The Columbus Clippers headed into Friday night’s game wanting to stop their season high five game losing streak. Pawtucket, on the other hand, headed in expecting to continue on their season-high winning streak, having won the previous six games. Both teams had high expectations, yet only one could come out on top. Pawtucket played a great game, and they made sure that they would be the team on top.
With a steady drizzle falling, the Clippers took the field under the leadership of starting pitcher Tomo Ohka. They had a strong start, with a three-up three-down first inning. However, in the second, the Red Sox started their task of cracking open the Clippers, driving in one run on two hits and six at bats. Though the rain let off shortly after the run, the PawSox’s offense didn’t. They continued to dominate the Clippers in statistics and in runs, culminating in a home run to the left field bleachers by #36, Travis Denker.
Though Ohka had a strong showing, with four strikeouts and only two runs allowed in six innings of pitching, the Clippers organization decided that it was time for him to retire and sent out John Meloan in his place. This proved to be a mistake, as Meloan, in the 1 2/3 innings that he pitched, allowed two runs, seven hits, and walked three.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, relied on their starting pitcher, Clay Buchholz for far longer into the game. Making it into the seventh inning, Buchholz struck out eight batters, allowed one hit, and walked one. As he started to tire out, the Red Sox bullpen spun into action and shot out Rocky Cherry, Chris George, and finally Fernando Cabrera. All of these pitchers were called up to the big show but only briefly, as they walked and allowed far too many hits against major league hitting. Cabrera did finish out the game, however, and ended on a good note as he struck out one in the last inning.
Though Columbus had a few good hits, a few good innings, and three doubles, they were unable to mount any sort of offense against Pawtucket’s pitching. Columbus allowed 13 total hits against the two allowed by Pawtucket, and that is no way to win a game. Injuries and the lack of a bullpen are clearly harming the Clippers, as is the fact that the Indians, their MLB affiliate, keeps pulling people up.
Clay Buchholz recorded the win, improving to 2-0. Tomo Ohka got the loss, putting his record at 2-2. The Pawtucket victory keeps them on a season-high seven-game win streak and Columbus on a season-high six-game losing streak.