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Matsuzaka shuts down Louisville in 8-3 victory

Dice-K dominates in Clippers win

Matsuzaka shuts down Louisville in 8-3 victory
Daisuke Matsuzaka (Photo:
August 9, 2013
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COLUMBUS- Columbus right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka is pitching with like he has something to prove and he certainly showed that in a 8-3 win against the Louisville Bats Thursday.

The Japan native won his third-consecutive start after yet another dominant outing. His seven innings on Thursday also marked the eighth start in a row where he's pitched at least six innings or more.

Matsuzaka was more than just good, he was great. He allowed one run on just two hits and fanned five batters while walking a pair.

With starting pitcher Corey Kluber's recent finger injury and the Cleveland Indians in dire need of some pitching help, it's looking more and more likely that Matsuzaka will get the call he's been waiting for all season.

Louisville right-hander Chad Rogers set down the first 10 Clipper batters before surrendering a single to right fielder Tim Fedroff in the bottom of the fourth.

Although Columbus did not score that inning, they finally got to Rogers in the fifth with a four-run outbreak.

Down 1-0, shortstop Juan Diaz doubled to center and second baseman Ryan Rohlinger followed by lining a single to right. Third baseman Justin Toole grounded a ball to short but the putout attempt at second base was dropped, allowing Diaz to score.

Catcher Roberto Perez made Louisville pay for the fielding miscue, roping a base hit into left field for two additional runs. The final run of the inning crossed the plate on an RBI groundout to short by Fedroff.

When it rains, it pours, and that was the case for the Bats on the night.

The Clippers erupted for five more runs, outscoring the Bats 5-2 in the final four frames to lock up the victory.

Designated hitter Jeremy Hermida launched a two-run home run onto the balcony in right field to make it a 6-1 game in the latter half of the sixth.

First baseman Chun-Hsiu Chen then blasted his own two-run shot over the left field wall in the seventh inning and Perez lofted a sacrifice fly to left in eighth for Columbus' ninth run.

Louisville tagged left-handed reliever Clay Rapada for a duo of runs in the top of the eighth after designated hitter Felix Perez whipped a two-out single into left to score shortstop Kristopher Negron and center fielder Billy Hamilton.

Relief pitcher Vinnie Pestano hurled a scoreless ninth for the Clippers and secured their 57th win of the year.

Columbus will wrap up their homestand with a 7:15 p.m. contest against Louisville Friday. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (3-1, 3.14) of the Clippers will look to avenge his first loss of the season, but that will be no easy task as he will challenge one of the International League's best pitchers in Greg Reynolds (11-2, 2.41 ERA) of the Bats.

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