The Columbus Clippers have continued to play good baseball in the second half of their season to hold on to a four-game lead in the International League’s West Division as teams enter the weekend. At 55-46, the Clippers hold that lead over the Indianapolis Indians and a four and a half game lead over the third place Louisville Bats.
With Friday’s win over the PawSox, the Clippers have taken the first two of their four-game set with Pawtucket this weekend. Since their All-Star break, the Clippers have taken three of four in Toledo from the Mud Hens before dropping two of three to Louisville earlier in the week. The Clippers’ seven-game homestand will come to an end after Sunday afternoon’s game before the club hits the road for six straight road games in Norfolk and Charlotte starting Tuesday to wrap up the month of July.
In other Clipnotes from the state capital:
PASQUALE PROMISING IN AAA DEBUT
Right-hander Nick Pasquale, who has pitched for the Indians farm system at Lynchburg and Akron already this season, made his Columbus Clippers debut on Friday night and tossed a gem in the Clippers’ 2-0 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox. He worked six and two-thirds innings, allowing no runs on just two hits. He walked three and struck out two for his first Triple-A win.
He is now 5-4 combined across all three levels this season.
Yandy Diaz supplied the power for the Clippers, hitting a two-run home run in the first for the only runs of the game.
BUTLER’S ON-BASE STREAK EXTENDED
Thirty-year-old outfielder Joey Butler has gotten on base in every game of the second half for the Clippers.
His seven-game hitting streak came to an end with an 0-for-3 on July 19 against Louisville, but he walked twice and drove in a run. He has hit in each of his last three games since the streak ended to push his on-base streak to 14 straight games.
URSHELA’S SEVEN-GAME HITTING STREAK
Third base prospect Giovanny Urshela has hit safely in seven straight games and 13 of his last 14. He hit a pair of solo homers on July 20 against the Bats and had four hits in the middle game of the series on July 19, when he was 4-for-5 at the plate with three singles, a double, two runs scored, and an RBI.
During the 14-game stretch of improved play, Urshela’s average has risen from .238 to .255.
Indians right-handed reliever Zach McAllister was assigned to the Clippers on July 18 to begin a rehab assignment. He is working back from right hip discomfort.
He has made a pair of appearances, including outings on July 18 and July 21. He has worked two innings, giving up one earned run on three hits with a strikeout against Louisville and Pawtucket.
MARTIN’S SCORELESS STREAK
After two rough relief outings in the second week of June, former Rule 5 pick Josh Martin has been locked in on the mound for the Clippers.
The 25-year-old right-hander, selected in that draft by San Diego over the winter, has not allowed a run in his last 16 appearances, a span of 22 2/3 innings. In that stretch, he has allowed 15 hits and four walks while striking out 13.
CLEVINGER FINALLY LOSES
Right-hander Mike Clevinger took his first loss of the Triple-A season on July 18, despite making a quality start, after he allowed three earned runs on five hits over seven innings against Louisville.
The 25-year-old pitching prospect is now 9-1 on the minor league season with a 2.82 ERA in 15 games. He has struck out 88 batters over 83 innings with a 1.13 WHIP.
He has also made four appearances and three starts at the Major League level with the Indians, earning an 0-1 record with a 7.71 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 16 1/3 innings.
ANDERSON ON THE CLEVELAND-COLUMBUS SHUTTLE
The Indians recalled pitcher Cody Anderson on Friday afternoon for the second time in a week, one night after he was scratched from a possible start on Thursday. He made his second relief appearance of the season for the Tribe in Friday’s loss in Baltimore, allowing four hits over one and one-third scoreless innings with one strikeout.
The skipped Columbus start would have been his first action since July 10. Anderson was also recalled by the Indians on July 17 and optioned on July 18 without making an appearance. He was replaced on the Clippers roster by Pasquale.
Left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler was dealt to the Oakland Athletics on July 17 for cash considerations.
The pitcher, who made the Indians’ Opening Day roster out of spring camp as a reliever, was later designated for assignment and remained with the organization with the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate. There, he worked solely as a starter, going 2-4 with a 4.60 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 12 starts. In seven games with the Indians, Detwiler allowed three runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts in four and two-thirds innings.
He worked five innings in his A’s debut for their Triple-A Nashville affiliate on July 20, allowing one run on three hits with a pair of strikeouts against Albuquerque.
Left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett was promoted to Cleveland on July 18 to help fill the lefty void in the club’s pitching staff. He was replaced on the Triple-A roster by Nick Maronde, who was reassigned from Double-A Akron.
Shortstop Eric Stamets was transferred from Akron to Columbus on July 14 to fill the roster spot of Erik Gonzalez, who was promoted to the Indians’ 25-man squad to serve the role of utility man off of their bench.
Photo: Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch