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Columbus Fights Off Indianapolis For 7-5 Series-Opening Victory

INDIANAPOLIS – With the postseason on the horizon, the Columbus Clippers just seem to own the upper hand on the Indianapolis Indians.

Columbus held on for a 7-5 win over the Tribe on Monday, giving them a 12-game lead over Indy in the International League West division with just 14 regular season games remaining.

Pedro Florimon got the Indians on the scoreboard early, taking Clips starting pitcher Shawn Haviland deep in the second. Indianapolis’ third baseman was able to line a solo shot over the right field wall, his fifth long ball of the year, to make it 1-0.

Haviland would bounce back, though, pushing through six innings of work with just one run given up on three hits and seven strikeouts.

Tribe starter Kelvin Marte, fresh off of six no-hit frames in his latest outing, was just as good as Haviland early on. The lefty shut out the Clippers through his first four innings pitched, but then Columbus broke out to take the lead in the fifth.

A single and a walk set the stage in the inning for Giovanny Urshela, who doubled home both runners to shoot the visitors in front. Marte would be lifted following the fifth, leaving him with a final line of two runs allowed on five hits and three walks.

Unfortunately for Indy, Columbus brought even more offense when they came to bat in the top of the sixth.

With reliever Justin Masterson on the mound, the Clips sent ten batters to the plate and scored five runs to take control of the ballgame. Five Clippers collected RBIs in the frame, knocking Masterson out of action after just 2/3 of an inning.

The Indians would show signs of life late in Monday’s matchup, but a 7-1 deficit proved to be too much.

Kyle Crockett climbed the hill for Columbus in the seventh and after back-to-back walks to open the inning, Elias Diaz smoked a two-run double to cut into the Clippers’ cushion. Then with Columbus reliever Austin Adams pitching in the ninth, pinch hitter Austin Meadows drilled a two-run double of his own, but Adams was able to escape and lock up the 7-5 win for the Clips.

With their playoff elimination number down to three, the Tribe will look to get something going in game two of the series versus the Clippers on Tuesday. First pitch from Victory Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with Frank Duncan (9-5, 2.06 ERA) slated to start on the bump for Indianapolis.

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