Louisville, KY - The Bats rallied early to defeat the Columbus Clippers Sunday afternoon at Louisville Slugger Field. Darnell McDonald homered as the Bats won 8-4. There were 8,286 fans in attendance.
Louisville was down early as Tony Graffanino lined a double past a diving Danny Dorn in left scoring Niuman Romero. Jordan Brown then doubled in Graffanino putting Columbus up 2-0 in the top of the third.
The Bats responded with a Corky Miller double to left-center scoring Luis Bolivar. After a Drew Sutton walk, McDonald put the Bats up with a 3-run bomb to left field, his fifth of the season.
Bolivar added two more runs for the Bats in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run triple scoring Dorn and Chris Valaika. Miller followed with his second RBI on a single down the right field line putting the Bats up 7-2.
Columbus attempted to rally in the fifth with back-to-back sacrifice flies by Graffanino and Brown, making the score 7-4.
For the third straight inning, Louisville scored in the bottom of the fifth after a Valaika single resulted in a throwing error by second-baseman Josh Barfield that allowed Kevin Barker to score from second.
Ramon Ramirez (4-6, 4.50) got the win going five innings, giving up four runs on six hits while walking five. Ramirez struggled with his control, but it was enough for the win with the help of the Bats offense.
Kip Wells came on in relief to pitch three scoreless innings while giving up one hit. Jeff Kennard came on in the ninth to close the game.
Veteran Ken Ray (2-5, 8.55) took the loss for Columbus after pitching five innings while giving up eight runs, seven earned, on seven hits. Ray also struck out six and walked five.
Louisville's offense was led by Miller who had two hits, two RBI and reached base three times, and McDonald who had the 3-run home run. Bolivar also had two RBI for Louisville. The Bats had eight batters with at least one hit.
The Bats head into All-Star Break with a 9.5 game lead over Indianapolis in the West division and a five-game winning streak that ties their season high.
Louisville is sending Manager Rick Sweet, OF Drew Stubbs and RHP Justin Lehr to Portland for the 2009 Triple-A All-Star Game.
The Bats return Thursday to host Durham at Louisville Slugger Field to begin an eight-game home stand. First pitch is set for 7:05 and the gates will open at 5:30 for Budweiser's "Game Time" Happy hour on the Overlook Deck from 5:30-7:00 p.m.