Clippers shut out 3-0 as Red Sox sweep series
Columbus drops fifth straight game
COLUMBUS- The Pawtucket Red Sox left Huntington Park with their fourth win of the series Thursday night, completing their sweep of the Clippers with a 3-0 victory.
Brandon Workman started the game for the Red Sox. Workman pitched seven scoreless innings for the Sox, only giving up four hits to Columbus.
T.J. House faced Workman Thursday night, pitching six innings. House allowed three runs, striking out five batters. House put up a quality start but was still branded with his seventh loss.
Manager Chris Tremie had few criticisms for his starter. “Good outing, quality start as far as giving us six innings keeping us in the ballgame, only giving up three runs… He threw the ball really well.”
The Red Sox took an early jump on the Clippers in the first inning scoring two runs to take the lead. House led off the first inning walking Pawtucket left fielder Jackie Bradley. Next up Jonathan Diaz was thrown out at first, but Bradley made his way to second safely on the play. Mitch Maier hit a single ground ball out to left fielder Ezequiel Carrera to bring in Pawtucket’s first run of the game.
House gained composure for the next batter recording his first strikeout. Directly afterwards House allowed Alex Hassan to send a line drive bouncing off the right-field wall, scoring the Red Sox second run of the game. House ended the inning with his second strikeout.
Columbus began the first inning promisingly with Carrera leading off the inning with a single out to right field. Before center fielder Matt Carson took his first pitch, Carrera stole his 19th base of the season, advancing to second. Carson then drew a walk to join Carrera on the bases.
With one out Phelps grounded out, but allowed Carrera to advance to third with Carson behind him taking second. First baseman Chun-Hsiu Chen took the plate, but left Carrera and Carson on base, flying out to center field.
Columbus’ struggles continued through the second and third inning, never having more than one runner on base at a time.
House cleared the second, third, and fourth inning thanks to his three strikeouts and defense who offset the two hits he allowed.
The Clippers threatened Pawtucket for the second time in the fourth but once again left two batters on base. Columbus started off with back-to-back singles by Hermida and Phelps. Chen slowed the inning down striking out, but designated hitter Tim Fedroff was responsible for ending the inning, grounding into a double play.
Pawtucket took their final shot at Columbus in the top of the fifth. House began the inning walking the leadoff batter and hitting the number two batter in the back. Jonathan Diaz then hit a successful sacrifice bunt, advancing both runners to third and second. Mitch Maier grounded out for the second out, scoring Alberto Rosario for Pawtucket’s third and last run of the game.
House held Pawtucket in the sixth, pitching his fourth scoreless inning. House did not return in the seventh, with lefty Scott Barnes replacing him on the mound.
Barnes pitched a classic three-up-three-down inning, including one strikeout for his only inning pitched.
Bryan Price was called in to close in the top of the eighth. Price struck out three, facing only seven batters in the two last innings.
Workman eventually retired in the eighth inning, allowing Clayton Mortensen to take the mound for the Red Sox. Mortensen allowed Columbus zero hits while pitching, only allowing Carrera on base with a walk.
Jeremy Kehrt was the Red Sox’s third pitcher, coming into the game for the ninth inning. Kehrt allowed Columbus their fifth hit of the night when Cord Phelps singled on a ground ball out to center field. Phelps was left on base when Chen stepped up to strike out for the third time. Fedroff followed by grounding into a force out at second.
Thursday’s shutout marked the Clippers' fifth consecutive loss. The slump has affected Columbus in the International League West standings, sitting them solidly in the third seat two games below second place Louisville. The Clippers record currently stands at 36-40 (.459).
“Right now as a team we need to relax a little bit,” Tremie observed of his team’s recent struggles. “I think everyone’s maybe trying too hard, wanting to carry the team by themselves.”
Columbus will continue their home stance Friday night when the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs come to town for a four-game series. Danny Salazar will take the mound to face Lehigh Valley’s Thomas Cochran.