Photo credit: Jay Gehres/Courtesy Columbus Clippers
The Columbus Clippers (49-38) won their third game in the home series against the Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate the Indianapolias Indians (41-44) leaving the Indians scoreless 7-0. The Thursday afternoon game at Huntington Ballpark put Columbus in the lead position in the series winning two of the three games. RHP Peyton Battenfield (W, 6-5) was electric as he pitched eight scoreless innings, striking out six and giving up just three hits, lowering his ERA to 2.91. Of his 96 pitches, 66 of those were strikes. Battenfield has pitched the most innings out of anyone in the Guardians system , now throwing over 105 innings on the season. Columbus took advantage by getting seven runs on the board, two of those being homers from Will Benson and Richie Palacios. The Clippers got the ball rolling in the bottom of the seventh inning that scored Columbus five runs to extend their lead. Columbus has won three of their last four games and held their opponents to an average of 2.75 runs per game during those four.
Willy B, You Know Me
Will Benson had a big day at the plate going 3-4, hitting a home run deep into right center field to put the Clippers on the board first in the third inning. Benson also doubled in the first, giving him 20 hits in his last 14 games, with nine of those being extra base hits. In his last 14 games, Benson is batting .377 with four homers, five doubles, ten RBI and 14 walks. Benson took part in the seventh inning scoring streak with his line drive single that drove in Sandy Leon, marking the fourth run for the Clippers this game. With two runs scored, Benson added to his league lead in runs and becomes the first to pass 60 runs in the International League this season.
Richie Palacios was the second Clipper with a solo blast this game to right center field towards Nationwide Blvd. to put the Clippers up 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning. This marked his third homer in a Clippers uniform, and his 23rd RBI of the year. Since being sent back down to Columbus on July 10th he’s had five hits in four games with a double, triple, and home run.
Locked and Loaded
While Benson and Palacios contributed to put runs on the board, it wouldn’t have been possible without the whole team on board. After a Trenton Brooks single and a Sandy Leon walk, Jose Fermin hit a single line drive to load up the bases in scoring position. Mitchell Tolman drew a walk that scored Trenton Brooks to put the Clippers up 3-0. After Bensons scoring hit, Tyler Freeman singled on a soft ground ball to score Jose Fermin who ran down the line and dove to home plate in order to avoid the tag, and advanced Tolman to third while Benson went to second. Richie Palacios then grounded into a force out, but a throwing error by shortstop Rodolfo Castro gave Tolman and Benson enough time to score, while Freeman got out at second to extend the Clippers lead 7-0.
The Clippers continue to complete the series heading into the weekend, with their next game set for Friday, first pitch at 7:05.
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