Sands' two-out double subdues Clippers, Matsuzaka
Clippers offense falls short in 3-2 loss
INDIANAPOLIS- Columbus right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka glided through the first five innings of play before Indianapolis right fielder Jerry Sands stroked a two-out bases-clearing double in the sixth to top the Clippers 3-2 Wednesday.
Matsuzaka took a 2-0 advantage heading into the inning but issued a string of three consecutive singles to lead off the sixth. He settled down a bit after fanning designated hitter Russ Canzler and center fielder Felix Pie.
But up came Sands, who ripped a 1-0 pitch deep into center field to unload the bases and leapfrogged Indianapolis over Columbus in the run column.
The Japan-native appeared to be on his way to his fourth victory in a row but with one swing of the bat dropped to 5-7 on the year.
Up until that point, Matsuzaka had allowed just three hits and had set down eight straight batters from the second to the end of the fourth.
Despite the loss, it's very likely that Matsuzaka will finally get promoted to Cleveland within the week, especially after right-hander Carlos Carrasco's lackluster performance against the Minnesota Twins.
On the flipside, Indians' starter Graham Godfrey pitched just as well as his opponent but made fewer mistake to earn his ninth win of the season.
Godfrey turned in a strong outing that spanned seven innings. In that time frame, the right-hander surrendered two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Their other run came in the top half of the sixth inning. First baseman Matt LaPorta poked a two-bagger into left and Rohlinger knocked him in with a double of his own to make it a 2-0 ballgame.
The offense struggled the rest of the way, going down in order in both the seventh and eighth innings. Designated hitter Jeremy Hermida broke up the hitless streak by lining single into left to begin the ninth but Welker got Rohlinger to ground into a double play and fanned Diaz to notch his seventh save.
Now at 60-67, Columbus sits six games back of a wild card spot and seven games behind Indianapolis for first in the International League West.
The Clippers and Indians will meet up again Thursday in game two of the series. Right-hander Paolo Espino (2-4, 4.23 ERA) will get the nod for Columbus and he will be opposed by Indianapolis starter Stolmy Pimentel (2-4, 3.30 ERA). Action is penciled in for a 7:05 p.m. start.