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House, Clippers bested in pitching duel 2-1

T.J. House outdueled by Greg Smith in loss to IronPigs

House, Clippers bested in pitching duel 2-1
July 21, 2013
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LEHIGH VALLEY- Despite another spectacular performance by surging southpaw T.J. House, the Columbus Clippers dropped a tough 2-1 contest to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and their starter Greg Smith Sunday.

House and Smith went toe-to-toe with each other for most of the night but Smith surfaced as the victor in the end.

With a slim 1-0 lead, House surrendered a string of extra base hits in the bottom of the third to allow the IronPigs to jump ahead of the Clippers 2-1. Minus that blunder, the left-hander cruised through the next four frames before hanging up his hat for the evening. Over his seven innings, House (3-10, 1.95 ERA) struck out seven IronPigs and did not issue a walk. However, he allowed eight hits and that could have been the difference.

Smith (5-1, 1.93 ERA) on the other hand, gave up a run in the top of the first but never looked back after that. His pitching may not have been as lethal as House’s, only fanning two batters, but he limited the Columbus offense to just four hits in his eight innings of work.

They were both fine outings but Smith made less mistakes to nudge his opponent.

After Smith’s departure, reliever Zack Miner came on in the ninth to secure the win. The Clippers made things interesting by loading the bases with one out but failed to do any damage to keep the game alive. Miner forced pitch-hitter Tim Fedroff into an infield fly and got shortstop Luis Hernandez to lineout to his counterpart to give Lehigh Valley the victory.

Columbus took the early lead by scoring a run in the top of the first inning. Center fielder Ezequiel Carrera reached first on a botched ball by second baseman Michael Martinez. Then, designated hitter Jeremy Hermida looped a line-drive single into right field. Carrera advanced to third on yet another miscue by Lehigh Valley, this time a throwing error on right fielder Steve Susdorf. Left fielder Chun-Hsiu Chun followed by sailing a sacrifice fly to right for the game’s first run.

The IronPigs would tack on a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning which would prove all the team needed to nudge the Clippers. Martinez punched a sharp grounder into left and raced his way to third for a one-out triple. Back-to-back doubles by center fielder Cesar Hernandez and shortstop Freddy Galvis gave Lehigh Valley the upper-hand with a 2-1 lead.

The game was all pitching from there on out. House and Smith hung up goose eggs for the duration of the game before being replaced by their respective bullpens. Relief pitcher Blake Wood tossed a scoreless eighth with two punch outs for Columbus and Miner notched his second save of the season by working his way out of the jam in the top of the ninth.

Columbus now sits at 49-53 on the year.

The Clippers will travel to Buffalo to take on the Bisons in a four-game series starting Monday. Right-hander Trevor Bauer (4-2, 4.06 ERA) is set to battle Buffalo left-hander Ricky Romero (2-3, 5.56 ERA) in the first match-up beginning at 7:05 p.m.

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