The Columbus Clippers must love facing Louisville Bats pitcher Chad Reineke. Going into Monday’s game, Reineke was 3-4 with a 4.98 ERA in 10 career starts against Columbus. Nothing changed to that affect Monday night.
Reineke suffered through another rough start against the Clippers, giving up eight runs on six hits in three-plus innings in Louisville’s 10-1 loss. 6,865 fans were in attendance at Louisville Slugger Field.
Reineke’s struggles started right out of the gate when Cord Phelps doubled and Vinny Rottino singled to start the first. Two batters later, Matt LaPorta hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Phelps and putting Columbus on the board.
Needing just one out to get out the inning, Reineke walked Lars Anderson and Gregorio Petit to load the bases. The next batter, Juan Diaz, launched his second homer of the season to right field to make it 5-0. The grand slam was the sixth by the Clippers this season.
Reineke’s struggles continued in the fourth when Luke Carlin and Aaron Cunningham each doubled to start the inning. Reineke then issued Phelps a four-pitch walk to load the bases, ending his night.
On came lefty Travis Webb, who gave up back to back doubles to Rottino and Russ Canzler to make it 9-1. Anderson’s RBI sacrifice fly gave Columbus their second five-run inning of the night and a 10-1 lead.
With the loss, Reineke (5-9) dropped to 3-5 with a 6.19 ERA in eleven career starts against Columbus. Six of those starts have come at Louisville Slugger Field and Reineke is 2-3 with a 7.97 ERA in those starts.
Columbus starter David Huff was on the opposite end of the spectrum from Reineke. The lefty faced just two over the minimum and tied a season-high eight innings pitched giving up just one run on two hits while walking one and striking out five. After Corky Miller walked to start the third, Huff (6-6) proceeded to retire the final 18 batters he faced before be taken out of the game.
Louisville’s lone run came on a solo home run from Denis Phipps in the second. It was Phipps’ 14th home run of the season, tying him Neftali Soto for the team lead. In the first three games of the series, Phipps is 8-for-10 with a double, four homers, and nine RBIs.
Louisville (50-81) dropped to 3.5 games behind the Toledo Mud Hens for third place in the International League West Division standings. Columbus (67-63) moved to within 2.5 games of the Pawtucket Red Sox for the Wild Card.
Louisville and Columbus still have six more games remaining with each other before the end of the regular season. The first of those six games will come Tuesday night to wrap up their current four game series. Righty Tim Gustafson (4-5, 5.07 ERA) will be on the mound for the Bats against lefty T.J. McFarland (6-6, 4.75) for the Clippers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.