Toledo tops Columbus with 9-6 victory
Clippers cannot muster enough offense in slugfest
COLUMBUS- The Columbus Clippers battled back from a 5-0 deficit with four runs in the bottom half of the third but ended up on the losing end of the stick as the Toledo Mud Hens struck for four more runs in the latter part of the game to seal a 9-6 win Wednesday.
Firepower was abundant on both sides, Toledo just had more ammunition. The Clippers' 10 hits were surpassed by the Mud Hens' 17.
With the 27 combined hits, each team utilized five of their pitchers to get through the slugfest.
Columbus starter Joe Martinez was not particularly sharp on the evening. The Mud Hens shelled the right-hander for six runs on 10 hits across 4.2 innings. After taking the loss, Martinez drops to 2-7 on the year with a steep 6.14 ERA.
Toledo's Shaun Hill was not much better, better labored through 5.2 frames to collect just his fourth win. Over that time, the pitcher gave up five runs on eight hits.
Toledo scratched out a pair of runs off of Martinez in the first inning to seize the early 2-0 lead. After third baseman Danny Worth lead off with a single up the middle, first baseman Jordan Lennerton slugged his 15th home run of the season to left field.
The onslaught continued in the top of the third with three additional runs. Left fielder Nick Castellanos trickled an RBI base bit to center to score Worth from second. Designated hitter Mike Cervenak followed with another single to load up the bases. Center fielder Ben Guez's groundball base knock up the gut put the Mud Hens on top 5-0.
The Clippers muscled their way back into the ballgame with a three-run shot by designated hitter Matt LaPorta to cut the contest to a one-run margin. Left fielder Tim Fedroff put Columbus on the board with an RBI single. Then with two runners on, LaPorta belted a 1-0 pitch over the left field to make it 5-4.
The tight game was not long-lasted however, as Toledo piled on four runs in the fifth and sixth innings combined to distance themselves from the Clippers. Guez pounded out another RBI single, this time to left, to score Castellanos in the fifth.
Columbus reliever C.C. Lee was an out away from tossing a scoreless sixth but Lennerton and Castellanos had other plans. The duo creamed a back-to-back doubles to score two more runs and Cervenak stoked an RBI single into left for his team's ninth run.
Columbus first baseman Chun-Hsiu Chen whacked a solo bomb over the right-field wall in the bottom of the inning and designated hitter Jeremy Hermida scored on a wild pitch in the eighth but that's all the offense could muster.
The Clippers will welcome the Louisville Bats to Huntington Park Thursday for the beginning of a short two-game series. Surging right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka (4-6, 3.80 ERA) will go for his third-consecutive win as he faces Louisville's Chad Rogers (4-2, 3.32 ERA). Action is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.