Clippers set sail early, win 10-4
Some instant offense put the Bisons away early as the Columbus Clippers cruised to a 10-4 victory to take a 2-0 series lead Sunday afternoon at Coca Cola Field. “You go on hot streaks and cold streaks throughout the season and you never know when they’re going to come,” Valentino Pascucci said. “Right now it seems like we’re that little low side, but I guess you can look up from there.
Columbus ended starter Josh Stinson’s effort after two innings, scoring six runs (all earned) on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Stinson needed 45 pitches to escape the first and 76 overall.
“Today, (Stinson) just couldn’t find it,” manager Tim Teufel said. “The key to his success is fastball control. If he’s got a good fastball and can control it, we’re going to get ground-ball outs and things like that, but today he missed, fell behind and things kind of snowballed from there.”
International League steals leader Ezequiel Carrera worked a leadoff walk for the second game in a row before scoring on Jason Kipnis’ sixth triple of the season. Kipnis found home on a wild pitch later in the inning.
The Bisons also plated their leadoff hitter, Luis Figueroa, who singled and later scored on a fielder’s choice ball hit by Pascucci. With a 3-for-4, two-run, one-RBI game, Figueroa extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Shelley Duncan, in his fourth game since being sent to Columbus by the Cleveland Indians, padded the lead with a three-run home run to left in the second.
With two men on base, the Bisons threatened to cut the lead but Columbus third baseman Josh Rodriguez made a diving catch to end the inning on a hard liner by Mike Nickeas. Nickeas hit doubles in his next two at-bats, scoring in the ninth as part of a three-run rally. Figueroa, Michael Fisher and Fernando Martinez collected consecutive two-out RBI hits before Clippers reliever Justin Germano ended the game with a Pascucci strikeout.
Brian Sweeney settled the Clippers down in five shutout innings of long relief, allowing three doubles with no walks and three strikeouts.
Columbus starter Jeanmar Gomez earned the win, his fourth consecutive start allowing one earned run.
Jared Goedert and Luke Carlin tacked four more runs on back-to-back home runs in the ninth to seal a victory.
Game Notes: A first-inning center-field collision of Jesus Feliciano and Bubba Bell sent Feliciano to the ground, but both players stayed in the game after a visit from Teufel and trainer Joe Golia… Pascucci leads the Bisons with 42 RBI… Kipnis is now 5-for-9 on the series with a home run, five RBI and three runs scored.