Paulo Espino turned in a fine start and the bullpen made a Clippers lead hold up for an eventual 5-3 win over the Norfolk Tides at Huntington Park.
The Clippers got the bats working in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on first and third and no outs, Jeremy Hermida crushed a pitch off the scoreboard beyond the right center field wall to give Columbus a 3-0 lead.
The Tides scratched across a run in the top of the fifth when Yamiaco Navarro drove home a run with an RBI single. Other than that Norfolk tally, the Tides had tough time getting anything going against righty Paulo Espino. Espino hurled five innings, limiting Norfolk to one run on six hits while striking out seven and walking one batter.
Roberto Perez later added some insurance with a two run double down the right field line in the bottom of the seventh to push the Clippers' lead to 5-1. The Tides made it a 5-3 game with a two run homer by Alex Liddi and that would be final score as Espino (W, 4-4) was awarded the win and Norfolk's Steve Johnson (L, 1-3) took the loss.
After an off-day on Wednesday, the Clippers will welcome in the Gwinnett for the start of a four game series at Huntington Park. Josh Tomlin will make a rehab start for Columbus as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery. The lefty Yohan Flande (8-7, 4.20) will start for the Braves. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.