Clippers beat Indians 5-2 to avoid sweep
By Andrew Green / IndyIndians.com
Columbus Clippers starter Corey Kluber surrendered just a pair of runs on four hits in his seven innings of work, while relievers Carlton Smith and Josh Judy did not allow a hit in two innings of relief, to avoid a four game series sweep by defeating the Indianapolis Indians 5-2 in front of a season high crowd of 12,168 Monday afternoon at Victory Field.
The loss snaps the Tribe’s season-high four game winning streak and lowers their record to 15-24, while the Clippers improved to 26-12 with the victory. Columbus with the win also avoids a sweep at the hands of the Indians, who clinched a series victory with a win in Sunday’s contest.
Corey Kluber (7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) pitched past the fifth inning for the first time this season and also earned his first victory of 2011 after scattering just four hits, to earn the victory and bump his record to 1-3. Smith (1.0 IP) followed Kluber with a perfect eighth inning, while Judy (1.0 IP, 1 BB) shut the door in the ninth, with a two-out walk the lone blemish on his resume, to notch his sixth save of the year.
The Indians opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, when SS Chase d’Arnaud led off with a single and stole second before LF Alex Presley walked. Then after Presley and d’Arnaud pulled off a double steal, RF John Bowker tapped an RBI groundout in front of the plate to score d’Arnaud and give the Tribe an early 1-0 lead.
Columbus, however, answered with a single score of their own in the top of the third to even the game at 1-1 thanks to a clutch two out single. SS Luis Valbuena began the rally when he walked and moved to second on a groundout before 2B Cord Phelps drove in Valbuena with a single to right.
The Clippers then took over the lead with two more runs in the fifth courtesy of a pair of clutch two-out base knocks. After Valbuena singled to center, CF Ezequiel Carrera deposited the third pitch of his at-bat over the right field wall for his second home run of the season to give Columbus a lead they would not relinquish.
Valbuena (2-for-3, 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB) scored three of Columbus’ five runs and along with Phelps (2-for-4, 2 RBI) posted multi-hit efforts for the Clippers, while only d’Arnaud (2-for-4, 1 R, 2 SB) managed multiple hits for the Tribe. With his two-hit effort, d’Arnaud has now collected a base knock in six straight games, during which time he is hitting .524 (11-for-21) with five runs, five RBI and four stolen bases.
Indians LHP Brian Burres (6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO) suffered the loss to fall to 1-6 on the year after relinquishing three earned runs on five hits, in addition to fanning five batters. Out of the Tribe bullpen, left handers Tony Watson (1.1 IP, 1 H) and Dan Meyer (1.0 IP) combined for 2.1 frames of one-hit ball.