COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Clippers scored seven runs on 14 hits to defeat the Gwinnett Braves 7-1 on Friday night in the finale of the four-game series at Huntington Park.
Gwinnett (12-9) lost three of four in the series, but remains only two games behind Durham in the International League South Division standings. The Bulls suffered a 3-1 loss to Charlotte on Friday.
Columbus (9-11) began its onslaught in in the bottom of the first inning as, with two outs, David Cooper lined a single to center off G-Braves’ starter Zach Stewart. Jesus Aguilar (6) followed with a two-run home run to right to give the Clippers a 2-0 lead.
They extended the lead in the bottom of the fifth with an unearned run off Stewart. Justin Sellers reached on an error by Gwinnett shortstop Phil Gosselin to begin the inning. Sellers then stole second and scored on a single to center by Carlos Moncrief for a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Tim Fedroff led off with a single to center, Roberto Perez walked and Audy Ciriaco singled to right to load the bases with no outs. Jose Ramirez grounded an infield single off the glove of Gosselin, scoring Fedroff for a 4-0 lead. Stewart and reliever Ryan Buchter combined to keep the Clippers scoreless the rest of the inning.
Luis Vasquez came into pitch for Gwinnett in the bottom of the eighth and immediately gave up a solo homer to Perez (3) to make it 5-0 Columbus. Ciriaco followed with a double to left, and Ramirez (4) hit a two-run blast to right to make it 7-0.
The only Gwinnett run came in the top of the ninth as Joey Terdoslavich (2) hit a long two-out solo homer off Columbus reliever Scott Barnes, making the final 7-1.
Stewart (L, 1-1) worked 5.1 innings with 10 hits and three earned runs. He walked one and struck out three. Buchter went 1.1 innings with one hit and three strikeouts. Vasquez went 1.0 innings with three hits, three earned runs, two strikeouts and two home runs allowed.
Josh Tomlin (W, 1-1) worked 8.0 strong, scoreless innings for Columbus. He gave up six hits and struck out six. Barnes worked the top of the ninth with one hit, one earned run and one strikeout.
Offensively for Gwinnett, Terdoslavich was 2-for-4 with the solo home run and one RBI. Edward Salcedo was 2-for-4 and Tommy La Stella went 1-for-4 to extend his on-base streak to 15 games.
The Clippers were led by Aguilar (3-5, HR, 2 RBIs), Ciriaco (3-for-4, R), Perez (2-3, HR, RBI), Moncrief (2-4, RBI) and Ramirez 2-5, HR, 3 RBIs).
The Gwinnett Braves open a four-game series against the Toledo Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field on Saturday night, first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. Right-hander Cody Martin (1-1, 3.38) will start for the G-Braves, while the Mud Hens will counter with left-hander Kyle Lobstein (0-2, 5.94).