COLUMBUS, Oh. – A disappointing road trip for the Indianapolis Indians (32-28) ended at Huntington Park on Friday.
The Columbus Clippers (29-31) scored six of their runs off of Tribe starting pitcher Nick Kingham, as they rolled to a 8-1 win. Indy’s loss leaves them with a 1-4 road trip and losses in three consecutive games, their first three-game skid since April 20-22. The Clips’ victory pulls them within three games of Indianapolis in the International League West division standings.
Columbus got after Kingham in a hurry, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first.
Yandy Diaz got the Clippers’ night started with a single and came around to score a batter later, as Eric Stamets doubled to left. Richie Shaffer provided some pop later in the inning, smashing his twelfth home run of the season to make it 3-0 just like that.
The Indians got a run back in the top of the second thanks to an Anderson Feliz RBI single, but the Clips went right back to work on Kingham in their half of the second.
Tribe third baseman Eric Wood committed a fielding error at third to start the inning and Nellie Rodriguez immediately made him pay. Columbus’ first baseman clubbed a two-run shot to left, giving the home team a 5-1 cushion.
Columbus pushed across one last run versus Kingham in the fifth, knocking Indy’s starter out of the ballgame. Shaffer was responsible again, driving home Giovanny Urshela with a double for his second run-scoring knock of the night.
Kingham was pulled after 4 1/3 innings of work and was left with a final line of six runs allowed (five earned) on seven hits and three walks. Friday’s outing was statistically the worst of Kingham’s five starts with Indianapolis in 2017. He tied season lows in innings pitched and hits allowed, while doubling his previous worst mark for runs allowed. The right-hander’s ERA now sits at 4.73.
The Indians’ bullpen did not fare much better against the Clips. Antonio Bastardo issued three straight walks in the seventh before a sacrifice fly added to Columbus’ lead and Diaz went deep off of Josh Lindblom in the eighth, taking us to our final score of 8-1.
This series now shifts to Victory Field for a pair of weekend games. Saturday’s contest is slated to get underway from downtown Indianapolis at 7:05 p.m. with Clay Holmes (4-1, 3.06 ERA) toeing the rubber for the Indians.