A beautiful Sunday afternoon in Columbus was only made better by a three-home-run 6-2 victory by The Columbus Clippers against the Toledo Mud Hens in the fifth game of their six-game series.
Starting on the mound for Columbus was left-hander David Huff. Throwing for Toledo was lefty Adam Wilk.
Columbus tried to put numbers on the board early. Center fielder Ezequiel Carrera walked in his first at-bat, then stole second. Carrera stole third later, but never reached home when right fielder Chad Huffman popped out to center field.
After both teams went scoreless in the first, Carrera would leave the game after twisting his arm diving for designated hitter Ryan Strieby’s pop-up.
“I think he is going to be day-to-day. We will know more about it tomorrow,” manager Mike Sarbaugh said. “We wanted to be cautious so we got him out of the game.”
Later in the inning, Huff walked third baseman Danny Worth, who went on to steal second before shortstop Cale Iorg also made it to first on balls.
Toledo took a 1-0 lead when Worth stole third, then home, in a double steal after Clippers catcher Luke Carlin overthrew third baseman Luis Valbuena.
Toledo then went up, 2-0, when Iorg stole home after first baseman Wes Hodges mishandled a throw from Huff.
Columbus got on the board in the bottom of the second when Valbuena ran out a grounder to first, after Toledo first baseman Scott Thorman bobbled the ball.
Valbuena made it to third after Hodges drove a liner into center field facing a full count with two outs.
Carlin made sure Valbuena didn’t wait long, squeaking a grounder between third and short that cut the score to 2-1.
The sixth inning brought right-hander Zach Putnam out of the bullpen to replace Huff for Columbus. Huff finished the game with five innings pitched, one hit, two runs, four walks, five strikeouts and an earned-run average of 0.00.
Huffman got on first in the sixth inning. Clippers fans soon got a souvenir when right fielder Jerad Head smoked a two-run shot into the left-field stands, giving the Clippers a 3-2 lead.
After Toledo put in right-handed pitcher Zach Simons in the sixth, Carlin doubled the lead to 4-2 with a single run homer in the seventh.
Frank Herrmann took the mound for Columbus in the eighth inning, and allowed only one.
The bottom of the eighth inning brought the Clippers’ third home run. After Brown walked, Head stared down a full-count pitch and knocked it over the left-field stands, giving Columbus a 6-2 lead.
Columbus is now 8-3 on the season, 2-0 at home. They play Toledo again at 11:35 a.m. Monday.