COLUMBUS, Ohio- Eric Stamets crushed a grand slam to help the Clippers put on an offensive firework display as an eight run fifth inning lifted the team to a 15-9 victory evening up the series.
It was Star Wars night and Fireworks night at Huntington Park when Columbus and Indianapolis resumed their four-game series Saturday evening. The stars were aligned for an exciting night at the ballpark in front of a large crowd.
Columbus wasted no time with the offensive assault on Indianapolis pitching in the first inning plating three runs. Adam Rosales, who has been swinging a red-hot bat as of late, led things off beating out an infield single.
Brandon Barnes followed suit with a gapping double to right center field before Bobby Bradley drove in the first run of the night with an RBI ground out. Trayce Thompson then smoked a deep home run to center field, his 11th on the season giving Columbus an early 3-0 edge.
The visitors responded with six unanswered runs beginning in the second inning with back-to-back solo home runs from Will Craig and Kevin Kramer to trim the Columbus lead to 3-2. Indianapolis would then take a 6-3 lead in the top of the fifth on a three-run home run by Jose Osuna.
The bottom half of the fifth inning triggered an offensive explosion as Columbus never looked back outscoring the visitors 12-3 for the rest of the game. The Clippers batted around the lineup taking a commanding 11-6 lead. Rosales, who finished the night 4-for-5 with two RBIs, drove in the first run of the inning with an RBI single plating Dioner Navarro making the score 6-4. The newly acquired infielder is batting .500 (10-for-20) on the homestand while raising his average to .238 from .194 upon arriving in Columbus.
Columbus tied the game at 6-6 courtesy of back-to-back RBI singles from Barnes and Bradley. Ryan Flaherty drew a bases loaded walk giving the team the lead for good. Stamets then broke the game wide open with his grand slam over the left field wall.
Daniel Johnson, who was promoted from Double-A Akron had an impressive Triple-A debut going 2-for-4 and a walk with three RBIs. He tallied his first hit at the Triple-A level with an RBI single extending the Clippers lead to 12-6.
The next inning, following a Rosales RBI double, Johnson cranked an opposite field two-run double plating two more runs stretching the lead to 15-6. Upon being promoted to Triple-A, Johnson was batting .253 with 10 home runs and 33 RBI. He brings a strong arsenal of skills to the table.
Starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski picked up the win on the mound improving his record to 4-1 and a 3.64 ERA. Wojcieochowski battled through six innings of work allowing six earned runs on six hits with one lone walk. The right hander registered nine strikeouts, tying his single game high for the season from a start on April 20th against Toledo. The Clippers are now 8-1 when Wojcieochowski starts on the bump.
Indianapolis tallied three runs of their own in the top of the ninth inning when Jose Osuna hit a bases-clearing three run double down the left field line. Osuna had a monster night with six RBIs. James Hoyt struck out Craig to conclude the game securing the Clippers' victory. Columbus now regains first place in the division by half a game.
What's on Deck: Columbus and Indianapolis will do battle in game three of the four game set Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m. The pitching matchup will be a battle of righties with Shao-Ching-Chang on the hill for Columbus against Mitch Keller for the visiting Indians.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.