COLUMBUS, OH – After another loss on Sunday, the Indianapolis Indians (43-37) are probably happy to get out of Columbus.
The Columbus Clippers (42-39) piled on five runs in the eighth inning, breaking a 3-3 tie to snag a 8-3 victory and complete a four-game sweep of Indy. This is the first time the Tribe have been swept over the course of a four-game series since July of 2014.
Tyler Eppler toed the rubber for the Indians on Sunday, turning in a good start following a rough opening inning. Three Columbus doubles allowed the home team to claim a 2-0 lead versus the right-hander. That was all they got, however.
Eppler settled in nicely, blanking the Clips over his next five innings of work. He finished with a final line of two runs allowed on five hits and eight strikeouts in six frames pitched.
While Eppler quieted Columbus’ bats, the Tribe’s offense got to work with the long ball.
Eric Wood first got Indy on the scoreboard in the fifth, roping a solo homer to cut the visitors’ deficit in half. Then in the seventh, Ryan Lavarnway clubbed his fifth dinger of the season to send the Indians in front. Jordan Luplow walked to open the frame, allowing Lavarnway’s home run to give Indianapolis a 3-2 lead.
Unfortunately for the Tribe, that 3-2 lead went away quickly.
Damien Magnifico replaced Eppler in the seventh and the Clippers took notice, tying the game. Magnifico walked three batters and gave up a single in the inning, with his third free pass coming with the bases loaded to force in the tying run.
When Magnifico returned the mound in the eighth, Columbus pounced. Francisco Mejia led off with a walk and a one-out, pinch-hit home run from Adam Rosales gave the Clips a 5-3 edge. It was Rosales’ third bomb of the series. Magnifico walked three of the next four batters he faced, loading the bases and forcing an Indians pitching change.
Bo Schultz relieved Magnifico, but he couldn’t hold the Clippers. Eric Haase singled home two and Drew Maggi scored one more, leaving the home team with a healthy 8-3 advantage.
Luplow notched a one-out single in the ninth, capping a 3-for-3 day, but it wasn’t nearly enough for Indy.
The Indians will close out their nine-game road trip with a pair of games in Louisville. The series opener against the Bats is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Monday night. Alex McRae (3-7, 4.83 ERA) is slated to pitch for the Tribe.