House pitches well in Triple-A debut, Clippers win 3-2
SCRANTON - Clippers starter TJ House was called up from Akron just in time to start the series finale against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and his pitching combined with some timely Clippers offense led the way to a late 3-2 win.
House was pretty good for most of his first start and in six innings of work he allowed two runs on five hits, while walking one. Two of the five hits he surrendered came in the bottom of the fifth, in addition to his only walk of the ball game.
After striking out two to start out the bottom of the fifth inning, second baseman Cody Johnson hit an infield single off of House, bringing up shortstop Adam Maruszak. Maruszak smacked a double in the gap, scoring Johnson and tying the game up at 1-1.
Columbus got the lead back in the top of the sixth after right fielderMatt Carson singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Carson was then brought home thanks to an error by right fielderZoilo Almonte off of a fly ball from third baseman Ryan Rohlinger. Columbus now had a 2-1 lead, going into the bottom of the sixth.
The RailRiders got the run right back in an iffy sixth inning from House. Center fielder Melky Mesa lined a single to start off the inning, Almonte flew out, and first baseman Dan Johnson walked. With men on first and second, House struck out catcher Bobby Wilson, and was almost out of the inning. Unfortunately, House was unable to get out unscathed as designated hitter Luke Murton doubled and brought home Mesa, tying the game at 2-2.
After a scoreless seventh, the Clippers got the lead back in the top of the 8th when Carson smacked a solo home run off of RailRiders’ reliever Preston Claiborne.
Columbus reliever Fernando Nieve got into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the 8th. Nieve allowed a single to Almonte to start off the inning. Almonte then stole second and third. With one out and a man on third, Nieve forced the most unlikely of plays. Wilson popped out on a foul ball, and apparently tried to tag up while the Clippers were asleep. Rohlinger caught the ball and tossed it to Yan Gomes, getting Almonte at home and ending the inning.
Nieve was back out for Columbus in the bottom of the ninth and secured the save with a relatively quick bottom of the ninth.
Columbus took three out of four against the RailRiders in the series, improving their overall record to 12-10. The RailRiders fell to 9-11.
Columbus heads to Pawtucket on Saturday to take on the PawSox for another four game set. Joe Martinez is set to start for the Clippers after his brilliant outing in Columbus on Tuesday. The PawSox are sending pitcher Allen Webster to the mound, in hopes of starting the series off with a win. First pitch is set for 6:05 pm.