Bats drop third straight to Clippers, 2-0 [Sports]

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COLUMBUS, OH -- A frustrating season is coming to a frustrating end for the Louisville Bats. The Bats lost their third straight game to the Columbus Clippers 2-0 Thursday night, marking their 49th road loss of the season, tying a franchise record. 9,164 were in attendance at Huntington Park.

Louisville starter Chad Reineke was masterful in his final start of 2012. Reineke gave up two runs on nine hits over 7-2/3 innings while walking two and striking out three. Without a doubt his best start of the season, Reineke (5-11) deserved a better fate.

The two runs Reineke surrendered came in the fifth. With one out and a runner at third, Cord Phelps ripped an RBI single up the middle that was just out of the reach of Reineke, making it 1-0. Two batters later, Jared Goedert tacked on an RBI single of his own, giving the Clippers (72-68) more than enough offense for the night.

“It was a good way to close out the season for me,” Reineke said of his final start. “It would’ve been nice to get the win, but to go out on a good note is good.”

Reineke, who is a free agent at year’s end said he likes being in the Cincinnati Reds’ organization and hopes to return.

“Everybody in the organization has seen Chad (pitch well) for a long time,” Bats manager David Bell said. “That’s why he’s been in the big leagues and is going to get back to the big leagues.”

Not to be outdone, Columbus starter David Huff once again dominated the Bats, tossing 7-2/3 shutout innings giving up seven hits and one walk while striking out five. Huff (7-6) won all three games he pitched against the Bats in 2012. Ironically, all three of those starts came against Reineke.

Huff (7-6) did work into trouble and couldn’t finish the eighth inning. With two outs, Denis Phipps singled and Didi Gregorius doubled, knocking Huff out of the game. On came Frank Herrmann who got Devin Mesoraco to pop out shallow center, ending the threat.

Such was the frustrating story for the Bats (51-89) all night, and all season. Louisville finished 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and were shutout for the tenth time this season. In the first three games of this five-game series against Columbus, the Bats are 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position, have scored just two runs, and been shut out twice.

With four games left and very little to play for, pride will most definitely take over for Bell’s club.

“I don’t see a relationship between our lack of wins and effort,” Bell said. “The effort is there and they’re doing everything they can. There’s no reason why that should end.”

The Bats and Clippers have two games remaining against each other, the first coming Friday night. Tim Gustafson (5-5, 5.13 ERA) will get the ball for Louisville. He will be opposed by T.J. McFarland (7-6, 5.12 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05.

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