Clippers passed Herd

The Bisons erased two two-run leads with consecutive three-run innings, but the Columbus Clippers struck base to take a 6-5 win Saturday at Coca Cola Field.

Chad Huffman scored the go-ahead run from third on a passed ball in the eighth after back and forth fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

“That’s a tough passed ball,” manager Tim Teufel said. “(Catcher Raul Chavez) didn’t even get glove on it. It just went straight to the mask of the umpire so it’s just one of those pitches that’s hard to give a passed ball, it’s hard to give a wild pitch to because the guy swung.”

Justin Hampson took the loss after leaving Huffman on for fellow reliever Ryota Igarashi.

Teufel credited the loss to poor fielding, marked by two errors.

“When you’re giving away outs and opportunities, those are the things that hurt you in a game,” Teufel said. “Once you start giving away runs it’s hard keep coming back like that.”

Down 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth, a Luis Figueroa single and walks by Michael Fisher and Fernando Martinez brought Valentino Pascucci to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. The Herd’s RBI king delivered with a double off the left field wall to knot the score at two.

A wild pitch by Columbus starter Corey Kluber then brought Martinez in for a one-run Bisons lead.

After a walk to Zach Lutz, Kluber left with runners on the corners and two down for reliever Nick Hagadone, who escaped the inning with a walk and a fly out. Over 4.2 innings, Kluber allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits and walks with five strikeouts.

However the Clippers struck back on a bloop single by Phillips with the bases loaded, scoring two runs with an error by left fielder Jason Botts bringing in a third run and moving Phillips to second.

Chris Schwinden left the start after the big hit, allowing five runs – four earned – on seven hits with four walks and two strikeouts over 5.2 innings.

A sixth-inning Fisher double with two Bisons on evened the score again at five. New reliever Joe Martinez walked Pascucci to load the bases again before Lutz gave the Herd a slim 6-5 lead on a sharp single.

Martinez salvaged the inning with a double play ball off the bat of Feliciano to keep the lead at one. Jason Kipnis then tied the score with a solo home run on the first pitch of the seventh inning.

Figueroa and Fisher, the first two hitters in the Herd lineup, each reached base three times, both hitting 1-for-3 with two walks. Chavez and Zach Lutz both recorded two hits.

Ezequiel Carrera stole his International League-leading 20th and 21st bases of the season, the latter setting up the Clippers’ first run before a Kipnis RBI single in the first.

Martinez took the win, while Josh Judy closed out the ninth inning for the save.

Game Notes: Carrera’s 21 steals top Buffalo’s team total by one… Lutz is now 4-for-8 with a double, an RBI and a walk since returning from the disabled list… A crowd of 13,583 took in the Star Wars Night game filled with light saber battles and a pyrotechnics show after the game… Pascucci raised his Buffalo-best RBI count to 41… The Bisons turned four double plays, three against Lonnie Chisenhall.

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