Columbus Notes: Cold Bats Lead To Loss

COLUMBUS, OH—The Clippers were hoping to recover from this weekend's two road losses and continue their recent success at home on Monday night. Unfortunately, they could not get anything going at the plate in a 4-0 loss to Richmond. 

Clippers' Batting Order: 2B Bernie Castro, 3B Brent Abernathy, LF Kory Casto, RF Michael Restovich, CF Abraham Nunez, 1B Larry Broadway, C Juan Brito, SS Melvin Dorta, P John Lannan

Other Batters: SS Manny Alexander, PH Brandon Watson

Starting Pitcher: John Lannan

Reliever: Edward Valdez

In front of a crowd of over 12,000 fans —the largest crowd of the season for Columbus—the Richmond Braves shutout the Clippers 4-0 on Monday. Columbus won six of eight on their last home stand, but offensive woes plagued the Clippers all night. It was the third straight loss for the Clippers. Both teams sent their best left-handed prospect to the hill. John Lannan made his third start for Columbus. The 22-year-old went six innings and took the loss. Richmond starter Jo-Jo Reyes struck out nine and allowed just five hits in five innings. Columbus struggled all night at putting the ball in play against Reyes and Richmond's two relievers, Ryan Basner and Will Startup. The Clippers struck out a total of 15 times and they left 11 men stranded.

Columbus had its chances to score early in the game, but they could not produce. In the third inning, a leadoff walk by Melvin Dorta and a double to left by Bernie Castro left runners on second and third with one out. After Brent Abernathy struck out, Kory Casto walked to load the bases, but Michael Restovich was unable to bring any of them home. Singles in the fourth by Abraham Nunez and Dorta left runners on the corners for Lannan, but he went down swinging. Carlos Mendez went 2 for 4 for Richmond, including a seventh inning home run off of Edward Valdez. The loss drops the Clippers to 38-46 for the year, where they remain 10.5 games behind the I.L. West-leading Toledo Mud Hens.

Lefty Looking Tough:

John Lannan allowed six hits and three runs during his six innings of work, striking out two Braves batters and walking three. It was the second quality start for the youngster this season. He had 1-2-3 innings in the first, third, and fourth innings. Before a bloop single by Wes Timmons in the fifth, Lannan retired nine straight Richmond batters. He threw his fastball consistently around 88 MPH, but it reached 91-92 MPH at times. Lannan worked out of a jam in the second with runners on 1st and 3rd. In the sixth inning, Doug Clark hit a screeching liner back to Lannan that ricocheted off Lannan's leg. After a few warm-up pitches, Lannan remained in the game and finished the inning, but he allowed a walk and two hits after the injury. 

Key Hitters:

Bernie Castro collected three hits—all extra-base hits—in the leadoff spot. It was his fourth game this season with three hits. He hit doubles in the third and ninth innings, while smacking a triple to the gap in left-center in the fifth. Castro also grounded out to short in the first and struck out looking in the seventh.

Larry Broadway went 3 for 4 from the plate, his first three-hit performance of the season. All three of his hits were singles, the most impressive of them being a hard liner to right in the eighth inning after falling behind in the count 0-2.

Brent Abernathy saw his 10-game hit streak come to an end on Monday. It was the third longest hit streak for the Clippers this season. Abernathy went 0 for 4 with a walk and two strikeouts. On a more positive note, Abernathy turned in the best defensive play of the night in the fifth inning. Richmond catcher Corky Miller hit a popup in foul territory along the third base line, and Abernathy reached over the field tarp and toward the seats to make the grab.

Michael Restovich struggled to come through when the Clippers needed it on Monday. He went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. In the third inning, Restovich stuck out looking with the bases loaded and two outs. He stranded a runner at third base in the fifth inning when he grounded out to short. Restovich is now 0 for 13 with the bases loaded this season.

Beyond The Box Score: Brandon Watson was recognized before the game by the International League and the Clippers for his record-breaking, 43-game hit streak.…Tim Redding was called up to the Nationals on Monday and is expected to start against the Cubs on Tuesday….Columbus had won their last six games against Richmond before Monday's loss….Monday was Dime-A-Dog Night and Fireworks Night at Cooper Stadium

On Deck For The Clippers: Columbus will finish out their two-game home stand with Richmond tomorrow before heading to Toledo on Independence Day for a one-game series. The Clippers have taken 3 out of 6 from Toledo this season.

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