Santos’ clutch hitting thrusts Clippers past Indians
INDIANAPOLIS- Locked in a 2-2 tie heading into the top of the eighth inning, Columbus catcher Omir Santos smacked a two-out triple into right field to put the Clippers ahead of the Indian Indians.
The clutch hit would prove to produce the game-winning run as Columbus would go on to win 5-2 Friday.
With infielders Nate Spears and Ryan Rohlinger at the corners, Santos took a hardy swing on a 1-1 count and knocked the base runners in to make it a 4-2 ballgame.
Santos accounted for three of the Clippers five runs. The catcher gave evened the contest at 1-1 in the top of the second when he punched an RBI to right with two down.
Columbus southpaw T.J. House and Indianapolis right-hander Jameson Taillon both pitched well for their respective teams. Both starters tossed six frames but wound up with no-decisions.
House allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits with six strike outs and one walk. Taillon surrendered two runs on six hits while fanning nine batters and issuing three free passes.
The victory was credited to reliever C.C. Lee who replaced House in the seventh inning. He allowed a leadoff single to third baseman Jared Goedert but got right fielder Jerry Sands to fly out to center and induced catcher Kelly Shoppach into a double play to end the inning.
Relief pitcher Vinnie Pestano hurled a scoreless eighth for the hold and left-hander Nick Hagadone retired the side in the ninth to chalk up his fifth save of the season.
The Indians jumped on House for a run in the bottom of the first when shortstop Robert Andino roped a two-bagger into right to score center fielder Alex Presley.
Spears walked to begin the top of the sixth and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rohlinger. Third baseman Justin Toole stroked a single through the right side of the infield to give the Clippers a 2-1 lead.
Indianapolis evened the contest back up in the bottom half of the sixth when a missed catch error by first baseman Chun-Hsiu Chen allowed Presley to score all the way from second base.
A sacrifice fly to center by Spears in the top of the ninth gave Columbus an insurance run to distance themselves for the Indians even further.
At 62-66, Columbus remains six games back of the Wild Card slot with 16 contests left.
The Clippers will return to Huntington Park Saturday to open a four game series with the Norfolk Tides. Columbus right-hander Trevor Bauer (6-5, 3.72 ERA) will man the mound for the home team and Norfolk starter Eddie Gamboa (1-3, 5.87 ERA) will challenge him. The first pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.