McFarland helps Clippers avoid sweep
BUFFALO - Behind one of the best outings by a Columbus starter this season, the Clippers shutout the Buffalo Bison Thursday afternoon, avoiding a four-game sweep in New York.
Left-hander T.J McFarland threw 5.2 scoreless innings, pacing Columbus to a 3-0 victory over the Bison. McFarland carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the fifth before Buffalo center fielder Raul Reyes singled with two outs and no men on.
The strong performance didn’t result in a win for McFarland, though, as he left the game with the score tied, 0-0, in the sixth with runners on first-and-third base with two outs. McFarland struck out three and walked four, while giving up three hits.
Columbus right-hander Frank Herrmann did record a victory, as he replaced McFarland in the sixth before the Clippers took control of the game with a three-run seventh.
After doing little damage at the plate through the game’s first six innings, Columbus got off to a hot start in the seventh.
Facing left-hander Chuck James, who replaced Buffalo starter, right-hander Chris Young, Columbus first baseman Beau Mills led off the inning with a solo shot to right field, giving the Clippers the lead. James would give up two more singles in the inning, and was taken out of the game after recording only one out. A double by shortstop Jason Donald plated Clippers’ catcher Michel Hernandez—who went 1-4 in his fourth game with Columbus—and a Matt LaPorta groundout brought home another Clippers run two batters.
In all, Columbus scored three runs on four hits in the top of the seventh inning off two Buffalo relievers. Quite the difference from their two-hit, no-run showing against Young for six frames.
While the Clippers’ bats got hot facing the Buffalo bullpen, Columbus relievers stifled Bison hitters after McFarland did the same for the majority of the game.
Hermann threw 2.1 no-hit innings, recording his second win of the season in relief while striking out two Bison. Right-hander Chris Ray came in for the ninth, and managed to record his ninth save of the season after allowing the game-tying run to come to the plate with two outs.
Columbus finishes its 12-game road trip with a four-game series in Rochester. The Clippers, after taking the finale against Buffalo, are 4-4 since they last played inside Huntington Park.