Louisville, KY - A night after clinching the International League West Division the Louisville Bats continued their winning ways by defeating the Columbus Clippers 6-3 tonight at Louisville Slugger Field in front of 7,063 fans. Todd Frazier finished the night 4-for-5 with a double and Wes Bankston was 4-for-4 with a double for the Bats.
Columbus got on the board first in the top half of the third inning. Damaso Espino singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a fielding error by right fielder Michael Griffin. Mickey Hall then drew a walk and both runners were able to score on Niuman Romero's two-run single. Romero was gunned down trying to stretch his single into a double, halting the Clipper rally.
In the bottom of the fourth inning the Bats cut the defecit in half. Barker got things started with a single and moved to third base on Frazier's double down the left field line. Francisco then grounded out to shortstop allowing Barker to score.
The Bats took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth inning. Griffin singled and moved to second on Chris Heisey's single. Barker then singled to center scoring Griffin and Francisco grounded into a double play that brought home Hesiey. Following the twin killing, Bankston smacked a double to left bringing Frazier around to score, giving the Bats a 4-2 lead after five.
Louisville added a run to their lead in the bottom of the seventh. Following two quick outs Frazier singled to right and Francisco singled to center. Bankston followed with his fourth hit of the night, bringing home Frazier and making the score 5-2.
In the bottom of the eighth Louisville added another insurance run. Lew Ford walked and Chris Denove singled to start the inning. A batter later, Chris Heisey lined his second hit of the night into left field bringing home Ford and pushing the lead to 6-2.
Ben Jukich (9-6, 4.23) took the mound for the first time after being named the Cincinnati Reds minor league pitcher of the month for the month of July. He continued his hot streak picking up the win, lasting a solid six-and-two-third innings while giving up two runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out two.
Enerio Del Rosario worked the final two-and-one-third innings to earn his fourth save of the season.
Ryan Edell (0-6, 6.05) started for the Clippers looking for his first win of the season. He took the loss however, throwing five innings and giving up four runs on ten hits, while walking one and striking out three.
Columbus and Louisville both will travel to Columbus over night to start a three-game series. The first game will start tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. at Huntington Park and will feature Ramon Ramirez (6-7, 4.03) on the mound for the Bats against Ken Ray (2-9, 7.26) for the Clippers.