Matsuzaka dominates as Clippers win 5-1
Matsuzaka fans seven Mud Hens to lead Columbus to big win
TOLEDO- The Clippers used every tool in their toolbox to pull off a 5-1 win against the Toledo Mud Hens Saturday.
Right-handed starter Daisuke Matsuzaka tossed another excellent game, going seven-strong innings in the triumph. Every hitter in the Columbus lineup collected a hit and designated hitter Jeremy Hermida paced the team with two RBI.
Overall, the Clippers went 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position and scratched out 12 hits on the evening.
The all-around performance on both sides of the ball resulted in Mud Hen left-hander Blaine Hardy’s first loss of the season (4-1) despite the five-inning excursion by the southpaw.
Their second-consecutive win bumps Columbus’ record up to 55-61 ¾ two games behind the Louisville Bats (57-59) for second place in the International League West.
Over his seven innings, Matsuzaka allowed just one run on three hits and amassed seven strikeouts to up his record to 4-6 on the year with a 3.80 ERA. The outing marks the sixth game in a row that the Japan-native has lasted six or more innings.
His seven strikeouts where the highest amount Matsuzaka has racked up since fanning nine Mud Hens back on July 12.
Matsuzaka finally seems to be coming in to his own as the season winds down and that could bode well for his chances of pitching for Cleveland at some point this year.
Hermida put the Clippers on the board with a one-out double in the top of the first. The slugger whipped a 1-0 pitch into center field to bring outfielders Ezequiel Carrera and Tim Fedroff home for the first runs of the ballgame.
Clippers’ third baseman Ryan Rohlinger laced an RBI single to left field in the top of the third and Toledo responded with a run in the bottom of the fourth when designated hitter Jordan Lennerton and left fielder Mike Cervenakstroked back-to-back doubles to make it a 3-1 contest.
Nevertheless, the Clippers remained resilient and tacked on another pair of runs with one in the top of the sixth and another in the eighth.
Rohlinger walked to begin the sixth and shortstop Juan Diaz followed by cracking a groundball single to left field. Right fielder Matt Carson then grounded into a force out at third, allowing Rohlinger to score.
Carson roped a two-out triple into right in the top of the eighth inning. Catcher Roberto Perez knocked him in with a soft line drive base hit to center.
The Clippers and Mud Hens will square-off for another contest on Sunday. Columbus will send right-hander Carlos Carrasco (3-0, 2.70 ERA) to the bump in attempt to win the series against another Toledo left-hander, Kyle Lobstein (2-2, 3.52 ERA). The first pitched is set to be thrown at 6:00 p.m.