Photos by Mark Fierner ( Martinez News-Gazette )
Writer Sam Weismann ( Martinez Clippers )
MARTINEZ, Calif. — The Pacifics survived a late Clippers rally to win their third in a row in Martinez, scoring early and often on the way to a 9-7 victory. San Rafael, with their 47th win, have won 11 of 15 against Martinez this year as the Clippers’ starting pitching struggled for the second consecutive game.
Taylor Bloye (L, 1-2) went six innings for the Clippers, allowing six earned runs to San Rafael while tossing a career-high 115 pitches. In the early going, Bloye was beset by the same issues as most Clippers starters have been this season, allowing three home runs out to Waterfront Park’s short left-center field, with two early walks coming around to score on long balls.
The Clippers fell behind early, 5-2 after three frames, after DonAndre Clark, Rando Moreno, and Brent Gillespie connected for San Rafael; both Clark and Moreno had four home runs or less coming into the ballgame. Martinez scored single runs in the first and third, as Angel Ventura (W, 3-0) struggled to hunker down – an Alan Mocahbee (2-5) RBI double and a Jimmy Lunardelli (1-5, 2 R) solo homer (10) provided more offense against Ventura than the Clippers had mustered all season against the Dominican righthander.
Despite excellent pitching down the stretch by Taylor Bloye, San Rafael would bring their sixth run home on a balk – the first in a series of odd plays across the middle innings, as Bloye (just seven appearances out of the NCAA rule code environment) made a move that is legal in college, but not in pro ball.
The Clippers would, in the bottom of the 5th, make the first of two crucial outs on the basepaths, as Jacob Barfield knocked in a run on a blooper to right – but Barfield, trying to stretch his base hit to a double, accidentally began a double rundown that would end in Chris Caffrey making the third out of the inning about 30 feet from home plate (the rare 9-8-6-2-5 putout).
The Clippers made another needless third out on the basepaths in the 6th, as Devin Carter would be picked off of second by Ricky Gingras, Ventura’s batterymate – as Taylor Bloye was removed from the ballgame, the Pacifics proceeded to make it 9-3 with three in the 7th off of reliever Matti Doxter.
Martinez got a late home run by Jacob Barfield (13), and RBI knocks from Wilkyns Jimenez (1-3) and Nathan Etheridge (1-5), but though they scored four in the 8th inning, it wasn’t enough to overcome a Pacifics bullpen that has collectively posted the second-lowest ERA in the league. Jose Casilla worked a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his fourteenth save, as the Clippers have now been outscored by a total margin of 15-2 in the first two innings of each of their last three losses combined.
The series (and season series) finale will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 24, as the Clippers move into the heart of a short three-game homestand; Drue Bravo (2-4, 4.71 ERA) will take the mound for Martinez as the Clippers look to finish out their season against the Pacifics with a bang.
Tickets for all Clippers home games are available at mtzclippers.com.