Posted: Thursday, August 22nd 2013 at 10:43pm
Clippers hammer G-Braves
By staff reports
COLUMBUS -– The Columbus Clippers mounted a comeback with six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, handing the Gwinnett Braves an 11-4 loss in the opener of the four-game series at Huntington Park.
The G-Braves suffered their third-straight loss despite holding a 4-2 lead through five and a half innings.
After three scoreless innings, the G-Braves got on the board first as Todd Cunningham led off the fourth inning with single off of Columbus starter Josh Tomlin. He moved to third as Alden Carrithers doubled to right. After two outs, Stefan Gartrell singled to right, scoring both Cunningham and Carrithers for a 2-0 lead. Gartrell, who moved to second on the throw, would then score on a double to center by Joe Leonard to put Gwinnett up 3-0. Gartrell’s two-run single snapped a 23.2-inning scoreless streak for the Gwinnett offense dating back to Sunday night in Toledo.
But in the bottom of the fourth, Gwinnett starter Yohan Flande got into trouble as he walked Juan Diaz with two outs. On his very next pitch after the walk, he gave up a two-run homer to Matt Carson (13), cutting the lead to 3-2.
The G-Braves (56-77) extended the lead in the top of the sixth as Carrithers led off the inning with a walk issued by reliever and former North Gwinnett High School star Blake Wood. Carrithers stole second and third and scored on a single to center by Leonard for a 4-2 Gwinnett lead.
The bottom of the sixth inning was the turning point in the game as the Clippers (65-68) sent nine men to the plate and took the lead for good. With one out, Flande walked Chun-Hsiu Chen, and Diaz followed with a single to right. Andrew Russell entered from the Gwinnett bullpen and walked Carson to load the bases. Pinch hitter Jeremy Hermida singled to center scoring Chen to cut the G-Braves’ lead to 4-3. Pinch hitter Nate Spears followed with a sacrifice fly to center scoring Diaz to tie the game at 4-4. Roberto Perez then singled to right, scoring Carson to put the Clippers ahead, 5-4. With runners at first and third, Tim Fedroff (6) pounded a three-run homer to right field to raise the lead to 8-4.
The Clippers added two unearned runs off of Gwinnett reliever Juan Cedeno in the bottom of the seventh to go up 10-4, and Ryan Rohlinger (4) hit a solo homer to left off of Joe Beimel to lead off the bottom of the eighth, making it 11-4.
Flande went 5.1 innings with three hits, four earned runs, four walks and five strikeouts. Russell (L, 2-5) picked up the loss in relief by going 0.2 of an inning with three hits, four earned runs and one walk. Cedeno also went 0.2 of an inning with two hits, two unearned runs and two walks. Beimel pitched 1.1 innings with one hit and one earned run.
For the Clippers, Tomlin, on a rehab start for the Cleveland Indians, went 5.0 innings with seven hits, three earned runs and two strikeouts. Wood (W, 2-0) pitched 1.0 inning with one hit, one earned run and two walks. Preston Guilmet worked 2.0 innings with one walk and one strikeout. Chen-Chang Lee worked 1.0 inning with one hit and one walk.
At the plate, the G-Braves were led by Leonard, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Jose Constanza went 1-for-5 to extend his on-base streak to 21 games.
The Gwinnett Braves will play game two of the four-game series on Friday night in Columbus. Right-hander David Hale (6-7, 2.80) will start for the G-Braves, while the Clippers will start left-hander T.J. House (6-10, 4.31). The radio broadcast will air on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
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