LaPorta's homer powers Clippers to 5-3 win
PAWTUCKET - The Columbus Clippers got back in the win column with a win over the Pawtucket Red Sox Monday afternoon in the series finale between the two teams.
Columbus (18-19) snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-3 win against Pawtucket. The Clippers had lost the first three games of the four-game set after losing three-straight games to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Left fielder Matt LaPorta led the way for Columbus, going 1-for-4 with a three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning to give the Clippers their first lead of the game. The home run was LaPorta’s first in another team’s ballpark. He has hit nine homers in 17 games at Huntington Park.
LaPorta’s shot was part of a five-run sixth inning by the Clippers that allowed Columbus to take control of the game.
Clippers’ starter, left-hander Eric Berger (1-1), gave up his only earned run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Berger went six innings, allowing two runs while striking out four Red Sox and walking only one.
The Red Sox scored their first run of the game, unearned, when Scott Podsednik singled to center field with a runner on first. A throwing error by Clippers’ center fielder Ezequiel Carrera allowed the runner to score, giving Pawtucket a 1-0 lead.
Before Pawtucket scored their second run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, Columbus had attained a comfortable lead in the top of the inning.
Shortstop Gregorio Petit led off the inning with a double to left field. Petit later scored when third baseman Andy Laroche grounded into a fielder’s choice to shortstop. With Laroche, second baseman Justin Toole and right fielder Chad Huffman on base, LaPorta crushed his 10th homer of the year to left field to put Columbus up, 5-1.
Pawtucket got one run back in the bottom of the eighth off left-hander Scott Barnes before right-hander Chris Ray recorded his sixth save of the season in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Columbus returns home Tuesday to face Syracuse at 6:35 p.m. to begin a four-game series.