PACIFICS SCORE TWO IN THE NINTH, DRAW WALK-OFF WALK TO STEAL SERIES SWEEP
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- A tight game came unraveled for Martinez in the ninth, as the Clippers blew a one-run lead and allowed five consecutive Pacifics to reach base to lead off the last frame; a walk-off walk drawn by DonAndre Clark gave San Rafael its 10th consecutive win, and handed Martinez their league-worst 24th loss this season. It was their fourth loss this season when leading after the 7th inning, and their fourth blown lead against the Pacifics this year.
This time, it was the Pacifics who jumped out ahead early, making good on two Clipper errors in the first inning to gain a 1-0 advantage. Chris Powell, who committed one of those Clipper errors on an ill-advised throw to first base, would settle down on the mound after his rocky first inning; Powell retired 16 of the next 17 he faced, netting eight strikeouts and allowing only one earned run on seven hits and two walks in his first quality start of the 2018 campaign. Powell would not allow another Pacifics run until the seventh inning, and in fact brought his ERA down a full two points, ending the day with a 6.08 earned run average.
Powell left the game in line for the win, after the Clippers strung together a couple of hits in the third and the fourth innings to take a one-run lead. RBI by Pedro Barrios (6) and Wilkyns Jimenez (10) set the stage for a solo blast to left by Chris Caffrey in the seventh, a line shot that made it all the way out onto Andersen Drive, one which provided some much needed insurance for Martinez.
After Drue Bravo worked a scoreless eighth for Martinez, the score was 3-2 Clippers heading into the bottom of the ninth. Facing the bottom of the Pacifics lineup, Phil Richmond allowed a leadoff single to Zach Files, and an untimely error by Pedro Barrios on a ground ball off the bat of Mike Staudinger put the tying run on third base and the winning run on second with none out; Ricky Gingras was then intentionally walked to load the bases and reach Aaron Brill, the nine-hitter who had been 0-for-3 theretofore in the contest. Brill was able to put down an infield single on a swinging bunt, tying the game at three as the runners moved station-to-station, allowing DonAndre Clark to draw a game-winning walk on a 3-2 fastball that was nowhere near the zone.
The Pacifics walked it off for the second time this week, and for the first time against Martinez; Phil Richmond was tagged with the blown save and the loss, as he drops to 1-1 on the season.
The Clippers host the Vallejo Admirals on Tuesday, July 3, before beginning a three-game series with Pittsburg over the July 4 holiday. RHP Jason Harper (1-4, 7.43 ERA) takes the mound for Martinez on Tuesday - he’ll go up against southpaw Luis Ramirez (2-1, 3.98 ERA) of Vallejo.
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