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McAllister, Clippers stop losing steak

McAllister, Clippers stop losing steak
April 28, 2012
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COLUMBUS - The Columbus Clippers continued their ten game home stand on Friday night and squared off against the Pawtucket Red Sox, who are sitting atop the IL North standings.  The Clippers beat the Red Sox 4-1 to avoid their first five game losing streak since 2010.

Clippers pitcher Zach McAllister picked up his second win of the season after throwing seven strong innings and only giving up one earned run.

“He had a lot of life on his fastball, and was able to get on top of his pitches,” Clippers' manager Mike Sarbaugh said after the game.

The Clippers took the lead early on Friday night after second basemen Cord Phelps hit a double to left field, to extend his on base streak to 47 games.  Phelps was then able to advance to third after a Russ Ohlendorf wild pitch, which then led to left fielder Matt LaPorta to come to the plate and record his thirteenth RBI of the season on a bloop single to left center field.  The rally was quickly ended two batters later, after LaPorta was thrown out at the plate by Red Sox right fielder Josh Kroeger.  After one inning the Clippers led 1-0.

Phelps' 47 game on-base streak is the longest in the IL since Wes Timmons’ 48 gamer in 2009.

“Cord is a good hitter and shows patience at the plate," Sarbaugh said.  "That’s the only way you can have a streak like that."

McAllister surrendered his first hit of the ball game in the fourth inning to shortstop Jose Iglesias on a single up the middle.   The next batter Ryan Lavarnway reached base safely, but McAllister was able to settle down and retire the next two hitters to get out of the mini-jam. 

The Clippers threatened in the bottom half of the fourth inning after first basemen Russ Canzler lead the inning with a single, and later catcher Luke Carlin walked.  Columbus was unable to make good on the scoring opportunity and the score remained 1-0 after four innings.

The Red Sox finally put a run on the board in the top of the fifth inning after Kroeger hit a solo home run to right field to tie up the game 1-1. 

In the sixth inning the Clippers took the lead after designated hitter Beau Mills reached base safely with a double and then catcher Luke Carlin knocked him in with an RBI single to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Clippers.

LaPorta helped his starting pitcher out with some run support in the bottom half of seven with a two-run opposite field home run to put the Clipps up 4-1. It was LaPorta's sixth homer of the season.

“He has been working on his balance at the plate," Sarbaugh said.  "He has been working the ball off the plate real well.”

After seven solid innings from McAllister, right-handed pitcher Frank Herrmann came into the game for the Clippers and held the Red Sox scoreless in the eighth inning.

In the ninth inning reliever Chris Ray was brought in to close out the win, and he picked up his fourth save of the season and finished off a 4-1 Clippers win. 

These same two teams square off for the second game of the series on Saturday at 7:05 PM EST.

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