COLUMBUS, Oh. – It was tale of two games on Thursday, as the Indianapolis Indians and Columbus Clippers each picked up a blowout win in the team’s series-ending doubleheader at Huntington Park.
The Clips owned game one with a dominating 11-0 win, before the Tribe earned a twin bill split with a 6-1 victory in game two. Columbus took three of five games in the series, leaving them with a three and a half game lead over the Indians in the International League West division standings.
Game one was all Clippers, as the home team outscored Indy 11-0 and outhit the Tribe 15-3.
Wilfredo Boscan, who is fresh off of a few weeks in the majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates, served as Indianapolis’ game one starting pitcher. Boscan’s first start with the Indians since May 15 did not go well, as Columbus tagged him for seven runs on ten hits in just 1 2/3 innings of work.
Jesus Aguilar notched a RBI single in the first to put the Clips ahead early, but a six-run second is what did Boscan and the Tribe in. 11 Columbus batters came to the plate in the frame, with five of those batters securing RBIs to make it a 7-0 game.
The Clippers did not stop there, however, as they plated three runs in the third against Indy reliever John Kuchno and one last run in the sixth off of Curtis Partch to build an 11-0 advantage.
Mike Clevinger was the man on the mound in game one for Columbus and he stymied the Indians in six innings pitched. Clevinger shut out Indianapolis, striking out eight hitters and allowing just three hits. Joseph Colon came on in the seventh and closed out the Tribe with a perfect inning.
Indy rebounded in game two, cruising to a win that allowed them to split Thursday’s contests. Following a scoreless first inning, the Indians got after Clips game two starter Will Roberts for a total of five runs in innings two and three.
Gift Ngoepe came up with the big hit in the second, crushing a three-run home run with two outs in the inning to put the visitors on the scoreboard. Then in the third, Josh Bell recorded a RBI single and Danny Ortiz brought another run home on a sacrifice double play to make the score 5-0.
Roberts ultimately pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and four walks.
Frank Duncan got the ball for the Tribe in game two and turned in a fantastic performance in his first start back with the team. Duncan was assigned to Indy after making a start with the Double-A Altoona Curve on June 5 and returned in a big way, holding Columbus to one run on four hits in five quality innings pitched.
Indianapolis scored one more run on a wild pitch in the seventh, as Jorge Rondon shut down the Clippers after taking over for Duncan in the sixth. Rondon gave up only one hit and struck out two in the game’s last two innings, leading the Tribe to a 6-1 win.
Coming off of a 4-4 road trip, the Indians return to Victory Field on Friday to begin a six-game homestand. Chad Kuhl (5-1, 1.75 ERA) will make the start in the 7:15 p.m. game against the Syracuse Chiefs.
The Pirates recalled pitcher Kyle Lobstein, making room for Duncan to come back to the Indians and make the game two start on Thursday. Starter Jameson Taillon, who made his major league debut on Wednesday with six innings of three-run ball, was also assigned to Indianapolis.