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Clippers move 1 1/2 games ahead of Louisville with 1-0 win

The Columbus Clippers are slowly building a lead again in the IL West race over the hard-charging Louisville Bats.

Behind Paolo Espino’s pitching Saturday night, Columbus shut down the powerful Bats, 1-0 before 9,412 fans at Huntington Park. the game was quick, 2 hours, 12 minutes.

Espino was called up from Double-A Akron on August 3 to fill out the Clippers pitching rotation that had been depleted by so many callups by the Cleveland Indians. Espino, now 1-0 pitched seven shutout innings in his third Triple-A start. Paolo was pitching all night to his cousin, Damaso Espino, the Clippers catcher. The two had worked together this season in Akron.

Paolo Espino Clippers pitcher (MiLB)

Damaso Espino Clippers catcher (MiLB)

Columbus scored the only run of the game in the fourth against losing pitcher Matt Maloney (10-6) when former Bat Drew Sutton led off with a double. Wes Hodges sacrificed him to third and Matt McBride followed with a sacrifice fly.

The lead stood up as the bullpen followed Paolo Espino to the mound. Bryce Stowell retired the side in order in the eighth and Vinnie Pestano did the same in the ninth for his 11th save.

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