Columbus, OH - A night after connecting on four home runs, the Bats looked as if they were going to do the same in the encore. Outfielder Daryl Jones led off the game with a solo home run to right center, giving the Bats a quick 1-0 lead. But, Clippers starter Kevin Slowey would settle in following the home run by Jones and allow just one more hit through seven innings as Columbus went on to win 3-2 to even the series.
Just like the first game of the season, the story of the second game again was the home run. However, this time it was the Clippers who got the best of it. Lonnie Chisenhall evened the score at one in the bottom of the second with a solo shot to centerfield off of Bats starter Brett Tomko. Two innings later Clippers first baseman Matt LaPorta gave the Clippers the lead with a solo home run that just cleared the short porch in right field.
Slowey (1-0, 1.29) would take over from there. The right-hander, who spent the majority of the 2011 season with the Minnesota Twins, was incredible on Friday night. After allowing the home run to start the game, he allowed just one more hit and walked one while facing just three over the minimum. He struck out six.
Nick Hagadone entered in the eighth and allowed a leadoff single to Paul Janish, who has three hits in two games including two home runs last night. But, Dioner Navarro grounded into a double play to erase Janish and then Bill Rhinehart struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Bats did threaten in the ninth but a base running blunder prevented them from tying or taking the lead. Jones led off the inning with a walk and then Valaika reached on a throwing error by Chisenhall. As Denis Phipps stood at the plate looking for his first hit of the season a pitch got by catcher Matt Pagnozzi. Jones stood uncertain at second while Valaika took off and was later thrown out retreating for first base. Following a strike out by Phipps, Todd Frazier reached on a wild pitch strike out to extend the inning. With runners at first and third, Neftali Soto delivered a single up the middle to score Jones and pull the Bats within one. But, Danny Dorn flew out just short of the track in left-center to end the threat and give Columbus the 3-2 win.
Jeremy Acardo picked the save for the Clippers after pitching the rocky top of the ninth.
Brett Tomko (0-1, 5.40 )made his debut with the Bats and allowed just five hits in six innings of work. However, he fell victim to the solo home run as he allowed two to leave the yard. The second of which was a Huntington Park special as the wall is just 330-feet in the right field corner. The 38 year-old veteran allowed three earned runs while walking two and striking out seven in the loss.
The Bats hit four home runs on opening night, a feat they accomplished just twice in all of 2011, but managed just four hits in game two. Phipps, who hit safely in 32 of 40 games played for the Bats in 2011, went hitless for the second straight game and is 0-for-8 on the season following a red hot spring.
The Bats and Clippers will go at it again at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday night. RHP Sean Gallagher will get the start for the Bats and be opposed by RHP Corey Kluber. Gallagher spent the entire 2011 season with the Indianapolis Indians, going 5-12 with a 5.11 era. Kluber was 7-11 with a 5.56 era for the Clippers.