Matt LaPorta hit not one, not two, but three home runs in a Clippers', 8-0 shutout of the Rochester Red Wings Wednesday night at Huntington Park. LaPorta's career night was only his second game with Columbus this season after going 0-for-3 last night in the loss.
LaPorta's first home run of the night came on a leadoff shot to begin the second inning giving Clippers' starter, Carlos Carrasco all the help he would need on the night. Carrasco went eight scoreless innings, giving up only three hits while striking out a season-high nine batters. He moved his record to 5-2 on the year and lowered his ERA to 4.12.
Carrasco received more help in the third inning as Josh Rodriguez hit his second home run of the season, giving the Clippers a 2-0 advantage. The Clippers extended their lead after Michael Brantley and Brian Bixler reached base. Carlos Santana drove in his 48th RBI of the year with a groundout to the shortstop and then LaPorta drove in his second run of the contest with a single to left.
The Clippers' leadoff man reached base in four consecutive innings, from the second to the fifth, with two home runs, a double and a single. LaPorta continued to swing the hot bat in the bottom of the fifth, as he hit his second homer of the game, a two-run shot driving in Bixler. LaPorta ended his memorable game by leading off the seventh with this third and final home run, capping a 4-for-4 night with five RBI's.
As a unit, the Clippers had 11 hits on the night, giving the team 26 in two games against Rochester, but tonight the Clippers were able to win. Bixler had two hits on the night with an RBI and Nick Weglarz continued to swing a consistent bat with a double and a single on his evening.
The Clippers and Red Wings meet in game three of their four game series tomorrow with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Jeanmar Gomez (3-6, 6.37 ERA) will get the start for Columbus and will face Anthony Swarzak (1-1, 4.68 ERA) from Rochester.