Playing in a Columbus uniform for the first time this season, Clippers’ third baseman Jose Lopez led his new team to a win Sunday.
Lopez went 4-for-5 with three doubles and three RBIs in his debut, as the Clippers (16-13) beat the first-place Toledo Mud Hens (18-11), 8-1, to get within two games of the IL West division leader.
Cleveland assigned Lopez to Columbus after the veteran infielder cleared waivers to make room for newly acquired Indians’ outfielder Johnny Damon. Lopez was hitting .190 in 21 plate appearances with the major league ballclub.
The Clippers’ used a big seventh inning and one run each in the fifth, sixth, and eighth inning to pull away from the Mud Hens.
Columbus first baseman Beau Mills, who went 2-for-4, hit a grand slam to right field to put the Clippers up, 7-1, in the top of the seventh inning.
A Lopez single to left field in the top of the fifth inning scored Clippers’ second baseman Cord Phelps breaking a 1-1 tie.
Clippers’ right fielder Chad Huffman homered in the top of the sixth inning and Lopez had an RBI double in the top of the eighth inning.
While Lopez will get most of the headlines with his four-hit game, Clippers’ starter, left-hander Chris Seddon, had a very strong outing as well. Seddon (3-1) shut down the Toledo offense after giving up one run in the bottom of the second inning. He finished the day with four strikeouts in six innings of work while giving up only three hits.
Columbus reliever, right-hander Cody Allen, continued his dominance of the minor leagues with two scoreless innings. Allen struck out two Mud Hens and gave up two hits, bringing his ERA with the Clippers down to 1.69.
Clippers’ designated hitter Matt LaPorta went 2-for-5 and center fielder Ezequiel Carrera went 1-for-6 with a double.
With the win, Columbus splits a two-game series with Toledo after losing to the Mud Hens, 2-1, on Saturday.