CLIPPERS COME CLOSE, COMEBACK CAN’T COUNTER COMPETITION IN CLOSE CITY PARK CONTEST AS CLUB IS CRUSHED BY CATASTROPHIC CONCLUSION

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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