COLUMBUS, Oh. – In Saturday’s matchup between the Indianapolis Indians and Columbus Clippers, it was one man that really led the way for the home team.
Clippers second baseman Michael Martinez went 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs, including a big two-run single in the eighth that put the game away, as the Clippers defeated the Tribe by a score of 6-2 at Huntington Park.
The Indians had the lead first, as they scored a run against Columbus starting pitcher Will Roberts in the game’s opening inning.
Alen Hanson and Keon Broxton led off the frame with back-to-back singles, leaving runners on the corners for Corey Hart. Indianapolis then tried to push a run across with a double steal, but Hanson was thrown out at the plate. After Hart struck out for the second out of the inning, it looked like the Tribe might come away with nothing. Brent Morel had other ideas, though, as he hit a two-out RBI single to bring Broxton home and give the Indians an 1-0 advantage.
Indianapolis’ lead would not last long, however, as Columbus grabbed a 2-1 lead by plating a pair of runs against Indians starter Radhames Liz in the bottom of the first.
The Clippers struck fast, with both runs scoring by the time the inning’s fourth batter came to the plate. Tyler Naquin began the frame with a walk, followed by a Martinez double, to set the stage for Jesus Aguilar to record a two-run single to put Columbus ahead by a run.
Columbus kept their offense going in the second, when they made it a 3-1 game against Liz. James Ramsey led off with a double, then moved up to third on a Adam Moore groundout and scored on a RBI double from Naquin.
Liz would be hit with one more run in the fourth, when Columbus expanded their lead to three runs. Naquin came up with an one-out single and scored all the way from first when Martinez followed with a RBI double to center.
Indianapolis’ starter would complete five innings on the mound, allowing four runs on eight hits and seven strikeouts. It was Liz’s roughest start of the season with Indianapolis, as he had given up just one run total in his first three starts.
Roberts settled in nicely after seeing the Indians go ahead early, as he surrendered only one run on four hits and two walks in his five innings of work.
A.J. Morris took over for Liz with a couple of perfect innings out of the Indianapolis bullpen, but in the eighth, Yhonathan Barrios gave up two insurance runs to the Clippers.
Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with two outs for Martinez, who came up with the hit that capped off his successful night. The Clippers’ second baseman shot a single up the middle, bringing home a pair of runs to make it 6-1.
Four relievers out of the Columbus bullpen combined to hold the Indians off in the game’s final four innings. They combined to give up one run on two hits and three walks, with Wilkin Castillo‘s ninth inning sacrifice fly serving as the Tribe’s second and last run of the game.
After their win on Saturday, the Clippers are within three games of the first place Indians in the International League’s West Division. Indianapolis will try to avoid the sweep and gain some more breathing room in the standings on Sunday afternoon. First pitch from Columbus is set for 1:05 p.m. with Wilfredo Boscan (6-3, 3.87 ERA) scheduled to start for the Tribe.