Bats on two-game losing skid [Sports]

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By Josh Cook

Thursday is the Louisville Bats' first day off since May 26, and it comes at a good time because they are on a two-game losing streak.

Louisville lost 4-3 at Columbus on Tuesday night, then 10-7 to the Clippers on Wednesday night and now find themselves 10 1/2 games behind the International League West Division leaders. 

On Tuesday night highly-touted left-handed pitching prospect Aroldis Chapman had a solid outing against the Clippers, but Jordan Brown's pinch-hit, walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth gave Columbus the one-run win.

Chapman gave up two runs - his first since May 14 - on four hits while striking out five over seven innings in his longest outing of the season in front of more than 8,300 at Huntington Park. 

The Clippers scored once against Chapman in the second before the Bats tied the score in the fifth on Wilkin Castillo's fifth homer of the season.

Columbus answered with another run in the bottom of the inning before the Bats took the lead with a two-run seventh. Drew Sutton walked with one out, then advanced to third on Luis Terrero's double. Sutton scored on Castillo's ground out, then Chris Valaika followed with an RBI-single.

The Clippers, though, scored twice in the bottom of the ninth of Louisville closer Jon Adkins (0-4), who blew his fifth save opportunity of the season.

Adkins allowed a leadoff double to Carlos Santana, then a one-out RBI single to Chris Gimenez - who was out at second on the play. Adkins then walked Nick Weglarz before giving up the game-winning hit to Brown as the Clippers won for the seventh time this season on their final at-bat.

Frank Herrmann (3-0) picked up the win in relief for Columbus.

On Wednesday night the Clippers roughed up Louisville starter Matt Maloney for nine runs (seven earned) and nine hits over 3 1/3 innings. The Bats gave Maloney plenty of run-support early as Wladimir Balentien hit a three-run home run to give Louisville a quick 3-0 in the top of the first.

However the Clippers answered with two in the bottom of the inning, then three more in the third.

Louisville responded with two in the fourth - on Chris Denove's RBI-single and Valaika's sacrifice fly. But Columbus came back with four in the bottom of the inning to chase Maloney (4-3, 3.73 earned-run average).

Terrero hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, but it wasn't enough. Balentien led Louisville's nine-hit attack, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Denove went 2-for-4.

Carlos Carrasco (4-2) picked up the win for Columbus despite giving up five earned runs and eight hits over six innings.

The Bats (24-30) begin a four-game series at Pawtucket beginning at 7:05 p.m. Friday night as recent Bats newcomer Matt Klinker (0-1, 6.00 ERA) will take on Kris Johnson (3-3, 3.83). It is the Fritos Family Friday at Louisville Slugger Field and the first 1,500 fans receive a free Bats team photo. Also, as always, there will be post-game fireworks.

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