CLIPPERS COME CLOSE, COMEBACK CAN’T COUNTER COMPETITION IN CLOSE CITY PARK CONTEST AS CLUB IS CRUSHED BY CATASTROPHIC CONCLUSION
PITTSBURG, Calif. -- In a play emblematic of the Clippers’ past two weeks of offensive action, Martinez’ leadoff man in the ninth inning, with the Clippers down by two, was thrown out trying to stretch a long single into a double - only to have the succeeding batter launch what would have been a game-tying shot over the City Park fences. The Clippers fell to the Diamonds for the third time in four games by the final of 5-4, after playing Pittsburg close through most of the four-game set; Martinez is now 15 games behind the San Rafael Pacifics in first, and is seven games back of the fifth-place Napa Silverados.
The Clippers began well, taking advantage of a Morgan Blatnik error to push across the first run of the ballgame in the third on a Jimmy Lunardelli (0-4) RBI groundout. Jason Harper (L, 1-4) was knocked out of the game shortly afterwards, as an error at third for Martinez paved the way for four Diamonds runs in the fifth.
Back-to-back hits for Pittsburg with one out in the sixth gave the Diamonds a 5-1 lead, but Drue Bravo and Matti Doxter would combine to hold the Diamonds’ lineup through the next two and two-thirds innings.
Martinez picked up two in the seventh after a couple of productive outs by Alan Mocahbee (3-3, 2 RBI) and Pedro Barrios (0-4, RBI); but the real test would come in the ninth. Wilkyns Jimenez (4-4, R) smoked a line drive into the left field corner, but was thrown out at second trying to turn that base hit into extra bases - and Mocahbee would hit a home run (3) two pitches later, making the score 5-4, Diamonds on top.
The Clippers continue this four-game road trip with the series opener against San Rafael on Saturday, June 30.
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