Game Recaps: Tuesday 6/9
Clippers outlast Braves in 11 innings
Columbus and Gwinnett went back and forth in the series finale and a passed ball in the eleventh inning was the difference in a Clippers 6-5 victory.
Jo Jo Reyes took the mound for the Braves in a rehab start, but left after four pitches. Reyes re-aggrivated his hamstring on a Michael Brantley bunt. Brantley reached on the play and scored on a Jordan Brown RBI single.
Kenny Ray, in his third start for the Clippers, was not efficient but was effective through the first couple innings. In the third, the Braves scored an unearned run after a single by Wes Timmons, who advanced on an error by Rob Mackowiak and an RBI single by Barbaro Canizares.
One inning later, Ray allowed three runs, capped by an Antonio Perez two-run double. Andy Cannizaro got the Clippers to within a run on a two-run single, making it 4-3 after five innings. The Clippers had scoring chances in the sixth and seventh innings, but could not capitalize on either opportunity.
The Braves added to the Clippers stress level, plating an insurance run in the eighth on a two-base throwing error by Damaso Espino. The errant throw came on a stolen base attempt and gave the Braves a 5-3 game heading into the ninth. Niuman Romero and Brantley loaded the bases for the Clippers in the ninth and Michael Aubrey, who had gone 3-for-16 in the series, drove in both with a single to force extra innings.
The Clippers took advantage of poor defense in the eleventh with Damaso Espino scoring on a passed ball to take the 6-5 lead. Vinnie Chulk closed the door for his fourth save. Masa Kobayashi earned the win by pitching a scoreless tenth inning.
The Clippers will resume action Thursday against the Louisville Bats in a battle for first lace in the West Division. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05m at Huntington Park.
Drennen Delivers in 4-2 Aeros Victory
John Drennen was the star yet again offensively for the Aeros, socking the go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to propel Akron to a 4-2 triumph over New Hampshire in front of 3,423 fans at Canal Park Tuesday evening. It marked the fourth time in five games that the Aeros have taken the lead for good in either the eighth or ninth inning, improving to 37-20 on the season while New Hampshire dropped to 27-32 overall.
The Fisher Cats got on the board in the top half of the first inning when David Cooper lofted a home run to right field against Aeros starter Josh Tomlin. Akron responded shortly thereafter with a two-run second frame, as Carlos Santana led off the inning with a single, moved to second on a groundout, and scored on a two-base error by New Hampshire third baseman Chris Gutierrez. Drennen then followed with an RBI double down the right field line, scoring Goedert and giving the Aeros the early 2-1 edge.
Akron failed to capitalize on two great chances to break the game open in the middle frames against Fisher Cats starter Luis Perez, coming empty despite loading the bases with one out in the fourth and no outs in the fifth. That kept New Hampshire alive, and the Cats were able to break through in the eighth against a trio of Aeros relievers. Neil Wagner walked Cooper to start the inning and then allowed a single to Adam Calderone to put runners on the corners, and Matt Meyer walked Nick Gorneault on four pitches in a lefty-lefty match-up to load the bases with still no outs. Steven Wright then relieved Meyer and did an admirable job, giving up the tying run on a double play ball but striking out Gutierrez to end the inning and prevent New Hampshire from taking the lead.
The Aeros came right back in the bottom of the eighth, as Godert drew a leadoff walk from Rommie Lewis and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Carlos Rivero. Drennen then smacked a liner into the right field bleachers, his third home run of the season, putting the Aeros ahead to stay at 4-2.
Wright (5-0) earned the win while allowing just one of his three inherited runners to score in the eighth, while Lewis (1-3) suffered the loss. Closer Vinnie Pestano worked around a one-out walk in the ninth, earning his third save in as many appearances and his league-leading 15th of the season. Tomlin turned in his team-leading sixth quality start of the season, going six innings and allowing only one run and five hits with four strikeouts but did not earn a decision for the first time since April 29th.
Drennen finished the game with three hits, a hit by pitch and three RBI as he now has 16 RBI in his nine games since coming back up from Class A Kinston June 1st. In those nine contests, the native of San Diego is batting .353 (12-34) to go along with eight extra-base hits and a phenomenal .735 slugging percentage. Cristo Arnal and Santana each registered two-hit games for the Aeros, and the club has now won four out of five games for the first time since May 17th through 21st (capped by Jeanmar Gomez