Columbus blows late lead, falls 6-3
Clippers blow two-run eighth inning lead; fall to 36-43 on season
NORFOLK- Trailing 3-1 heading into the eighth, the Norfolk Tides rallied for five runs in the bottom half of the inning to propel them to a 6-3 victory over the Columbus Clippers Tuesday.
Norfolk jumped on Columbus right-hander Paolo Espino for a run in the bottom of the first. Second baseman and former Major League All-Star Brian Roberts led off by lining a double into left field. In the next at-bats, right fielder L.J. Hoes grounded out to short to advance Roberts to third.
Center fielder Jason Pridie then followed by smacking an RBI base hit into right to give the Tides a brief 1-0 lead.
The Clippers came back to score three runs of their own in the next two innings to leap over Norfolk and take a 3-1 advantage.
In the top of the second, right fielder Jeremy Hermida blasted his 14th home run of the year over the left field wall to tie the game at one.
With one out in the top of the third, designated hitter Ryan Rohlinger was hit by a pitch and then quickly stole second. Left fielder Ezequiel Carrera was issued a walk and center fielder Tim Fedroff followed by scorching a single into center to bring Rohlinger home.
The throw home by Pridie allowed Fedroff to reach second to place runners in scoring position. First baseman Chun-Hsiu Chen lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to put Columbus up 3-1.
That score would hold until the eighth. The Clippers had a chance to inflict damage in the top half of the inning but were unsuccessful.
Fedroff punched a single to left field to start things off and Chen followed with another base knock to right. Hermida then drove a base hit to left. Fedroff rounded third and headed home put left fielder Xavier Bradley rifled a laser toChris Snyder to nail the runner at the plate. Reliever Mark Hendrickson intentionally walked second baseman Matt Lawson in the next at-bat to load the bases but third baseman Nate Spears grounded out to second to end the threat.
Columbus relief pitcher Matt Langwell was tagged for four runs in the bottom half of the eighth to put Norfolk back on top. Snyder began the barrage by stroking a single to left field. Avery walked and Roberts popped a soft liner into center to juice the bases. Hoes scorched a two-run double down the left field line to even the score.
Closer Preston Guilmet then replaced Langwell and got Pridie to foul out down the third base line for the first out. He intentionally walked former Clipper Russ Canzler in the following at-bat but surrendered a base knock to designated hitter Buck Britton to give the Tides the lead. Back-to-back singles by third baseman Zelous Wheelerand shortstop Brandon Wood put Norfolk up 6-3.
Hendrickson (1-2, 3.86 ERA) picked up the win for the Tides and Langwell (3-2, 3.00 ERA) was charged with the loss for Columbus. The Clippers fall to 36-43 on the season while Norfolk improves to 41-38.
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