Almonte Debuts, Clevinger Cruising, Choice Grand, and More in Columbus Clippings
Bob Toth | On 25, Jun 2016
It has not been a good week in Columbus for the Clippers, who added several more losses to their season record. After taking the series from the Chiefs in Syracuse with wins in the first two games, the Clippers dropped the finale in a 2-1 loss. They returned home to Columbus on Monday to start a seven-game homestand, but lost their series with Rochester by dropping three of the first four games from Huntington Park. They hosted Norfolk on Friday night, winning 10-7 in a slugfest from Columbus.
The tough week for the Clippers (39-36) has left the club stranded in second place in the International League West Division, trailing the rival Indianapolis Indians.
In other Clippers news from Columbus:
ALMONTE ON ASSIGNMENT
Abraham Almonte joined the Clippers on Wednesday on assignment while returning from his 80-game performance enhancing drug suspension.
The 26-year-old switch-hitter, who will turn 27 on Monday, went yard in the first game of his assignment, going 1-for-4 with a homer and two runs batted in. In his second game on Friday, he went 2-for-5 with a single, double, two runs batted in, and two runs scored.
PLUTKO STRONG IN LOSS
Adam Plutko made his second start of the season for the Clippers on Thursday and took the loss despite a good effort on the mound. He worked six innings against Rochester, allowing two runs on six hits, walking three, and striking out two. In his first Triple-A start on June 18, he worked five and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on three hits, but walked five, in a win. He has now walked eight batters in eleven and two-thirds innings for Columbus after walking just 12 in 71 2/3 innings for Akron.
CLEVINGER DOMINATING THROUGH JUNE
After a short start on June 4 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre when he allowed four runs on five hits in three and two-thirds innings, Mike Clevinger has locked in on the mound for the Clippers.
He threw six shutout innings in a win over Indianapolis on June 9, striking out eight and giving up just three hits. In his next outing at Rochester on June 14, he threw seven scoreless, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out five. In his start on June 19, he allowed just two hits, but four walks, while striking out eight in five and two-thirds innings in another no-decision.
He finally allowed a run when the Norfolk Tides drove in a run in the third inning of his start on Friday night and he would be charged with four on the night in six innings of work, walking none while striking out eight.
He is now 6-0 on the year for Columbus with a 2.48 ERA.
CHOICE IS GRAND
In Friday’s win, each of the first four batters reached safely with one run scoring prior to number five hitter Michael Choice stepping to the plate. He cleared the deck against Norfolk’s Scott McGough, smashing a grand slam to left-center to put Columbus on its way to victory.
COLON A PERFECT ERA
Twenty-six-year-old Joseph Colon has appeared in nine games since returning from his suspension to start the season and has been nearly perfect for the Clippers. He has not allowed an earned run in ten innings while striking out six. In total, he has given up two unearned runs on three hits and one walk. Opposing hitters are batting just .094 against the right-hander, who is in his seventh season on the field for the Indians organization.
HITTING STREAKS END
Yandy Diaz saw his nine-game hitting streak and 12-game on-base streak come to an end in game three against Rochester on June 22. He hit a pair of homers in each of the final two games of his hitting streak.
Entering play Friday, Diaz was hitting .284 combined across two levels. He hit .286 in 26 games for Akron and has hit .284 in 39 games for Columbus.
Shortstop Erik Gonzalez hit in nine straight before that streak ended on Wednesday. He had five multi-hit games in that span, altering throughout the hot stretch at the plate. He boosted his batting average 15 points over the course of the streak.
He added a big late home run in Friday’s win after the Tides came back from a 9-0 deficit to pull within two. His solo shot in the bottom of the seventh was his fifth of the season and padded the lead.
Outfielder Bryson Myles landed on the seven-day disabled list on Sunday with a left calf strain. In a corresponding roster move, the Clippers activated pitcher Toru Murata from his stay on the disabled list.
Photo: The Columbus Dispatch