GWINNETT- It had been more than month but Columbus right-hander Joe Martinez
finally earned his second win of the season by leading the Clippers to a 5-2 triumph against the Gwinnett Braves Monday.
Notching his first victory since May 3, Martinez (2-5, 6.48 ERA) allowed just one earned run on eight hits with six strikeouts and no walks in his 6.1 innings of work. The strong outing was a great sign for the Clippers who witnessed their starter go 0-3 with a 11.69 ERA in six starts between wins.
The Columbus offense started off hot, banging out four runs in the first two innings.
Back-to-back errors by Gwinnett set up for a Clipper run in the top of the first. Designated hitter Ezequiel Carrera
reached on a throwing error by shortstop Sean Kazmar
to lead off the first. In the next at-bat, center fielder Matt Carson
smashed a base hit groundball to second and Carrera advanced to third when Ernesto Mejia
dropped the ball at first base. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall
then came through with a sacrifice fly to left to put his team on top 1-0.
First baseman Chun-Hsiu Chen
tagged Braves’ starter David Hale
for a solo shot to center to begin the top of the second. Left fielder Tim Fedroff
lined a double to center field and shortstop Matt Lawson
followed with a single to short to put runners at the corners. After a strikeout by catcher Omir Santos
, Carrera lifted an RBI two-bagger to left field and Carson stroked a base hit into center to make it 4-0.
Gwinnett cut the lead with a run in the bottom of the third. With one out, Kazmar cracked a line drive to left, swiped second base and moved to third after Lawson failed to come up with the ball on the steal attempt. Center fielderTyler Pastornicky
dribbled an infield single to second to bring the run across.
A Lawson double to left in the top of the fourth added an insurance run for Columbus and changed the game back into a three-run contest.
In the bottom of the sixth, designated hitter Joey Terdoslavich
launched a one-out solo homerun to right field to give the Braves a glimmer of hope but the Clipper pitching stood strong.
After Martinez exited the ballgame in the bottom of the seventh, newcomer and Major-League veteran J.C. Romero
tossed a scoreless inning without allowing a hit. Reliever Jerry Gil
came on with one out in the eighth and pitched the remainder of the game to rack up his second save of the season.
Hale (1-3, 6.12 ERA) was charged with the loss after surrendering four earned runs on seven hits.
Columbus improves their record to 32-33 with their second-straight victory and Gwinnett drops to 27-39.
The Clippers will look to complete their sweep of the Braves with a 12:05 p.m. game Tuesday. Right-handerDaisuke Matsuzaka (0-2, 3.92 ERA) will make his first start for Columbus since sustaining an oblique injury on April 28 and will challenge righty Omar Povedo (4-3, 3.24 ERA).