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Salazar shines as Clippers split doubleheader with Bulls

Clippers pitching determines fate in both games of twin bill

Salazar shines as Clippers split doubleheader with Bulls
July 1, 2013
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DURHAM- A strong performance by starter Danny Salazar in game one of a doubleheader Monday lead the way for a 2-1 Clipper triumph against the Durham Bulls. The second game was a different story however as newcomer Boof Bonser was tagged for all five runs in a 5-0 defeat.

In the shortened seven-inning contest, Salazar (2-2, 3.86 ERA) outdueled Durham’s Mike Montgomery (4-2, 3.60 ERA) despite throwing fewer innings to earn the win. Salazar did not allow a run on just two hits with a pair of strikeouts and no walks over a span of five innings. Montgomery pitched the entire duration of the game but wound up with the short end of the stick. The righty surrendered two runs (one earned) on seven hits with five punchouts and one free pass.

The Clippers took an early lead with a run in the top of the second inning. First baseman Chun Hsiu-Chen lead off with a a base hit line drive to right field. In the next at-bat, third baseman Juan Diaz bounced a groundball to his counterpart Cole Figueroa who threw to second in attempt to turn a double play. Second baseman Mike Fontenot dropped the ball but quickly recovered to throw out Diaz at first. Center fielder Matt Carson followed by cracking an RBI single up the gut.

The bats on both sides remained silent for the next three innings until Columbus tacked on their second run of the game thanks to some timely hitting in the top of the sixth. Designated hitter Jeremy Hermida whipped a two-out double to left field and in the next at-bat Chen smacked a two-bagger of his own to increase his team’s lead.

With Clipper reliever Matt Langwell on to pitch in the bottom of the seventh, the Bulls cut the deficit to a run before left-hander Clay Rapada came on to shut the door on the rally for his second save of the year.

Shortstop Tim Beckham trickled a one-out infield single to short for the first base runner of the inning. After Langwell fanned Vince Velnome, left fielder Shelley Duncan propelled a double to center to make it 2-1. Rapada then replaced Langwell for the lefty-lefty match up with right fielder Leslie Anderson. Three pitches later, Anderson grounded out to second base to seal the win for Columbus in game one.

Bonser (0-1, 9.64 ERA) did not particularly well in his Clipper debut, allowing five runs on eight hits in his 4.2 innings of work. The offense was not much better as they were limited to just two hits throughout the affair. The quartet of Cory Wade, Adam Liberatore (4-1, 4.23 ERA), C.J. Riefenhauser and Josh Leuke out of Durham’s bullpen combined for the shutout.

The Bulls did all of their scoring in the third, fourth and fifth innings. With Figueroa on second with one down, catcher Jesus Flores laced an RBI double to left field. In the following inning, first baseman Brandon Guyer singled to center and Belnome came through with a walk. Duncan stroked a double to left for one run and Anderson followed with a base hit to center to score another. Beckham’s double play groundout allowed Duncan to cross the plate for the third run in the fourth. Guyer lifted a sacrifice fly to center in the fifth to put Durham up 5-0.

After the twin bill, the Clippers move to 38-47 on the year while the Bulls go to 52-32.

Columbus right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-4, 4.54 ERA) will look for his second-straight victory as he clashes with Durham righty Matt Buschmann (2-0, 2.93 ERA) in the final game of the series at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.


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