COLUMBUS, OH – For the second consecutive night, the Columbus Clippers (40-39) won by hanging a big number on the Indianapolis Indians (43-35).
Four eighth inning runs got it done for the Clips on Thursday, while seven scored in the fourth turned out to be enough for Columbus on Friday. Indy churned out six runs on 11 hits, but the Clippers’ bats were a bit hotter in a 10-6 defeat.
Jerrick Suiter got the Tribe on the scoreboard first on Friday. His solo homer, Suiter’s first long ball of the season, gave Indianapolis a 1-0 lead in the third.
That 1-0 edge didn’t last long, however, as Columbus burst out for their seven-spot in the bottom of the fourth.
All seven runs came against Indians starting pitcher Brandon Waddell, who didn’t make it out of that fateful fourth inning. Two singles and an error started the frame for the Clips, with Adam Rosales stepping up next and crushing a grand slam to give the home team a 4-1 advantage. A Greg Allen RBI single and Francisco Mejia two-run double made it a 7-1 ballgame before Waddell was taken out.
In all, eight Clippers reached base versus Waddell in the fourth inning alone. Waddell wrapped up with a final line of seven runs allowed (four earned) on eight hits and a walk in 3.2 innings. It was the right-hander’s first start since June 10, when he gave up five runs in three innings against Pawtucket.
The Tribe never did recover, but they did get somewhat close.
Suiter picked up a second RBI in the fifth, along with a RBI single from Kevin Newman, allowing Indy to pull within four runs at 7-3. But Columbus fired right back, as Rosales homered again to push the Clippers ahead 8-3.
Inning number seven is where the Indians made the Clips sweat a bit. Jason Martin, making his Triple-A debut, knocked home a run to trim Columbus’ lead down to 8-4. Then Jordan Luplow took flight, lining a two-run shot over the wall in left to draw Indianapolis within two at 8-6.
They couldn’t quite get over the hump, though, and the Clippers didn’t help. Columbus put the ballgame away in the eighth, plating two insurance runs that extended their cushion to 10-6.
Martin’s debut with the Tribe was a bright spot in this game. The center fielder, who led the Double-A Altoona Curve in batting average (.325) and hits (83), went 2-for-5 with a RBI and run scored on Friday.
Now with back-to-back losses at Huntington Park, the Indians will look to Pittsburgh Pirates top prospect Mitch Keller for a spark on Saturday. Keller will pitch for Indy, making his anticipated Triple-A debut, in their 7:15 p.m. matchup with the Clippers.