Clippers streak continues with 8-2 victory
The streak has reached lucky number 13 as the Clippers prevail over the Charlotte Knights tonight 8-2 . They now improve to 21-5 overall and have a 5 game lead over Louisvile in the International League West Division.
The Clippers offense had a big say in tonight’s win. Columbus scored 8 runs in the ball game with the big number coming in the top of the seventh when the Clippers put up five in that frame. That was more than enough run support for Clippers righthandere Zach McAllister, who pitched his longest outing of the year. McAllister went eight innings giving up only two runs, all earned, on seven hits while striking out five and walking one. He is now 5-0 on the season as he continues to impress on the mound for the Clippers. Charlotte righthander Freddy Dolsi was saddled with the loss. He falls to 0-3 on the season.
In the top of the third, the Clippers got on the board with a lot of help coming from some small ball. Wes Hodges led off the inning with a double. The next batter, Luis Valbuena, laid down a dandy of a bunt that allowed him to reach on an infield single. With runners on 1st and third with nobody out, Ezequiel Carrerra stepped to the plate and he did not disappoint. His bunt single alowed Hodges to score from third and gave the Clippers an early 1-0 lead over the Knights. Unfortunatley for the Clippers, that would be the only run they would end up scoring that inning as Lonnie Chisenhall lined into a double play to the inning.
The Knights would come right back in the bottom of the third as Charlotte leftfielder Alejandro de Aza got the runner in from third with a sacrifice fly. Jered Head made it interesting with a strong throw from the outfield, but Charlotte shortstop Gookie Dawkins came in to score from third and just like that, we were all tied at 1 at the end of three.
The Clippers would then come to bat in the top of the sixth. Cord Phelps blasted a pitch that was just off the wall in right center field for a lead-off double. The next batter, Lonnie Chisenhall, lined a pitch to left field for a baseknock. After a Chad Huffman strikout, Jason Kipnis and he helped the Clippers get back the lead. Kipnis’s RBI single put the Clippers up 2-1 in the top of the sixth. But the Clippers were not done there as Jerad Head increased the Columbus lead. Head’s 11th RBI of the season augmented the Clippers lead to 3-1 at that point.
In the top of the seventh, the Clippers worked a little two out magic. Ezequiel Carrerra, Cord Phelps, and Lonnie Chisenhall all walked with two outs. Charlotte starter Freddy Dolsi was then pulled by Knights. Charlotte righthander Deunte Heath came on to relieve Dolsi and he was rudely greeted by Chad Huffman. Huffman’s two run single 5-1. But that was not all for the Clippers. Jason Kipnis got in on the act with his bat. Kipnis’s double increased the Columbus lead to 7-1. As if that wasn’t enough, the Knights added insult to injury with a defensive gaffe. By the end of the inning, the Clippers had scored five runs and had a 8-1 lead after 6 1/2.
The Clippers would cruise from there as Zach McCallister pitched eight innings while only giving up 2 runs on seven hits and striking out 5. Carlton Smith came on in the ninth for Columbus. Could the Clippers really go 8-0 on an eight game road trip and win their 13th straight ballgame? In a word, yes. Smith struck out three in the inning to seal the win and a perfect road trip.
The Clippers have an off-day on Wednesday. They will resume play at Huntington Park on Thursday when they open up a a four game series aginst the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Corey Kluber will get the ball for the Clippers. He is still looking for his first win of the season. He will oppose Brian Gordon, who will be toeing the rubber for the Iron Pigs in the series opener. First pitch is at 6:35.