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Five-run fifth powers Clippers past RailRiders 10-4

Five-run fifth powers Clippers past RailRiders 10-4
May 19, 2013
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COLUMBUS- The Columbus Clippers exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fifth to topple the Scranton/WB 10-4 at Huntington Park Sunday.
 
After being down 3-0 from the get-go, the Clippers battled back to take a commanding lead.
 
“When you get down early and you come back and chip away or get back even or ahead early changes the complexity of the game,” Tremie said.
 
Right-hander Trevor Bauer struggled early but roughed it out to turn in a solid performance.
 
“He was really good. I thought his fifth and sixth inning were obviously the best innings he had all night,” Tremie said. “That says a lot about a kid. Part of being a pitcher means you’re not going to have your best stuff every night and he figured out a way to get it done.”
 
The RailRiders drew first blood with three runs to start off the game.
 
Right fielder Brennan Boesch kick started the first inning with a line drive to right center field. Center fielder Zoiler Almonte then grounded into a fielder’s choice which advanced Boesch to second. Third baseman Ronnier Mustelier followed by whacking a bouncer up the gut for an RBI single. In the next at-bat designated hitter Dan Johnson launched a  2-run homerun off the balcony roof in right to make it a 3-0 game.
 
The Clippers responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
 
Right fielder Ezequiel Carrera leadoff with a triple to right center that grazed off of Boesch’s glove. Center fielder Tim Fedroff then hit a weak groundball to short but beat out the throw for an RBI infield single. After back-to-back strikeouts, left fielder Cord Phelps lifted a 0-1 breaking ball over the right field wall for a two-run shot and evened the score 3-3.
 
Bauer lost command of his pitches in the top of the second but came out of the inning allowing just a single run.
 
 Left fielder Thomas Neal was issued a walk and then quickly stole second. Catcher Bobby Wilson followed with a groundout to second which moved Neal to third. Shortstop Addison Maruszak pounded an RBI base hit into left to put his team back on top 4-3.
 
Bauer walked the next two batters to juice the bases but fanned Almonte and forced Mustelier to groundout to second to end the threat.
 
A trio of solo homers in the fourth and fifth innings gave Columbus a 6-4 lead before the Clippers added an additional three runs.
 
Lawson belted a one-out solo homer to left field in the bottom of the fourth to tie the ballgame at four runs a piece.
 
In the following inning, designated hitter Jeremy Hermida and Phelps went back-to-back with a pair of solo bombs to put the Clippers ahead 6-4.
 
Third baseman Ryan Rohlinger reached on fielding error by Mustelier at third. Shortstop Juan Diaz then blooped single to left and Lawson laced a RBI double in the gap in right center. Catcher Omir Santos followed by dropping a single into left and Carrera laid a sacrifice bunt down first base line to bring the score to 9-4.
 
Diaz knocked in the final run in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out RBI single to center.
 
Relievers Giovanni SotoJerry Gil and Fernando Nieve pitched a scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively, to secure the victory for Columbus.
 
First baseman Chun-Hsiu Chen made his Clippers debut and went 1-5 with a single and a strikeout after being promoted from Double-A Akron earlier in the day. The Taiwan-native batted .328 with 10 doubles, six homeruns and 29 RBI for the Aeros.
 
“Like anyone in their first game at a different level, probably a little bit nervous but I thought he handled it really well and he had a good game,” Tremie said of Chen’s first action in the state’s capital.
 
Although a bit wild, Bauer (2-0, 3.23 ERA) picked up the win for the Clippers. The righty tossed six solid innings of six hit baseball. He allowed four earned runs with two strikeouts and five walks.
 
On the season between Cleveland and Columbus, Bauer has issued 25 free passes in seven starts. Tremie said it is all part of his development process.
 
“He scuffled early in the game with his command and feel for his pitches,” Tremie said. “He did have the one really long inning where his pitches got up. If the inning would have continued then that might have been something that we had to look at. Him bouncing back early and throwing four more innings was really positive.”
 
RailRiders right hander Caleb Cotham (4-1, 9.00 ERA) was charged with the loss after surrendering six earned runs on eight hits (including all four homeruns hit) with one walk and six strikeouts.
 
Columbus improves to 26-18 with the win and Scranton/WB falls to .500 at 21-21.
 
The Clippers and RailRaiders are set to continue their series on Monday at 7:05 p.m. Columbus right-hander Joe Martinez (1-2, 4.53) will look to even up his record and will face-off against Scranton/WB righty Chris Bootcheck (4-0, 3.00). 

Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as  the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at jpete@indiansprospectinsider.com.

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