COLUMBUS, OH – The Columbus Clippers (7-10) ended the seven game winning streak of the Gwinnett Braves (11-7) with a decisive 11-1 rout Tuesday night in game one of the four game series at Huntington Park in Columbus, OH.
The Clippers grabbed the early lead from G-Braves starter Daniel Rodriguez (L, 2-2). In the bottom of the first, Justin Sellers drove a one out single to center and moved to third on a single to right by Nyjer Morgan. With Jesus Aguilar batting, Gwinnett catcher Christian Bethancourt tried to pick Morgan off of first, but threw to ball into right field allowing Sellers to score for a 1-0 Columbus lead. Morgan, who moved to second on the error, went to third on a single to right by Aguilar and scored as G-Braves right fielder Joey Terdoslavich misplayed the ball.
Trailing 2-0 in the top of the second, the G-Braves plated their only run of the game. Ernesto Mejia led off with single to left off of Columbus starter Trevor Bauer (W, 2-0) to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Terdoslavich singled to put two on with no outs. Todd Cunningham attempted a sac bunt, but Mejia was forced at third on a good play by Bauer. Mark Hamilton then doubled to right, scoring Terdoslavich from second to cut the Clippers' lead to 2-1. Cunningham, however, was thrown out at the plate as he tried to score from first.
The Clippers got the run back in the bottom of the second. Carlos Moncrief led off with a single to right, moved to second on a walk to Matt Carson, moved to third on a bunt by Roberto Perez and scored on a sac fly to center by Jose Ramirez, giving Columbus a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Perez connected for his second homer of the season off of Rodriguez to extend the Columbus lead to 5-1.
The lead grew to 9-1 in the bottom of the sixth when G-Braves reliever Luis Vasquez struggled to find the strike zone. After recording the first out of the frame, Vasquez walked the next three hitters. Morgan followed with a double to right scoring Perez and Ramirez for a 7-1 lead. Vasquez then walked Aguilar to reload the bases. With the bases loaded, G-Braves manager Brian Snitker brought Atahualpa Severino in from the bullpen, but he gave up a two run double to Bryan LaHair to make it 9-1.
The scoring ended in the bottom of the eighth as the Clippers plated two off of reliever Andy Russell. The first came on an RBI double by LaHair, while the other run came an RBI single by Moncrief, pushing the lead to 11-1.
Rodriguez picked up his second loss of the season by working 5.0 innings with seven hits and four earned runs. He walked four and struck out six. Vasquez went 0.1 of an inning with one hit, four earned runs, four walks and one strikeout. Severino pitched 0.2 of an inning with one hit and two strikeouts. Russell went 2.0 innings with four hits, two earned runs and two strikeouts.
Bauer picked up his second win of the season. He gave the Clippers 6.2 innings with six hits, one earned run, three walks and three strikeouts.
Offensively for Gwinnett, Mejia was 1-for-4. Cunningham extended his hitting streak to eight games with a 1-for-4 performance, while Terdoslavich led the way with two hits on the night.
The Clippers 13 hit attack was led by Sellers (2-for-3 with three runs), Morgan (2-for-5), LaHair (2-for-5 with 3 RBIs), Aguilar (2-for-4), Moncrief (2-for-5), Perez (1-for-2 with a homer and two RBIs) and Ryan Rohlinger (2-for-4).