
After a two-run double by Kinston’s Ryan Blair in the 6th inning put the K-Tribe ahead 3-1, the defense let the Dash back into it. After scoring one run in the 7th inning, two 8th inning errors and back-to-back singles tied things up in the Dash City.
Kinston managed just one hit in the final five frames as the Dash bullpen closed the door on the K-Tribe. Paiml’s game-winning single was his first hit of the ballgame after he struck out three times in five previous at bats.
The game lasted three hours and 37 minutes, the longest road contest of the season for the K-Tribe. They’ve now dropped six games in a row and eight of its last nine to fall a season low 10 games under .500.
The K-Tribe has a scheduled off day tomorrow before traveling to Myrtle Beach for three games starting Tuesday night.