Two pitches into their game against the Columbus Clippers Friday night it looked as if the Louisville Bats were off to another hard hitting performance as Daryl Jones led the game off with a solo home run. That was not the case as the Bats failed to get another hit until the sixth inning.
The Bats fell behind 3-1 going to the top of the ninth and mounted a rally. Jones walked to start the inning and Chris Valaika reached on an error putting runners at first and second with nobody out. Then on a wild pitch, Jones hesitated and did not advanced to third, getting Valaika caught between first and second for the second out of the inning. Jones advanced to third on a dropped third strike that allowed Todd Frazier to reach first.
The next batter, Neftali Soto, singled Jones home from third; a hit that would have tied the game had Jones advanced to third and Valaika to second on the past ball. Danny Dorn then flied out to end the game.
Columbus tied the game at one in the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run from Lonnie Chisenhall and took the lead on Matt LaPorta’s solo bomb in the fourth. Cord Phelps scored the Clippers’ final run in the sixth when Russ Canzler reached on a fielder’s choice.
Louisville starter Brett Tomko went 5-plus innings giving up three runs on five hits, striking out seven. Tomko, a major league veteran, made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 1997.
Columbus starter Kevin Slowey, another former major leaguer, was stellar. Slowey pitched seven strong innings, giving up just two hits and one run, striking out six. Jeremy Accardo pitched the ninth for the Clippers picking up the save.
The clubs hook up again Saturday at 7:05. Louisville sends Sean Gallagher to the bump opposed by Corey Kluber.