Your Indianapolis Indians squared off with the Columbus Clippers this past weekend in a showdown between the top two teams in the International League West division. The Clippers took the series victory two games to one, as the action opened up in Columbus before finishing at Victory Field for the final two games.
Indy’s offense put in some quality work with 32 team hits for the series. The bats were bolstered by four hits, four RBIs and two walks from third baseman Eric Wood.
GAME 1: Clippers 8, Indians 1
Indy picked up seven hits in the opener, but couldn’t translate them into anything more than an RBI single from second baseman Anderson Feliz. The lack of run support only made the task of winning harder for starting pitcher Nick Kingham (2-2), who was hammered for seven hits, six runs and three walks in his 4 1/3 innings.
Columbus literally smashed their way to victory, as designated hitter Yandy Diaz, outfielder Richie Shaffer and first baseman Nellie Rodriguez all homered. Starting pitcher Shawn Morimando (4-5) took advantage of the Clippers’ substantial lead by limiting the Indians to one run on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
GAME 2: Clippers 8, Indians 4
There were a lot of hits on both sides in the series’s second matchup; 14 for the Clippers and 12 for the Indians. Columbus pulled off the win by dropping four runs in the top of the first inning and applying insurance runs as needed.
Nine different Clippers batters picked up a hit, with Rodriguez (three RBIs on two singles) and catcher Erik Kratz (solo HR) taking center stage. Starting pitcher Julian Merryweather (3-0) wasn’t exactly on point, as he was touched up for 11 hits and four runs in seven innings, but fortunately, his offense had his back.
Outfielder Barrett Barnes drove in two of the Indians’ four runs while designated hitter Jason Rogers and infielder Erich Weiss both chipped in with three hits each. A run of quality starts came to an end for Indy pitcher Clay Holmes (4-2), as he gave up five hits and four runs but only managed to record two outs before exiting the game.
GAME 3: Indians 9, Clippers 3
Indy finally got the pitching they needed to keep pace with their bats as they took the series finale. Starting pitcher Tyler Eppler (5-2) was on point, as Columbus could only manage four hits, two walks and two runs against him; his fifth win of the year places him in the team lead.
All four of Wood’s RBIs came in this game, and Indy once again got a fantastic performance from star outfielder Austin Meadows. Pumped up by a fantastic interview with Blue HQ’s own Dalton Tinklenberg (stay tuned for that, readers), Meadows picked up three RBI singles, a double, and a run. He now leads the Indians in runs, RBI, and steals.
The Clippers’ meager output on offense was led by a solo homer and a steal from designated hitter Abraham Almonte. Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger (3-2) was roughed up for five hits, five runs and four walks in four innings in a losing effort.
Columbus winning the series means that the Indians have ceded some ground to them in the IL West standings, but Indy (33-29) still holds a three game lead over the Clippers.
Indy starts a six-game road trip against IL South opponents on Tuesday, starting with a trio of games against the Norfolk Tides.