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Clippers take down Durham Bulls

Columbus Clippers Columbus Clippers Clippers take down Durham BullsPhoto via Columbus Clippers.
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The Columbus Clippers (13-13) beat the Durham Bulls (18-11) 4-3 Friday. Columbus got timely hitting and solid pitching to beat Durham and take a 2-0 series lead and get Columbus to an even record for the first time this season.

Mike Zagurski (1-0, 2.53 ERA) recorded the win for Columbus allowing only one hit and recording a pair of outs to end the seventh. Steve Geltz (2-2, 3.86 ERA) took the loss allowing the winning run on two hits and a walk.

Neither starter factored into the decision. Columbus starter Travis Banwart (1-0, 4.18) settled in after a two-run first and finished with three earned runs on four hits in six and one-third innings pitched with seven strikeouts and three walks. For Durham Mike Montgomery (3-0, 3.19 ERA) pitched five and one-third innings and allowed three earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

Each team got a run in the first, but then the starters would settle in. After a two-run Durham first made it 2-1 Bulls, neither team would score until the sixth.

Tim Fedroff led off the sixth with a single and a one-out Carlos Moncrief double got Columbus runners on second and third. A ground ball to first baseman Wilson Betemit was destined to get one run in, but a fielding error on Montgomery covering at first allowed Moncrief to score from second and make it 3-2 Columbus.

After an RBI single by Ali Solis tied the game in the seventh, Columbus would need some more clutch hitting. The eighth started with a lead-off walk by Jesus Aguilar. Ryan Rohlinger cracked a double to get Aguilar to third.

Matt Carson would provide the clutch at bat with a deep fly ball to score Aguilar, the winning run, on a sacrifice fly and make it 4-3 Columbus.

Aguilar drove in his 17th run of the season with an RBI groundout in the first. He is tied for the team lead with Jose Ramirez, who was called up to Cleveland Friday as Jason Kipnis was placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain.

Game three of four will feature Trevor Bauer (3-0, 1.40 ERA) for the Clippers against Merrill Kelly (4-0, 2.10 ERA) for the Bulls. First pitch will be at 5:05 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

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