Ramsey sparks Columbus Clippers to win against Lehigh Valley
COLUMBUS, Ohio –– The night after Justin Masterson pitched his best game since being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, the man he was traded for gave the Columbus Clippers (68-58) his best. James Ramsey drove in four runs and came a triple shy of the cycle and Columbus defeated the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (58-68) 7-4 in the finale in front of 10,100 at Huntington Park on Thursday night.
Ramsey’s two run homer to center in the third off of Lehigh Valley starter Brad Lincoln (6-9, 4.99) put Columbus on top for good, but he wasn’t the only one that went deep. He was followed later in the inning by Matt Carson, who smacked a solo shot off the scoreboard in right-centerfield. Also, Giovanny Urshela gave them an early lead in the first with a two-run homer to straight away left field.
“You’ve seen in the last couple of days more so the player that I am than the first couple of games here,” Clippers centerfielder James Ramsey said. “That’s how baseball is, even the best hitters go in stretches where they’re not seeing the ball as well. I try to pride myself on quality at-bats every time I’m at the plate. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunities to hit with runners in scoring position a lot (on Thursday night) and just give my team a chance to win.”
Ramsey collected five hits in five at-bats, including two doubles, two singles, a homer and drove in four runs.
“(Ramsey) really looks good right now,” Clippers manager Chris Tremie said. “He’s in a good spot. The confidence that he apparently already had is still there and that’s a good sign of a mature player that has confidence in himself.”
Kyle Davies (8-7, 3.77 ERA) was finished the way he started – with a one, two, three inning. It was what happened in the middle four frames that caused some distress. He three runs to cross the plate in the third to erase the early 2-0 lead and he did it without recording an out. To his credit, he battled back to leave the bases loaded and limit the damage to just the three runs.
The first four reached base by way of a hit. Cameron Rupp and Tyler Henson singled and were driven in on a double down the right field line by Cesar Hernandez to tie the game. Freddy Galvis singled in Hernandez to give Lehigh Valley the lead at 3-2.
In the fifth, Maikel Franco doubed down the line in right to lead off the inning with the Clippers leading 6-3. After a walk and an error at second loaded the bases, Davies coaxed a fielder’s choice groundout to short that allowed the fourth run to score.
All told, Davies was able to salvage a quality start. He finished with six innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks, while striking out four.
“He battled through it though,” Tremie said. “It’s still six innings and four runs and he’s giving us a chance to win. That’s a quality start in my mind because the last two innings, he pitched with a lead and held it and that’s important.”
The Clippers head out of town to Toledo for the first of three on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.
Lehigh Valley designated hitter Tyler Henson was ejected in the ninth for arguing a called third strike.
Thursday night was game number 126 for the Clippers. Only two players have appeared in over 100 games this season for Columbus. Carlos Moncrief has appeared in 116 games and Jesus Aguilar has 105 games played. Both were out of the lineup for the first time since June 5 when Aguilar was with Cleveland and Moncrief had a rare day off.
With the win on Thursday, the Clippers finished the season series taking six of eight (three of four at both venues).
RHP Tyler Cloyd (9-7, 4.05 ERA) starts the first of three against Toledo on Friday night at Fifth Third Field. Cloyd took the loss in his last, but pitched a quality start. He went six innings and allowed three runs on four hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts in a 5-1 loss at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last Sunday. He gave up two homers, which put him at a league leading 21 for the year.
In three starts against Toledo this season, Cloyd is 1-2 with a 5.30 ERA. In his most recent start against the Mud Hens on July 3, Cloyd went 6.2 innings and allowed two runs, but took the loss after being out-dueled by Derek Hankins (8.2 IP, 1 ER) in a 2-1 Clippers loss.
The Clippers win put them a season-high ten games over .500. Toledo defeated Indianapolis 10-6 and Louisville bested Scranton/Wilkes-Barre creating a three-way tie for second place, six games behind Columbus.
Michael Rich is a senior majoring in Communications at The Ohio State University.