Bats Drop Series Opener, 7-4
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Aside from an outburst in the third inning, the Louisville Bats (22-37) were held in check Monday evening by the Columbus Clippers (30-31), falling, 7-4, in the series opener at Louisville Slugger Field.
In his first rehab start, Homer Bailey picked up the loss for Louisville, allowing five runs and six hits in a three-inning outing. Columbus right-hander Shao-Ching Chiang earned a win in his AAA debut as he allowed five hits and four runs, while striking out three over 5.1 innings. Clippers reliever George Kontos notched his first save of the season, striking out two in 1.2 innings of work.
Columbus threatened first in the top of the second as a pair of Louisville errors put two in scoring position, but Bailey escaped the jam with a strikeout looking to end the frame. The Clippers would return with a vengeance in the following inning, quickly scoring two on a series of hits before breaking the game open with a double and triple that made the score 5-0 and ended Bailey's night.
Despite the hole, the Bats responded in the bottom of the third as second baseman Nick Senzel brought home shortstop Blake Trahan from first on a double to right. Once again batting leadoff, Senzel went 2-for-4 with a run and one RBI. After a wild pitch and walk to first baseman Hernan Iribarren, third baseman Dilson Herrera tightened the margin to 5-4 with a 358-foot shot into the left field seats, his fourth of the season.
Unfortunately for Louisville, the Columbus pitching adjusted and held the Bats' offense in check for the remainder of the game. After adding a run in the fifth, Clippers catcher Eric Haase sealed the victory with a bloop double to center that scored two additional insurance runs. The Bats challenged one last time in the bottom of the eighth with two runners on, but Kontos entered the game and retired the final five Louisville batters.
The Bats will look to rebound Tuesday evening as southpaw Cody Reed (0-4, 4.69) faces Columbus right-hander Shane Bieber (2-1, 1.41). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Louisville Slugger Field.
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