Aguilar, Banwart help Clippers get first win
Jesus Aguilar hit two home runs and Travis Banwart checked Louisville on two hits over six innings the help carry the Clippers past the Bats 6-5 tonight in Huntington Park.
The victory ended a season-opening, four-game losing streak for Columbus. Aguilar hit a two-run home run in the second inning and a three-run shot in the seventh. David Cooper singled in front of both Aguilar home runs and also drove in a run.
Banwart (1-0), a PCL veteran, was making his first International League start. He allowed one hit over the first five innings before Ruben Gotay touched him for a two-out home run in the sixth. Louisville starter David Holmberg (0-1) held the Clippers to five hits and two runs over the first six innings.
The bullpens for both teams struggled. Three Louisville relievers pitched in the seventh and the Clippers scored four runs. Matt Carson drew a walk off Pedro Villarreal to open the inning and went to second on a Roberto Hernandez sacrifice bunt.
Lefty Lee Hyde entered to face the left-handed hitting Michael Bourn. He got Bourn to fly to center before walking Jose Ramirez. The left-handed hitting Cooper singled to drive in Carson with the third Columbus run.
Righty Chad Rogers entered to face Aguilar and jumped ahead 0-2. After a ball, Aguilar fouled off three pitches. He caught the next one and drove it out of the ballpark in right-center for a 6-2 Clippers lead.
The Bats replied with three runs in the eighth against Nick Hagadone. Kristopher Negron homered and Ryan LaMarre reached on an error by third baseman Justin Sellers. Gotay followed with his second home run of the night to cut the deficit to 6-4.
Tucker Barnhart doubled home Chris Nelson in the ninth. But Mark Lowe got the third out to earn the save.
Bourn was 0 for 4 on his rehab assignment from the Cleveland Indians.