COLUMBUS, OH. - Chris Nelson was the difference on Friday as his two run home run in the third inning led Louisville to a 5-3 win over Columbus in the first of three games at Huntington Park.
Making his second straight rehab start for Louisville was right-hander Mat Latos (0-0, 2.08). He pitched four and two-thirds and allowed three hits while walking a pair and striking out three Clipper batters. Latos threw 81 pitches, 46 of them were for a strike.
Latos has been sharp in both of his starts for Louisville and in each of them Louisville has come out victorious.
Designated hitter Thomas Neal recorded his first three hit game and ninth multi-hit game of the season going 3-for-5. Third baseman Chris Nelson has hit three home runs this season, two of them coming in Columbus at Huntington Park. His home run off of Clipper starter Danny Salazar gave the Bats the boost they needed to give them their twenty-sixth win of the season.
Columbus right-hander Danny Salazar (0-3, 7.11) worked four and two-thirds and allowed three runs on eleven hits walked a pair and struck out five. Pitch count became an issue once again for Salazar as he was unable to get out of the fifth inning at 99 pitches.
Tim Fedroff had the big night at the plate for Columbus recording three hits, and driving in a pair of runs. In a big situation in the eighth he took a gamble trying to score from second but was gunned down at the plate by left fielder Hernan Irribarren to end the Columbus threat.
Louisville used three relievers Curtis Partch (1-1, 4.80) earning the win in one and one-third innings pitched and striking out three. He would pitch the last out of the fifth putting him in line for the win and a clean sixth for a much needed shutdown inning.
Closing out the game for the Bats was Ryan Dennick. He worked two full innings and allowed a run while recording three strikeouts. He earned his second save of the season and for the first time in 2014 the Bats used someone other than Jose Diaz on back-to-back days to close out Louisville wins.
Louisville (26-28) and Columbus (24-29) will square off for two nine-inning games on Saturday, as left-hander Matt Maloney (0-1, 6.75) will oppose right-hander Tyler Cloyd (1-3, 5.23). The first game will see the first pitch thrown at 1:05 p.m.