The Columbus Clippers kept their playoff hopes alive Tuesday night with a 2-0 win over the Louisville Bats. The Clippers came out ahead in a pitching duel witnessed by 8,061 at Louisville Slugger Field.
Jared Goedert’s two-run home run in the ninth followed a leadoff single from Vinny Rottino to give the Clippers the only runs of the game.
The runs came off Logan Ondrusek, who was optioned from the Cincinnati Reds August 21. Ondrusek has given up at least one run in all three of his appearances since joining the Bats.
Bats starter Todd Redmond dueled with Columbus’ Eric Berger into the sixth inning. Both pitchers deserved a better fate; Redmond gave up just five hits over six innings while Berger allowed three hits in 5-1/3 innings. Neither allowed a runner to reach third base though both had to work out of trouble.
Rottino singled to start the second for the Clippers but Goedert grounded into a double play three pitches later. Juan Diaz and Matt Pagnozzi each singled following the double play, but Redmond got Aaron Cunningham to fly out, thwarting the Clippers’ best threat of the night, until the ninth.
“Redmond pitched a great game,” said Bats manager David Bell. “You allow two runs the whole game, usually that’s going to be good enough, but they shut us down tonight.”
The Bats’ best chance against Berger came in the fifth. With two on and nobody out, Corky Miller attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt but popped out to Berger for the first out. The next batter, Denis Phipps, grounded into an inning-ending double play, keeping the game scoreless.
Miller’s pop out began a string of 14 straight batters retired by Columbus pitching, who authored their 11th shutout of the season. The Bats were shutout for the ninth time in 2012.
The loss dropped the Bats (51-87) to a franchise-record 33 games back in the International League’s West Division standings. The Bats are 4-16 in their last 20 games.
Reds lefty Bill Bray pitched a scoreless seventh inning of relief in his sixth rehab appearance with the Bats since joining the team August 14.
The Bats and Clippers continue their five-game split series Wednesday night at Slugger Field. Pedro Villarreal (3-11, 4.70 ERA) will take the mound for Louisville. He will be opposed by Jeanmar Gomez (6-5, 4.41 ERA) of Columbus. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.