Game Recap 8/31: Espino Leads Clippers Back To Top
For the past few days, the talk has been about the Clippers holding of Buffalo to earn the wild card spot in the International League playoffs. Now they'll have a chance to hold off Louisville for the West Division title.
Columbus got a great start from Paolo Espino and timely hits from Cord Phelps and Jared Goedert, winning their third straight against the Indianapolis Indians, 5-2. Coupled with Louisville's loss to Toledo, the Clippers regained the division lead by a half-a-game.
Espino struck out seven in seven innings. Two of the three hits he allowed came in Indy's two-run third, on Brandon Moss' double. Espino set the final 13 batters he faced down in order. Jess Todd and Vinnie Pestano shut the door in the final innings, with Pestano picking up his 14th save .
Phelps doubled in the fourth and later scored on Goedert's team-leading 20th home run of the season, tying the game at 2. Phelps then broke the tie in the fifth, doubling home Josh Rodriguez with a big two-out hit.
Matt McBride, who replaced Phelps as a pinch-hitter, added some insurance with an RBI-double in the top of the ninth, scoring the newly-minted IL Postseason All-Star, Jose Constanza. Wes Hodges then singled home McBride, giving Pestano a comfortable cushion.
It wasn't all good news for the Clippers, however, as ace Carlos Carrasco, who was scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, will instead take his talents to Cleveland (with Major League rosters set to expand).
As a result, the Clippers will play Indy for the final time on Wednesday, with newcomer Corey Kluber on the mound. Kluber, a right-hander who was acquired by the Cleveland organization from San Diego, as part of the Jake Westbrook trade, will be promoted from Akron to take on righty Joe Martinez (1-2, 6.17).
Aeros Light Up Thunder 10-4
The Aeros were triumphant over Trenton 10-4 as Akron scored in each of its first five innings and had seven batters with multiple hits Tuesday night at Waterfront Park. Akron improves to 70-66 and gains a game in the wild card race while the Thunder falls to 79-57.
Akron started hot as second baseman Jason Kipnis sparked the first inning with a triple to right field. After a walk by third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, designated hitter Jerad Head hit an RBI single to score Kipnis. First baseman Beau Mills then highlighted the inning with a three-run home run to right field. Trenton cut the Aeros lead to 4-2 after a pair of RBI singles by Austin Romine and Marcos Vechionacci in the bottom of the first.
The Aeros added to their advantage in the next two frames. A Kipnis double allowed right fielder Lucas Montero to score from second in the second and Mills scored on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Juan Apodaca in the third. However, the Thunder responded once again on another pair of RBI singles by Daniel Brewer and Romine to make the score 6-4.
It was the closest Trenton would get as Akron broke the game open in the following couple of innings. Head hit an RBI-double to score center fielder Jordan Henry and Chisenhall in the fourth and Montero followed with a two-RBI single through the hole at second base to plate shortstop Cristo Arnal and Apodaca in the fifth for a 10-4 Aeros lead.
Both teams remained scoreless from there on out. Right-handed reliever Steven Wright earned the win improved to 2-1. The Torrance, Calif. native gave up four hits and struck out three during his time in the middle three innings. Cory Arbiso took the loss to fall to 5-4 after giving up 10 runs (nine earned) on 13 hits with three walks and three strikeouts in four innings of work.
With the win, Akron gains a game in the Western Division wild card chase as Harrisburg fell 1-0 to New Hampshire in extra innings and Altoona defeated Bowie 9-1. The Aeros are now 2.5 back of the second-place Senators and two games behind the Baysox with six pivotal games remaining in the regular season.
The Aeros will attempt to gain another game on their wild card rivals Wednesday against Trenton