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Cleveland Indians minor league recap 4/15: Brantley rehabs in Akron, Frazier homers

Your daily update on all happenings in the Cleveland Indians minor-league system.

David Monseur/Akron RubberDucks

Today was a much better day for Cleveland Indians farm teams. After everyone losing Wednesday, most of the teams bounced back Thursday, including the RubberDucks playing with Michael Brantley in his second rehab start of the season. Brantley looked good in Akron (and more importantly his shoulder feels good) while Clint Frazier tallied his second home run of the season.

Down in Class-A, the Lake County Captains won their fourth straight game, thanks in large part to an eight strikeout performance from 19-year-old starting pitcher Sam Hentges.

Columbus Clippers 1, Indianapolis Indians 5

Box Score · Clippers fall to 2-4

After dropping both games of a doubleheader yesterday and now this series opener against the Indianapolis Indians, the Columbus Clippers have lost three straight games. The offense put up a fight this time around, tallying nine hits and two doubles, but it was not enough to overcome constant pressure from the Indians offense.

Michael Martinez, Robbie Grossman, Ronnie Rodriguez, and Erik Gonzalez lead the way for the Clippers offensively, registering two hits a piece. While the Clippers did manage nine total hits on the day, there were not a lot of opportunities to score. Only four runners were left in scoring position, as Indians pitching and defense rarely allowed a player past first base.

Columbus starting pitcher Will Roberts allowed a total of four runs on the day, but he did not look terrible in any one particular inning. Opponents' hits and runs were spread over the middle innings; his worst frame was the fifth when he allowed two hits and a walk that resulted in two runs scored.

The Columbus offense still remains towards the bottom of the International League in most categories, and they are still dead last in runs scored (12). The pitching staff is also ranked 11th in ERA (4.20) and second-to-last in strikeouts (34).

Akron RubberDucks 3, Bowie Baysox 2

Box Score · RubberDucks advance to 6-1

Talk about a glimpse into the future. Thursday's Akron RubberDucks game featured an outfield of Michael Brantley and Clint Frazier (with center fielder Bradley Zimmer as the designated hitter). In a year or two, this could be everyday outfield of the major-league squad and that is super exciting.

Even with all the offensive firepower of the 'Ducks offense, they struggled to do a whole lot against Bowie Baysox's pitching. As a team, they totaled five hits and a lone home run from Frazier (his second on the season). However, combined, top prospects Nellie Rodriguez, Clint Frazier, and Bradley Zimmer were just 1-for-10 with four strikeouts -- the lone hit, of course, being Frazier's sixth-inning home run.

All of Akron's runs came in a hectic sixth inning. Frazier's two-run home run opened the scoring, then outfielder Bryson Miles tripled and was waved home after a throwing error by a Baysox outfielder. Bowie mounted a comeback late when reliever DJ Brown began to struggle, but he was able to end it with a ground out to Yandy Diaz.

Starting pitcher Shawn Morimando dominated in his six innings of work. He scattered four hits, struck out six and issued just two walks. His ERA on the season now sits at 1.50, the second-best mark in Eastern League among starting pitchers with at least two starts.

With Clint Frazier's home run, he continues his streak of hitting in every single RubberDucks game he has played in so far this season. He is currently tied for fifth in the Eastern League for hits (8) and he is tied for third in home runs (2).

Michael Brantley, making his second rehab start of the season, was 1-for-2 on the day. After the game, Brantley said that his shoulder feels good.

Lynchburg Hillcats 8, Frederick Keys, 6

Box Score · Hillcats advance to 5-3

The Lynchburg Hillcats are probably relieved to be out of their rough series against the Potomac Patriots. They bounced back from a tough Wednesday loss with an offensive burst against the Frederick Keys.

Anthony Santander, who has struggled in a recent four-game hitless streak, finally got on the board again with a big 3-for-5 night, including two doubles and a team-leading three runs batted in. Santander was not the only offensive contributor, of course (after all, they scored eight runs). Shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang smacked his second home run of the year, a fourth-inning solo shot that started the scoring for Lynchburg.

Following Chang's moonshot, the Hillcats would not score again until the eighth inning. Heading into the frame they were down 5-1, but three straight walks followed by two straight doubles tied the game at five. Then, later in the inning, Mike Papi hit a sacrifice fly to bring first baseman Bobby Bradley home and put the Hillcats up 6-5. The Keys tied the game in the bottom of the eighth, but Lynchburg added more runs anyway in the ninth inning with Santander's second double of the day and a double from Yu-Cheng Chang.

Starting pitcher Luis Lugo struggled, only striking out two batters while allowing seven hits, two home runs, and four earned runs in 5.0 innings of work. Relievers David Speer and Cole Sulser struck out four batters apiece in their four combined innings to finish the game.

Lake County Captains 3, Great Lakes Loons 2

Box Score · Captains advance to 6-2

The Lake County Captains just keep winning. This series-opening win against the Great Lakes Loon marks their fourth straight victory since starting the season 2-2. This was the first Captains game since April 8 that a team has not scored at least six runs.

As it has been the story all along in this young season, second baseman Tyler Krieger and cleanup-hitting catcher Francisco Mejia lead the way offensively. Krieger was 1-for-4 while Mejia was 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. Mejia now has a hit in every Captains game this season save for one, the April 9 contest against Fort Worth.

Captains starting pitcher Sam Hentges threw only 4.0 innings, but in that time he allowed just one run on three hits and struck out a whopping eight batters.