Tyler Krieger is having a great year so far for the Lake County Captains. He has registered a hit in all but two games on the season, and yesterday he exploded with a five-hit performance against the Lansing Lugnuts. Combined, the Cleveland Indians and Lake County Captains beat up on their two Michigan opponents by a score of 22-1.
Michael Brantley also continued his rehab assignment yesterday, playing in back-to-back games for the first time since he started playing again. If all goes well, he could be back with the Tribe on Monday. Fingers crossed!
Columbus Clippers 7, Gwinnett Braves 1
Box Score · Clippers improve to 8-7
Following their major-league counterpart, the Columbus Clippers offense blew out their opponent while their starting pitcher dominated. Unlike the Cleveland Indians, who beat the Detroit Tigers 10-1 on Saturday, the Clippers needed only six hits to score seven runs against the Gwinnett Braves.
The only multi-hit effort came from Giovanny Urshela who went 2-for-4 with two strikeouts. Urshela now has a hit in five-straight games, including two multi-hit games.
Outfielder Robbie Grossman (hey, remember him?) got into a pitch in the fourth inning and crushed a two-run home run out of Huntington Park for the Clippers' only long ball of the game.
The rest of the team's runs came from singles, walks, errors, or sacrifice flies, most of them in a five-run sixth inning. Only two of the runs in that inning were scored by base hits.
One of those sac flies came from Michael Brantley, his only offensive contribution of the game. Brantley was 0-for-4 on the night and he is just 5-for-21 since beginning his rehab assignment on April 12. Assuming he feels good and the Indians brass is okay with his lack of offense in the minors, Sunday could be Brantley's last rehab start before being activated on Monday.
It was not quite up to the level of Corey Kluber's masterful Saturday start, but Columbus starting pitcher Ryan Merritt scattered five hits and struck out four on the way to his first victory of the season. The bullpen combination of Tommy Hunter and Josh Martin was enough to lock out the Gwinnett offense to end the game.
Akron RubberDucks 1, Trenton Thunder 6
Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 10-6
The good news is the RubberDucks finally scored a run. The bad news is just about everything else.
Although it's a step up from their embarrassing one-hit outing yesterday, the RubberDucks still should not be happy with the six hits they tallied today. Clint Frazier hit again, and Bradley Zimmer added a hit of his own but combined the two top Indians prospects were 2-for-8 with three strikeouts and no walks.
The lone RubberDucks run came in the eighth from Zimmer's hit, a double, that scored third baseman Yandy Diaz from third.
After a hot start to the season, first baseman Nellie Rodriguez's bat has gone silent. In his last four games, Rodriguez is 2-for-16 with 10 strikeouts. He currently leads the Eastern League in K's with 26, and teammate Zimmer is not far beyond with 21.
RubberDucks starting pitcher Adam Plutko lasted just 1.1 innings, but he was removed early after a line drive hit him in the forearm. From immediate reports, it seems that taking out Plutko out was just a precaution, which is a relief. Plutko was struggling even before being removed, though, allowing four hits and two earned runs in those 1.1 innings of work.
Reliever J.P. Feyereisen was bound to have an off day eventually, and he did yesterday. After five straight appearances without allowing a run, the 'Ducks standout reliever allowed three on two hits.
Lynchburg Hillcats 3, Frederick Keys 0
Box Score · Lynchburg Hillcats improve to 14-3
What's that? The Hillcats offense could only score three runs yesterday? Uh oh, I bet they finally lost. Nope.
Despite going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, the Hillcats amassed enough hits to score three runs, and that was enough for Mitch Brown to come out and dominate and pave the path for the HIllcats' 10th straight win. Mark Mathias lead the way offensively, going 2-for-4 with an RBI double, while Bobby Bradley added a hit of his own and managed not to strike out -- which is encouraging on its own.
Mitch Brown lasted just five innings, but he struck out nine Keys batters in that time and allowed just three hits. Anderson Polanco finished off the game with a four-inning save complete with six strikeouts of his own.
Lake County Captains 12, Lansing Lugnuts 0
Box Score· Captains improve to 11-6
The Lake County Captains scored 12 runs against the Lansing Lugnuts, their highest offensive output of the season, but they really did not need it. Starting pitcher Casey Shane and the Captains bullpen shut down the Lugnut offense in a four-hit domination.
Second baseman Tyler Krieger lead the way offensively, going 5-for-6 on the night and scoring four of the Captains' 13 runs. To top it off, Krieger also stole two bases. Catcher Francisco Mejia and third baseman Yonathan Mendoza were the beneficiaries of Krieger's table setting, tallying two runs batted in apiece.
Krieger's offensive outburst pushed him up to seventh in the Midwest League in hits with 21, and second on the Captains behind only Francisco Mejia, who has 22 hits on the year.
First baseman Anthony Miller and shortstop Sam Haggerty had great days of their own, each going 3-for-5. All three of Haggerty's hits were doubles.