Lindor, Columbus Clippers pile on 6 in 4th in win against IronPigs
COLUMBUS, Ohio –– The Columbus Clippers (66-58) exploded for six runs in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (58-66) and cruised to a 6-1 victory in front of 9,001 at Huntington Park.
“I was just trying to do my job and hit a pop up,” Clippers shortstop Francisco Lindor said. “There was a guy on third base. I was just trying to hit a pop up for a sac fly and it ended up going. The wind was blowing a lot. That’s probably why it went.
The inning started with a pair of singles by Carlos Moncrief and Audy Ciriaco. After James Ramsey sacrificed the runners over, Elliot Johnson bounced one to short and hustled down the line to beat the throw and tie the game at one. Luke Carlin worked a walk to set up the fireworks.
“It was big for us and there were a couple keys for us,” Clippers manager Chris Tremie said. “We’ve had base runners over the past few days of games where we just didn’t get them across. The key to that inning was Ramsey getting down such a good bunt and getting runners over to second and third and then Johnson hustling down the line on a ground ball beating it out. It kind of set up the inning (for) Bourny and Lindor.”
The inning came after the Clippers offense had been held in check for the first three frames by Lehigh Valley starterJo-Jo Reyes (1-3, 10.45 ERA). Reyes had allowed at least one hit in each inning, but the Clippers couldn’t rally.
Lehigh Valley grabbed the early lead off of Clippers starter Danny Salazar (4-6, 3.71 ERA), who was making his first start with Columbus since July 17, just after the All-Star break, after spending the last month with Cleveland.
He gave up a home run to the second hitter of the game, Freddy Galvis in the first, but settled in to toss 7 innings and allow only the one run. One important statistic for him was that he didn’t walk any batters, which kept his pitch count down.
“He was really good (on Tuesday),” Tremie said. “He gave up the home run, but other than that, he was very effective all night long with his fastball and really went to some secondary pitches in the game in good situations getting back in counts. He stayed aggressive with his fastball at the same time. It was a very strong outing.”
The Clippers and Lehigh Valley play the third of four on Wednesday night at Huntington Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
INF Audy Ciriaco went 1-for-4 on Monday and 1-for-4 on Tuesday with a run scored. He played three games in the series at Lehigh Valley (June 20-23) and went 8-for-12 with two doubles, three homers, nine runs batted in and seven runs scored.
Prior to the six run fourth inning, the Clippers were in an offensive slump where they scored one run in a span of 22 innings dating back to the 5-3 win over SWB on Saturday. They went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
INF/OF Justin Sellers took batting practice on Tuesday after missing the past two weeks with a sore neck. He confirmed that he will play second base on Wednesday and feels good. He last played on July 27 against Norfolk and went 0-for-3.
RHP Gabriel Arias (6-2, 3.62 ERA) starts Wednesday’s tilt against Lehigh Valley. He turned in a brilliant performance in his last start, tossing seven shutout innings on 74 pitches in a 7-0 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last Thursday. He allowed three hits and struck out three.
Lehigh Valley will start righty Sean O’Sullivan (5-8, 4.57 ERA). He pitched against the Clippers earlier this season on June 22. He gave up four runs (three earned) on three hits and three walks with seven strikeouts and two home runs in a 6-4 loss to Columbus.
Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.