By Josh Cook
The Columbus Clippers clipped the Louisville Bats' win streak at 11. With a little assist from Mother Nature.
Jared Goedert's two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the host Clippers a 9-8 comeback victory over the Bats at Huntington Park on Wednesday afternoon.
Louisville, in search of its franchise record-tying 12th straight victory, led 8-7 when rain delayed the game one hour and 20 minutes.
The loss, just the second in the Bats' last 16 games, dropped Louisville (60-51) 6 1/2 games behind Columbus (66-46) in the International League West standings. It also dropped the Bats' lead for the IL wildcard playoff berth down to 3 1/2 games over Buffalo (56-54) and Indianapolis (57-55).
Things started off well for Louisville.
Drew Sutton led off the game with a double off Columbus starter Yohan Pino. He moved to third on Zack Cozart's sacrifice bunt, then scored on Yonder Alonso's single. Todd Frazier then doubled Alonso home before Wladimir Balentien singled to score Frazier to make it 3-0 Bats.
But the Clippers answered in the bottom of the inning with four runs - all with two outs - off Louisville starter Matt Maloney. Cord Phelps' RBI-single and Richard Martinez's three-run double made it 4-3.
Michael Griffin homered to lead off the top of the second, then Josh Rodriguez hit one of his own with one out in the bottom of the inning.
Columbus added two more runs in the third off Maloney to make it 7-4. But the Bats responded with four runs in the top of the fourth to take an 8-7 advantage thanks to a pair of long balls by the IL's best home-run hitting team.
Griffin led off with his second solo home run of the game to make it 7-5. Pino then walked Chris Denove then Alonso, the latter with two outs, before Frazier's three-run home run gave Louisville the lead.
Maloney gave up seven earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out two in five innings before Jason Isringhausen and Enerio Del Rosario provided two innings of scoreless relief.
Daniel Ray Herrera (1-1) replaced Rosario to start the eighth. He gave up a single to Michael Brantley before walking Rodriguez. Matt McBride moved the both over with a sacrifice bunt before Goedert's double.
Jess Todd (4-2) and Josh Judy (second save) held the Bats hitless over the final two innings.
Frazier led Louisville's 10-hit attack, going 3-for-4 with four runs batted in and two runs scored. Griffin also went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and runs scored.
The Bats return to Louisville Slugger Field at 7:05 p.m. Thursday night to begin a four-game homestand against Norfolk. Right-hander Homer Bailey (1-0, 4.09 earned run average) will make his third rehabilitation start, and he'll face Tides left-hander Chris George (5-5, 3.88). As usual Budweiser's Game Time "Happy Hour," with $1 Bud and Bud Light, will take place from 5:30-7 p.m. Live music will be provided by Logan Street Band.
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