Former Tribe infielder Jeff Clement continued to crush his old team, launching a three-run home run to spoil a perfect 3-for-3 night from Indians designated hitter Andrew Lambo and lead the Rochester Red Wings (41-41) over Indianapolis (53-29) 8-4 on Thursday night at Victory Field.
Clement, who spent parts of the 2009-2012 seasons with Indianapolis, continued to haunt his former Club as he scored two runs and drove in three to help Rochester take a 2-1 series advantage. The left-handed slugger began the Red Wings scoring, when he led off the top of the second with a double to center and eventually came plateward courtesy of another former Indians slugger, C Eric Fryer, who drew a bases-loaded free pass later in the frame.
Indianapolis quickly evened the score with a rally of their own in the bottom of the third as C Lucas May drew a lead-off walk, moved to second on a base hit by 2B Ivan De Jesus and came home on single off the bat of SS Chase d’Arnaud. With his RBI base knock, d’Arnaud has now collected three RBI over his last three games, while May has scored three runs in his last three starts.
Rochester, however, exploded for five scores in the fifth to take a commanding 6-1 lead. Fryer began the rally with a one-out double, before a base hit from LF Antoan Richardson put runners on first and third. Richardson then swiped second before an intentional walk to the rehabbing CF Aaron Hicks loaded the bases for the International League’s top hitter, RF Chris Colabello.
The Red Wings right-handed slugger did not disappoint as he came through with a base hit to right to plate Fryer and Richardson and give Rochester a 3-1 lead. With his RBI base knock, Colabello, who is easily the frontrunner for the IL MVP, is now batting .333 (4-for-12) in the series against the Indians and an impressive .365 (95-for-260) on the season.
Following Colabello’s connection, Clement stepped to the plate and blasted a three-run homer over the right field wall to push the Red Wings advantage to 6-1. The longball was the 13th of the season for Clement and gives him two doubles, two home runs and seven RBI in the first three games of the series against Indianapolis.
The home team attempted to mount a comeback in the bottom half of the fifth, beginning with an RBI base knock from 1B Matt Hague that brought home Presley with two outs in the frame. The Tribe then turned to red-hot RBI machine, Andrew Lambo, who once again came through in the clutch.
Following, Hague’s hit, 3B Jared Goedert lined a base hit of his own to right to set the stage for Lambo, who ripped a two-run double to right to cut the Rochester advantage to 6-4. The left-handed slugger finished the night a perfect 3-for-3 and over his last nine games is now batting an amazing .441 (15-for-34) with four doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI.
Lambo’s performance wouldn’t be enough as Rochester tacked on two more insurance tallies in the eighth on a sacrifice fly from 2B James Beresford and base hit by DH Drew Butera to give the game its final 8-4 score.
Rochester starter Vance Worley (6.0 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, BB, 6 SO) worked around 10 hits to surrender only four runs over 6.0 innings and earn the win to improve to 4-3 on the season. RHP Luis Perdomo (3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, BB, SO) then turned in a dominant performance out of the Red Wings bullpen, allowing just one hit over 3.0 scoreless innings of relief to earn his fifth save of the season.
Tribe starter Stolmy Pimentel (5.0 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 5 SO) suffered his first setback to fall to 0-1 on the season at Triple-A , allowing six runs on five hits and four walks over 5.0 innings of work.
The Indians and Red Wings will wrap up their four-game series on Friday night at 7:15 p.m. RHP Graham Godfrey (5-4, 5.17 ERA) is expected to take the mound for Indianapolis, while Rochester is scheduled to counter with LHP Andrew Albers (6-2, 3.00).
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