COLUMBUS, Oh. -- The Louisville Bats continued their historic fall into the wrong end of the record books Friday night. Louisville became the second team in modern franchise history (since 1982) to lose at least 90 games as the Columbus Clippers put a 13-2 beat down on the Bats. It was also the Bats’ 50th road loss of the season, a new franchise record.
Russ Canzler went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a homer, and six RBIs, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. Canzler led a Columbus (73-68) offense that pounded out 17 hits in the process of beating the Bats for the sixth time in a row and 13th time overall this season. Columbus also guaranteed themselves their third straight winning season.
Bats starter Tim Gustafson was roughed up in his final start of 2012. Gustafson recorded just eight outs, failing to make it out of the third. Gustafson was tagged with seven runs on eight hits in his 2-2/3 innings of work; he also walked three and struck out one.
Columbus wasted no time getting to Gustafson, hitting him around in the first. Tim Fedroff started the inning with a single to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. Gregorio Petit followed Fedroff with a single of his own then, two batters later, Canzler doubled both home, putting the Clippers on the board. Columbus has scored first in all four games of the series thus far.
Canzler tagged Gustafson again in the third with a two-run homer to left-center to make it 4-0 and open the flood gates. Later in the inning, Columbus got back-to-back run-scoring doubles from Juan Diaz and Luke Carlin to make it 7-0 and finish off Gustafson’s night.
Diaz ripped a two-run single off Josh Judy in the fourth, giving him four RBIs on the night and making the score 9-0.
Columbus was hardly done and had plenty of love to share for the next Bats’ pitcher, Nick Christiani. The Clippers tagged Christiani with four runs on three hits in the seventh. Two of those runs came on a two-run double by Canzler, giving him his fifth and sixth RBIs of the night.
The Bats (51-90) dropped to 8-21 in the month of August after starting the month 4-2, leaving them one loss shy of the record for losses in the month. Louisville must win at least one of their three remaining games to avoid setting a new franchise record for losses, which currently sits at 92.
Brightening up the night just a bit, Bats catcher Corky Miller pitched a perfect eighth inning for the Bats and came off the field to a standing ovation from the Huntington Park crowd of 9,706.
“(Miller) has wanted to pitch and he knows how to go about it,” Bats manager David Bell said. “He’s actually pretty good at it.”
The Bats and Clippers complete their season series Saturday night when Travis Webb (2-5, 4.70 ERA) takes the hill for Louisville against Matt Packer (0-4, 6.84 ERA) for Columbus, who will be looking to complete a five-game sweep of the Bats. It will also be Columbus’ final home game of 2012. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 with fireworks to follow the game.