Bats 2, Clippers 1: Two homers do damage

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The Louisville Bats needed two pitches to claim a 2-1 win over the Clippers at Louisville Slugger Field last night.

Neftali Soto and Felix Perez hit back-to-back solo home runs off Columbus starter Paolo Espino to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, erasing what had been a 1-0 Clippers lead. Soto’s shot to left field came on Espino’s first pitch of the inning; Perez’s homer to right followed on the second.

Espino (4-5) left with two outs in the seventh and took the loss after throwing 98 pitches, 66 for strikes. He allowed five hits, struck out seven and walked none. Relievers Blake Wood and Vinnie Pestano held the Bats to one hit over the final 11/3 innings.

The Clippers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on Nate Spears’ RBI groundout to second base, which scored Jeremy Hermida.

Bats reliever Zach Duke (2-0) struck out five in two scoreless innings to earn the win, and Jose Diaz picked up his 11th save.

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