A day after mashing five home runs, the Red Wings offense was kept in check as the Columbus Clippers topped the Wings, 3-2, Sunday afternoon from Huntington Park in Columbus, OH to earn a split of the four-game set.
After a season-high four-game win streak April 24-27, the Wings have now alternated wins and losses the last seven games and sit 8.0 games back of Buffalo 30 games into the 2013 campaign.
Rochester (12-18) grabbed the early lead in the second inning on Jeff Clement's RBI single that scored Chris Colabello from second base. Clement finished the day 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and is now 4-for-8 with 5 RBI over his last two games. He entered the series with just nine hits and one RBI in his first 21 games of the season.
Columbus (16-14) got on the board with an unearned run in the 4th to tie it up at one, then went ahead in the 6th on a Juan Diaz RBI double. The Wings seemed to be out of the inning when reliever Virgil Vasquez got Cedric Hunter to ground to shortstop with two out and no one on, but the usually sure-handed Doug Bernier threw errantly to first allowing Hunter to reach. Two batters later Diaz delivered the go-ahead hit.
The Clippers added an insurance run in the 7th frame on a Cord Phelps RBI single to push the lead to 3-1.
It would be needed as Clement drew a two-out, bases loaded walk in the 8th inning to pull the Wings within a run. However, Evan Bigley popped out to short to leave them loaded and end the threat.
Samuel Deduno, making his 2013 debut after being activated off the Wings disabled prior to the game, went five innings allowing one unearned run on five hits and four walks in a no decision.
Vasquez, who was slated to start before Deduno was activated, suffered the loss in relief allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits in 1.1 innings.
Carlos Carrasco earned the win for Columbus allowing just one run in six innings.
The red-hot Clete Thomas was held hitless as he went 0-for-4 and saw his season-high 9-game hit streak come to an end. Over the streak, he batted .486 (17-for-25) with two doubles, four home runs, eight runs scored and seven RBI.
The Red Wings now head to Toledo to open a four-game series against the Mud Hens (Tigers) starting Monday night at 6:30 p.m. Southpaw Andrew Albers (0-1, 4.18) will get the nod for the Red Wings opposite Toledo lefty Jose Alvarez (1-2, 1.61).
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