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Clippers upended by Mud Hens 5-3

The Toledo Mud Hens snapped a three-game losing streak at the expense of the Columbus Clippers winning 5-3 on Friday night.

Clippers upended by Mud Hens 5-3
The Clippers offense was held in check against the Mud Hens, generating just eight base runners on the night. (Photo credit: Columbus Sports)
April 18, 2014
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COLUMBUS, OH – The Toledo Mud Hens (5-10) snapped a three-game losing streak at the expense of the Columbus Clippers (5-8) winning 5-3 on Friday night at Huntington Park. 

Ryan Rohlinger broke a 2-2 tie with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Clippers bullpen could not hold the lead. J.D. Martinez led off the top of the eighth with his eighth home run of the year, a solo shot to left, while Luis Exposito hit the game winning two-run shot down the left field line.  Both home runs came against Austin Adams (0-1). 

Jose Ortega (1-0) gave up the home run to Rohlinger, but still earned the win.  Ortega struck out two in one inning. 

Clippers starting pitcher Josh Tomlin made his third start of the season, retiring the first seven batters he faced, but ran into trouble in the third.  Former Clipper, Ezequiel Carrera, hit a two-run home run off the balcony in right to even the score.

Toledo starter Derek Hankins has struggled early in each of his starts this season.  That trend continued on Friday night.  Back-to-back two-out hits in the first inning produced a pair of Clipper runs.  Jesus Aguilar drove in Jose Ramirez with a double over the head of Toledo left fielder J.D. Martinez.  David Cooper lined a single to left that scored Aguilar and the Clippers found themselves ahead 2-0 heading into the second inning.

“He had a good year last year and a good winter ball,” Clippers manager Chris Tremie said of Jesus Aguilar.  “He’s picked up right where he left off last year.”

Hankins left the game due to an injury while warming up to start the Clippers sixth and did not factor in the decision.  There was no update on what injury caused his early exit, but he appeared to be shaking his right arm in an effort to get it loose. 

Tomlin earned his first quality start since July 22, 2012 when he started for the Cleveland Indians. On Friday, he threw 90 pitches, though the fifth inning inflated his pitch count, which included a ten-pitch battle with Brandon Douglas that ended in a walk, and Tomlin’s night. 

“He [Tomlin] was pretty close to his pitch limit already and they had the injury,” said Tremie about the possibility of sending Tomlin back out for the seventh.  “It was a long time between innings.  He had thrown 90 pitches and we just thought it was the best thing to do.  He had done his job.”

Tomlin earned a no decision, but pitched well.  He gave up only three hits and struck out five in six innings of work.

“Tomlin did a great job in his outing other than the one pitch he left over the plate,” Tremie said.  “He had a really good six innings.”

The Clippers and Toledo meet Saturday afternoon for a double-header, the first game starts at 3:05 PM.  Tyler Cloyd (1-1) starts for Columbus, coming off a bounce-back eight inning performance last Friday night at Louisville.  Cloyd allowed an unearned run, struck out seven and picked up his first win of the season.  Toledo will start Mike Belfiore (1-1) in game one and Duane Below (1-0) in the second game. The Clippers have not announced who will start game two. 

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

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