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Clippers falter late, lose to Indians 4-2

Columbus gave up all four runs to Indianapolis in the eighth inning.

Clippers falter late, lose to Indians 4-2
Jesus Aguilar went 1-for-4 with a double and scored a run in Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Indianapolis Indians. (Photo credit: Brittany Chay)
August 31, 2014
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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Indianapolis Indians (72-70) used a four-run eighth inning to defeat the Columbus Clippers (77-65) 4-2 on Saturday night at Victory Field.

Jaff Decker lined a single to left with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning to give Indianapolis the lead off of Jordan Cooper (0-1, 4.91). 

Decker’s single followed three straight one out hits and a groundout that produced the first two Indianapolis runs in the eighth.

Elias Davis, Blake Davis and Chase d’Arnaud all singled to produce the first Indianapolis run and Michael Martinez brought the tying run home on a fielder’s choice ground out to second with the bases loaded.

Gregory Polanco’s two out single to right produced the final Indianapolis run.

Russell Branyan drove in the first Clippers run with a one-out single to center that scored Jesus Aguilar in the fourth.  Aguilar led off the inning with a double off the wall in left.

Elliot Johnson scored the Clippers other run in the seventh on a missed catch error in right.  Johnson led off the seventh with a double off of reliever Adam Wilk.  He moved to third on Luke Carlin’s single.

When Tyler Cloyd was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday, Clippers manager turned to Shaun Marcum to start the final road game of the season.

It was the eighth appearance of the year for Marcum after spending the first four months of the season on the disabled list recovering from shoulder surgery.

A reliable starter with a career 3.88 ERA at the Major League record over parts of eight seasons, Marcum had not been stretched out and only lasted three innings, but did not allow a run.  He struck out three and allowed only one hit.

Bryan Price and Austin Adams followed Marcum and both pitched one-two-three innings with a strikeout each.

Cooper was called up to replace Cloyd on the roster.  He recorded six straight outs in the sixth and seventh, but ran into trouble in his third inning. 

He took the loss after being charged with four runs on five hits and two walks, all in the deciding eighth inning.

Vin Mazzaro (5-3, 2.52) pitched 1.1 innings to pick up the win and Ernesto Frieri walked a batter in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, but earned his first save with Indianapolis without any damage.

The Clippers return home for the final two games of the 2014 regular season to play the Toledo Mud Hens on Sunday night beginning at 6:05 PM at Huntington Park.

NOTES

RHP Jordan Cooper made a spot start for his only previous appearance with Columbus against Indianapolis in the second game of the July 12 double header.  He shut out Indianapolis over four innings in a 2-1 Clippers win. 

The Clippers played Indianapolis ten consecutive games around the All-Star break, including six straight before the break at Indianapolis.  They played two double headers in three days, losing the first set before winning the final four games of the series to go to the break tied for first.  The Clippers took over first on July 24 and never relinquished it again.

Prior to getting swept in this series against Indianapolis, Columbus had not lost a road series since July 2-3 at Toledo, where they were swept in a pair.  They were 19-6 on the road over that span of time.

Russell Branyon’s RBI single in the fourth means that he has a hit and a RBI in both games since his return to the Clippers. 

RHP Zach McAllister (7-1, 2.09) will start Sunday’s game against Toledo.  His last start came against the Mud Hens on Tuesday night.  He held them to a run on four hits and a walk and struck out eight in a Clippers 3-1 victory.

In two starts against Toledo this season, McAllister is 1-0 and has allowed three runs over 13 innings (2.08 ERA). 

Toledo will start RHP Derek Hankins (7-14, 5.36).  Hankins also pitched last on Tuesday night against the Clippers.  He gave up three runs on six hits and a pair of walks with two strikeouts while taking the loss. 

This will be his sixth start against the Clippers this season.  He is 1-3 with a 5.74 ERA over 26.2 innings against Columbus.

Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.

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