Clippers joust Knights to 4-2 win
CHARLOTTE- After splitting a doubleheader Friday night against the Charlotte Knights, the Columbus Clippers snatched a win Saturday night, 4-2.
Columbus’ offense boomed in the first inning scoring all four of their runs, while Charlotte was unable to make up for the deficit throughout the game. The Clippers retrieved three pitchers to finish the game, but all three pitched scoreless innings.
In the first inning Columbus’ hitters had their most and only action of the game. With one out, Matt Carson sent a soft line drive to center field for a single. Lonnie Chisenhall followed with a line drive double to center field, sending Carson home to score.
First baseman Cord Phelps continued with a single that pushed Chisenhall to third. Chun-Hsiu Chen kept stride with an RBI single. Clippers’ left fielder Tim Fedroff loaded the bases with one out by drawing a walk from Charlotte starting pitcher Zach Stewart. Juan Diaz hit a single that brought home two to put the Clippers up 4-0.
Stewart continued pitching for the Knights and held Columbus for five more innings. In the end Stewart was ultimately saddled with the loss.
Danny Salazar took the mound for the Clippers and although he outperformed Charlotte’s starter, he had his own struggles. Dewayne Wise started the first inning with a triple on a fly ball out to right fielder Carson. The next batter reached base on an error by Salazar, enabling Wise to score the Knights first run. Salazar regained composure striking out the next batter and not allowing another batter on base.
Salazar only allowed one more run in his five innings pitched. Leading off the fourth inning Mike McDade, former first baseman for the Clippers, sent a ball into the right field bleachers to bring Charlotte one run closer to Columbus.
Salazar ultimately earned himself his first win of the season with the Clippers and was replaced in the sixth inning by Chris Jakubauskas. Jakubauskas only pitched 1.2 innings, but recorded two strikeouts and was rewarded with a hold for his efforts. Next to take the mound was Clay Rapada. Rapada only pitched one inning, but once again allowed no runs and was given a hold. To close the game Preston Guilmet was called in. Guilmet allowed two hits in the ninth inning, but allowed no runs and received his sixteenth save.
Columbus never scored again after their productive first inning, but they never needed to due to their bullpen holding the Knights scoreless.
The Clippers 4-2 win over the Knights brought them one game closer to reaching a .500 record as they are one game under .500. Columbus remains tied for the second seat in the International League West standings with the Louisville Bats.
Sunday afternoon Columbus will send Daisuke Matsuzaka to the mound to face the Knights in their final game of the series.