PAWTUCKET- Things were looking perfect for the Columbus Clippers early on Sunday afternoon, but after an injury and a late inning scare, Columbus was happy to get away with a 6-5 victory.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Columbus Clippers starter and a potential rotation fill for the Clevelans Indians, was removed from the game after three perfect innings with an undisclosed injury to his left side.
It remains to be seen exactly what is wrong with Matsuzaka, but hopefully, the injury isn’t serious enough to keep Daisuke out for more than a couple of days or starts.
While the Matsuzaka injury put a damper on the day, the rest of the Clippers team came out to play on Sunday afternoon.
Things got started for Columbus in the top of the second when Cedric Hunter walked, Juan Diaz singled, and Omir Santos drove in Hunter on a single of his own. After Tim Fedroff struck out, Matt Carson continued the barrage of runs with a single, scoring Diaz and making the score 2-0.
The Clippers continued their offensive in the fourth inning. Santos started it off with a single and Fedroff followed suit, giving the Clippers two on with no out. Matt Lawson then doubled, scoring Fedroff and Santos while giving the Clippers a 4-0 lead. A wild pitch from PawSox pitcher Terry Doyle moved Lawson over to third, and after a strike out by Jeremy Hermida and a walk by Carson, Mike McDade grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Lawson.
The score was 5-0 in the top of the sixth when Carson and McDade drew two-out walks. Adam Abraham then roped a two-out single to bring home Carson, giving the Clippers the lead at 6-0.
Clippers pitchers were dominant through seven. David Huff followed Matsuzaka and pitched three innings of one-hit baseball.
In the bottom of the seventh, the essentially perfect afternoon came to an end when Huff allowed a walk and a two-run homer, cutting the Columbus lead to 6-2.
Huff was replaced by reliever Rob Bryson after the homer, and he allowed back-to-back home runs to the next batters he faced. Bryson then settled down and handled the next three hitters with ease, getting them out of the inning alive with a 6-4 lead.
Bryson got back into trouble in the bottom of the eighth when he allowed a double and a walk, putting two men on with only one out. Closer Preston Guilmet made an early appearance, replacing Bryson after his walk in the eighth inning.
Guilmet allowed an RBI single to start his outing, but calmed down to retire the next two batters, preserving the 6-5 lead going into the ninth inning.
After the Clippers went down in the top of the ninth, Guilmet returned and got his eighth save of the season, shutting the PawSox down in order.
The series is now tied at 1-1 and continues tomorrow from McCoy Stadium. Clippers phenom Trevor Bauer is set to start against PawSox starter Steven Wright.
First pitch is set for 6:15.