It was deja vu Monday night at Huntington Park, as a huge Carlos Santana home run and a reliever-turned-starter led Columbus to a victory over the Durham Bulls for the second straight day. After a 5-0 win Sunday, the Clippers closed out their brief home stand with a 5-1 victory.
Mike Gosling was strong in his second and final start of the year for the Clippers, throwing six-and-one-third scoreless innings, while striking out five and scattering five hits. Prior to the game, Gosling announced his retirement, finishing off a career that included 65 victories across the minor and major league levels.
The two most potent offenses in the International League were in action, but it was hard to tell until Santana stepped to the plate in the bottom of the fifth. His no-doubt, grand slam to right center broke a scoreless tie and was all the Clippers would need to earn a split of their four-game set with the Bulls.
For good measure, Santana added another home run in the seventh, with a solo blast going off the roof in right field.
Much like Sunday afternoon, three relievers teamed up to finish off win. Ryan Shealy's RBI double in the ninth inning broke a streak of 20-consecutive scoreless innings from Columbus pitching.
Santana's two long-balls were his team-leading eighth and ninth of the season and vaulted him ahead of teammate Shelley Duncan with 37 RBI on the year.
The Clippers now head out on an eight-game road trip against a pair of IL South opponents, starting with a four-game set in Gwinnett. Jeanmar Gomez gets the ball for Columbus against the Braves' Jose Ortegano on Tuesday night. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05.