Clippers 4, Indians 0: House puts everything in order

Pitcher’s tidy start snowballs into team win

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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Mike Munden | FOR THE DISPATCH
Nate Spears, right, is greeted by on-deck hitter Ezequiel Carrera after hitting a home run in the third inning. The Clippers ended a three-game losing streak with a soggy win over the Indians.

At 5 p.m. yesterday, a passing thunderstorm made Huntington Park look better suited as a landing zone for a flock of ducks than a baseball game between the Clippers and Indianapolis Indians.

Clippers starting pitcher T.J. House paid little attention to the soaked landscape or a forecast that threatened more of the same.

“No, I’m the rain man,” House said. “It always rains when I start. You just deal with. You prepare like it’s a normal day and like you’re going to start the game at the normal time.”

Two hours later, House (2-9) took the mound on time and stopped the first-place Indians on one hit over six innings of a 4-0 Clippers win.

“It was a good baseball game,” Clippers manager Chris Tremie said. “It all started with House going out there and establishing a good tempo. That’s what it’s about. He took a challenge and went six shutout innings. There were a lot of good things in that ballgame.”

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Clippers and featured timely hitting to go with the good pitching, as well as a heads-up base-running play by Tim Fedroff in the rainy seventh inning.

Fedroff was on third base when Indians catcher Lucas May caught a pitch and sailed his return throw over the glove of pitcher Erik Cordier. Fedroff scored on the error.

“I saw the trajectory when the catcher was throwing it back and it looked high,” Fedroff said. “ I was on my toes for that. And once I saw it go over his head, I took off.”

Fedroff was the Clippers’ designated hitter, but his mud-covered uniform spoke to the wet conditions. He noted the job House did.

“I thought T.J. came out and gave us a good pace to the game,” Fedroff said. “He went right after guys and got outs. And we also got some big hits in big situations.”

Juan Diaz had two hits for a second consecutive game and drove in the first run with a single in the second inning. Nate Spears led off the third with a home run against Graham Godfrey (6-5).

Chun-Hsiu Chen also snapped an 0-for-13 skid with an RBI single in the fifth and added a single in the seventh. House’s pace mattered for everyone.

“Tempo is a big thing for me,” said House, who got two double plays from the defense. “It keeps my mechanics in line, and the guys behind me don’t want to stand out there all day. So I do my best to give them quick innings so they can get back to the plate.

“This game had good all-around play from everyone. We’ve been slumping a little bit. I think tonight can be a statement game for us to start moving in the right direction.”

jmassie@dispatch.com

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