Corey Kluber silenced the Louisville Bats offensively for five innings, striking out ten and the Columbus Clippers held on to win Saturday night, 6-4.
The Bats, who at one point trailed 6-0, had a chance to win it in the ninth. After an RBI single by Bill Rhinehart, the Bats had the tying run at first and winning run at the plate with one out. But, Paul Janish popped out to third and Corky Miller lined out to left to end the game.
Louisville failed to come through in the clutch multiple times throughout the game. The Bats had at least a base runner in every inning but the first, went 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left 13 men on base.
The Clippers landed the critical blow in the second inning when Matt LaPorta cranked three-run home run to right field off Bats starter Sean Gallagher. LaPorta’s blast capped a five-run second inning, the last four runs scoring with two outs. Luke Carlin led off the fourth inning with a solo home run to make it 6-0 in favor of the Clippers.
Louisville’s bullpen was stellar when Gallagher was removed. Kanekoa Texiera, Josh Judy, and Ron Mahay combined to go 4.2 scoreless innings, giving the Bats a fighting chance to battle back.
And battle back they did. Paul Janish doubled home Rhinehart in the sixth and Corky Miller blasted a two-run homer to left in the eighth, cutting the lead to 6-3 before the Bats fell short in the ninth.
Columbus improved to 2-1 on the season while the Bats fell to 1-2. The two clubs hook up for the fourth and final game of the series Sunday. Chad Reineke will toe the rubber for Louisville. He’ll be opposed by Scott Barnes. First pitch is set for 4:05.
Photo Credit: Max Sharp