Bats win close one against Columbus, 3-2

Chris Nelson hit a sacrifice-fly to win the game for Louisville in the bottom of the sixth inning ((c) Patrick Pfister/

By Joshua Wilson / Louisville Bats | June 1, 2014 9:18 PM ET

LOUISVILLE, KY - The Louisville Bats beat the Columbus Clippers by a score of 3-2 in the fourth of a five-game split series at Louisville Slugger Field on Sunday night.

A sacrifice-fly in the bottom of the sixth inning off the bat of third baseman Chris Nelson proved to be the deciding run. The sacrifice would score designated hitter Felix Perez, who reached on a single earlier in the inning.

Louisville opened the game with a 2-0 after the first inning and before allowing the Clippers to tie the ballgame in the top of the fifth when starting pitcher Josh Smith gave up a two-run triple to the Clippers' third baseman Giovanny Urshela. The hit scored center fielder Jose Ramirez and left fielder Tim Fedroff.

Smith opened the game for the Bats and pitched five innings, gave up four hits, two earned runs, two walks and had seven strikeouts on the night. He received a no-decision after the Clippers tied the ballgame in the top of the fifth inning. Smith was activated off the temporarily inactive list after right-handed pitcher Chad Reineke was released today.

Right-hander Tim Crabbe (3-5, 4.60) came in to relieve Smith in the top of the sixth and earned his third win of the season. He pitched one and one-third innings and allowed no runs on no hits with one walk.

Second baseman Ruben Gotay continued his hot streak at LSF. He hit a single in the bottom of the fourth and would eventually score on a two-RBI single from third baseman Chris Nelson. Gotay has hit safely in 25 of 28 home games this season.

Righty Kyle Davies (2-3, 4.30) started the game for Columbus and pitched seven innings, gave up seven hits, three earned runs and had six strikeouts on the night. He suffered his second loss of the season.

Jose Diaz came into the game for the Bats in the top of the ninth and received the save. He now has 13 saves this season on 14 opportunities this season. The 3-2 victory marked only the fifth time this season the Bats have won when scoring three or fewer runs. Smith pitched in three of those victories and it was the first time Louisville has won when scoring three or fewer runs since May 1.

The Bats will finish the five-game series against Columbus Monday at 7:05 p.m. where they will try to take three-of-five games. Right-handed pitcher Jair Jurrjens (0-0. 0.00) will make his Louisville Bats debut, and righty Travis Banwart (3-1, 3.43) will start for Clippers. The Bats move to 27-30 and the Clippers fall to 26-30.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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