If you think the Cleveland Indians have had a rough go of the weather, trying being the Columbus Clippers. The Triple-A affiliate had to postpone their highly anticipated home opener three straight days due to rain. The finally began playing today with a doubleheader against the Indianapolis Indians.
Columbus Clippers (1-1)
The Clippers finally were able to start their opening series against the Indianapolis Indians, the same team they defeated last season in the International League Championship. The two teams split a doubleheader after many delays pushed back the Clippers' Opening Day festivities.
It's worth noting that, in the minors, doubleheaders only go 7.0 innings each.
Game 1: Columbus 1, Indianapolis 0 (Box)
The Clippers won a squeaker of a game one on the back of a solid start from Mike Clevinger, who allowed just three hits and struck out six batters in 5.0 innings of work. Shawn Armstrong and Austin Adams both shut down the Indianapolis offense to earn a hold and a save, respectively.
The only run of the game came from a Jesus Aguilar solo shot in the first inning. Other than that blast, the Clippers only tallied two more hits and they left a total of four batters stranded on base.
Since this was the first game since their Governors' Cup win, the team was also given their Championship Rings, which look fantastic with that deep Clipper blue.
Michael Clevinger (@Mike_Anthony13) April 10, 2016
Game 2: Columbus 0, Indianapolis 4 (Box)
Game 2 did not go quite as smoothly. The Clippers lineup was shut down by a series of by seven different Indianapolis pitchers. Michael Martinez, Anthony Recker, Ronny Rodriguez, and Erik Gonzalez all tallied hits but the team left a total of eight runners on base.
Defense also looked like an issue early on, with three separate errors by Rodriguez, Michael Choice, and Joey Butler.
Akron RubberDucks (3-0)
The Akron RubberDucks are off to a hot start, thanks in part to an Eastern League-leading four home runs in the team's first three games. With Clint Frazier, Bradley Zimmer, and Nellie Rodriguez now in Double-A, expect Akron to consistently be near the top of all hitting categories this season.
Final: Akron 5, Bowie 4 (Box)
The first four batters in the Akron lineup -- Eric Stamets, Clint Frazier, Bradley Zimmer, and Yandy Diaz -- all tallied hits in the RubberDucks 5-4 win. Nellie Rodriguez failed to register a hit, but he did walk twice to even out his lone strikeout.
Second baseman Todd Hankins supplied four of the team's five runs with two home runs -- one in the fourth inning and one in the sixth.
Lynchburg Hillcats (3-1)
The Hillcats may have lost a bunch of top talent this offseason, but they are not showing it. Anthony Santander is already leading the Carolina League with two home runs and, as a team, the Hillcats lead the league in stolen bases with eight.
Final: Lynchburg 2, Winston-Salem 0 (Box)
Lynchburg starting pitcher Julian Merryweather allowed five hits on the day, but he scattered them around enough for it to not be an issue. The only time Merryweather was in any real trouble -- when he allowed two straight hits to start the fourth inning -- he immediately struck out the next three batters to end the inning.
The Hillcats only tallied three hits on the day, two from Claudio Bautista and one from Daniel Salters, but a sac fly from Santander and a passed ball in the fourth that allowed Greg Allen to score were enough to push the team over Winston-Salem.
Lake County Captains (2-2)
Pitching has been a rough go for the Captains so far this season. They have allowed a Midwest League-leading 28 earned runs and four home runs. They also lead the league in strikeouts, so as long as no one makes contact they should be good. That's easy enough, right?
Final: Lake County 4, Fort Wayne, 14 (Box)
Woah boy. This game looks ugly. The top two-thirds of the Captains' lineup looked great, tallying 11 hits combined and scoring four runs. Unfortunately, those four runs were all they had to show for their offensive outburst, and the bottom third of the lineup was a combined 0-12 with six strikeouts.
The Fort Wayne TinCaps knocked Lake County starter Matt Esparza out of the game after only 3.1 innings of work. In that time, Esparza allowed 11 hits, nine earned runs, and struck out five batters. The Captains had the TineCaps' starters number early, but he was pulled after only 1.2 innings. The collective TinCaps bullpen then shut down the Captains lineup over the next 7.1 innings.