Clippers fall 8-4 to Chiefs
Walks come back to doom Bauer in loss
By Ethan Day
May 25, 2013
COLUMBUS- Walking batters is never a good strategy to win a ballgame. Right-hander Trevor Bauer found that out the hard way in an 8-4 loss to the Syracuse Chiefs Friday.
The Cleveland Indians top pitching-prospect just did not have his usual stuff in his most-recent start. Bauer surrendered just four hits in his 5 2/3 innings of work, but his five walks came back to haunt him. Of his five earned-runs, four of them came by means of free passes.
“Walks got him into trouble tonight and overall, it wasn’t his best outing,” manager Chris Tremie said of Bauer’s performance.
In the past two games against the Chiefs, the Clippers pitching staff has allowed 16 runs. Tremie said he is not worried about it though.
“The past two games we haven’t pitched as well as we typically do, and I’m sure all those involved will come back and do the job they usually do,“ Tremie said. “So I’m not concerned about it right now. I think we’ll be fine.”
The two leadoff walks in the top of the second inning came around to score as the Chiefs played small ball to get the base runners home.
With left fielder Micah Owings and designated hitter Mike Costanzo on first and second, Bauer threw a ball high and outside to Zack Walters that glanced off catcher Omir Santos’ glove. The past ball allowed the runners to advance to third and second. Walters then smashed a hard groundout to second to bring Owings across the plate and a sacrifice fly to center by third baseman Carlos Rivero gave Syracuse an early 2-0 lead.
Clippers third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall decided to take matters into his own hands, driving in a combined three runs in the second and third innings to put Columbus ahead 3-2.
In the bottom of the second, Chisenhall crushed a solo homer to right center that probably would have cleared Nationwide Boulevard if it was not for the pitch count video screen in the upper right-hand corner of the scoreboard.
With the bases loaded in the following inning, Chisenhall punched a two-out, broken bat single up the middle to bring left fielder Ezequiel Carrera and first baseman Chun-Hsiu Chen home for the lead change.
Tremie said that Chisenhall’s bat has been a huge addition to the batting order.
“He’s been good for us,” Tremie said. “He had the homerun tonight with a really good swing. He also had a big base hit with runners on in a tough at-bat. He’s been a big key in the middle of that lineup.”
The Chiefs immediately answered the heroics of Chisenhall with another run in the top of the fourth to even the game at threes. Shortstop Zack Walters smacked a laser to right center that rolled all the way to the wall for an RBI. The relay throw from shortstop Juan Diaz to Santos came a split-second too late as Owings slid across the plate before he was tagged.
Syracuse rallied for five more runs in the next three innings to take an 8-3 advantage.
In the top of the fifth inning, catcher Kris Watts walked and center fielder Eury Perez bumped him over with a sacrifice bunt to third. Another walk, this time to second baseman Will Rhymes, set up a three-run blast over the balcony in right by right fielder Corey Brown to make it 6-3.
After retiring the first two batters in the sixth inning, Bauer gave up a single to Rivero who then swiped second during the next at-bat. Watts hit what looked to be a routine fly out to left, but Carrera dropped the ball which allowed Rivero to score and extend the Chief’s lead to 7-3. With his pitch count at 107, Bauer was replaced by reliever Fernando Nieve.
First baseman Chirs Marrero smoked a solo shot to left center in the top of the seventh to put Syracuse up by five runs.
Relief pitcher Michael Crotta came on in the bottom of the ninth to lock-up the win for the Chiefs but Columbus refused to go out quietly. Unfortunately, their last-inning comeback attempt fell short.
With the bases juiced and one out, center fielder Tim Fedroff stroked a base hit into left field for an RBI. Chen struck out in the next at-bat and designated hitter Jeremy Hermida looked at a called-third strike to end the game.
Right-hander Danny Rosenbaum (5-2, 3.15 ERA) earned the victory for Syracuse after his strong seven-inning outing where he allowed just three runs on four hits with four strikeouts.
The loss was Bauer’s first of the season at the Triple-A level. Overall he is 2-1 with 3.96 ERA.
The Clippers’ second loss in as many games sets them back to 28-20 while the Chiefs rise to 20-27 with their second-consecutive victory.
Columbus will send right-hander Danny Salazar (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound Saturday for his second start of the season. Syracuse will counter with righty Ross Ohlendorf (3-5, 5.13 ERA). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Ethan can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on Twitter @ethanjday