Columbus- Ninth inning magic from the Scranton/ WB Yankees led to an 8-6 victory over the Columbus Clippers.
The Clippers bullpen blew Saturday’s game as they gave up six runs. Manager Mike Sarbaugh commented, “They just had trouble tonight controlling their pitches.”
The Clippers went into Saturday night’s game looking to get a early jump on the series against the Yankees. Columbus sent out LHP Eric Berger (1-1) to start the game, as the Yankees countered with RHP Adam Warren (2-2).
Berger allowed the first batter of the game, second basemen Kevin Russo, to reach base with a single, and Russo reached second after an error in the outfield. Berger was saved after a diving play by Cord Phelps got him out of the inning.
For his second time in two nights, first basemen Matt LaPorta homered, as he took Warren deep to right field for his 13th homerun of the season for a 1-0 Clippers lead.
The Yankees were able to tie up the game in the second inning, after a wild pitch allowed third basemen Ronnier Mustelier to cross home plate with ease.
It didn’t take long for Columbus to respond, as in the bottom of the second, Phelps led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Then DH Russ Canzler scored Phelps with an RBI single. Later in the inning, with runners on second and third, shortstop Jason Donald hit a grounder to the second basemen allowing another run to score.
The Yankees cut the deficit to one run in the third, after a towering solo blast by former major leaguer, DH Jack Cust.
Right fielder Chad Huffman got into the mix by hitting his fourth homerun of the season in the fourth inning, putting the Clippers ahead 4-2.
After Donald lead the fifth inning off with a double, he was able to score the fifth run of the game for Columbus after third basemen Lonnie Chisenhall laced a single into right field.
RHP Frank Herrmann replaced Berger in the sixth inning. Berger’s’ finishing pitching line Saturday was five innings, four strikeouts, and two runs given up.
The Yankees jumped all over Herrmann to start the sixth inning, scoring a run on back-to-back doubles by Mustelier and right fielder Brandon Laird. Two batters later, center fielder Colin Curtis hit a sacrifice fly to center field letting Laird cross the dish to make the score 5-4.
Herrmann’s outing was called short after he was pulled after only recording one out and allowing two Yankee hitters to get on base. RHP Cody Allen came into pitch in place of Herrmann.
Allen was able to take care of business, as he sat the Yankees down with out giving up a run.
LHP Juan Cedeno entered the game to pitch for the Yankees in the bottom half of the seventh inning.
With two outs Chisenhall struck a double to right center field, but that was all the offense could produce off the lefty in the seventh.
With runners on the corners for the Yankees in the eighth, left fielder Cole Garner was able to up clutch and hit an RBI single into right to tie the game up at five. The next batter Russo was able to execute a sacrifice bunt advancing the runners to second and third.
Allen was able to get himself out of a bases loaded situation, after forcing a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
RHP Chase Whitley came into relief Cedeno in the eighth inning for the Yankees.
Canzler woke up Huntington Park with a triple off the right center wall. He was then able to give the lead back to the Columbus Clippers after Whitley committed a wild pitch.
The Clippers elected to bring in Chris Ray to close the game out for them.
After a throwing error by Donald on a double play attempt, Cust was able to score to tie the game up. On the play the runners advanced to second and third. To add to the bleeding, catcher Francisco Cervelli blooped a ball over the infield that was playing in to add two more runs to the Yankee’s score.
With a two run lead going into the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees brought in their closer Manny Delcarmen.
He was able to sit the Clippers down in order to take game one of the series.