COLUMBUS- The Clippers dropped their sixth-straight game Friday after failing to take full advantage of a one-out bases loaded situation in the bottom of the ninth in a 4-2 loss to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Columbus center fielder Matt Carson
started off the inning with a leadoff walk. After designated hitter Jeremy Hermida
flew out to left field, second baseman Cord Phelps
arched a fly ball single into center to put runners on first and second. First baseman Chun-Hsiu Chen
came up next and was hit by a pitch to fill the bases.
A pitching change brought reliever Mauricio Robles
to mound and left fielderTim Fedroff
greeted him by smacking an RBI base hit to right to bring Columbus within two runs of tying the ballgame.
Shortstop Juan Diaz
strolled up to the plate next and looked to keep the rally alive but perhaps he was too eager. Diaz jumped on a 0-1 pitch by Robles but grounded it directly to his counterpart Pete Orr
. The dreaded 6-4-3 double play ended the game and kept the Clipper’s losing-streak intact.
Left-hander Tom Cochran
(3-2, 4.68 ERA) was dominant through his six innings of work. The southpaw allowed just one run on three hits with six strikeouts and one free pass. Right-hander Danny Salazar
(1-2, 4.91 ERA) would have had a similar stat line if it were not for two long balls he surrendered in the second. In his five-inning outing, the righty gave up four runs (three earned) on three hits and fanned an impressive nine batters while walking just one.
Lehigh Valley got on the board first with three runs off of Salazar in the top of the second.
First baseman Cody Overbeck
lead off with a line drive double to left field. Designated hitter Steve Susdorf
followed by blasting a two-run home run to right. After striking out the next two batters, Salazar surrendered his second homer of the inning, this time a solo shot to left by right fielder Derrick Mitchell
The Clippers gained a run back in the fourth thanks to Hermida’s team-leading 12 home run of the year. In a 2-1 count, Hermida sent the next pitch by Cochran into the right field stands to cut the lead by a run.
The IronPigs tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eight inning to take a 4-1 advantage. With one down, center fielderJermaine Mitchell
laced a single to right field. With Cesar up at the plate, reliever Clay Rapada
attempted a pickoff at first but went astray and sent Mitchell on a race around the bases. Another errant throw, this time by Chen, allowed Mitchell to make it all the way home.
The continued downfall drops the Clippers to 34-41 and the IronPigs bump their record up to 40-34 with the victory.
Columbus Clippers Daisuke Matsuzaka
(0-3, 4.33 ERA) will look to get into the win column in game two of the series Saturday. Lehigh Valley will counter with right-hander Tyler Cloyd
(1-5, 7.59 ERA). The first pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.