It took a few weeks, but it looks like Bobby Bradley may finally be getting the hang of High-A competition. At just 19, the young first base prospect who lead the Indians organization with 27 home runs last season is finding his power stroke in 2016. He hit another one out of the park yesterday, his third in just the last five games.
Down in Class-A, the Lake County Captains did not get much offense going, but they did not need it with starting pitcher Casey Shane pitching a six-inning shutout.
Columbus Clippers 6, Gwinnett Braves 2
Box Score · Clippers improve to 15-7
Heavy rain shortened Saturday's game to just six innings, but that was all the Columbus Clippers needed to extend their winning streak to 10-straight. In fact, they really only needed one inning.
Michael Martinez started the scoring immediately with a big solo home run, then the next three batters singled to load the bases. Two more singles later in the inning would plate two more runs and the Clippers were quick up 3-0. They added two more runs with a Jesus Aguilar single and a Giovanny Urshela fielder's choice in the second. Gwinnett attempted a brief comeback with a two-run second inning of their own, but it was not nearly enough.
Jesus Aguilar was perfect on the day, going 3-for-3.
Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger went the distance in this rain-shortened contest, striking out three, walking two, and allowing two hits in his five innings of work.
The Clippers will go for their second-straight sweep of the Braves this afternoon.
Akron RubberDucks 10, Altoona Curve 3
Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 14-8
The Akron RubberDucks were in desperate need of a big offensive outing with their recent struggles, and they finally got one Saturday. Much like the Clippers, the RubberDucks got off to a fast start with a four-run first inning and that was ultimately all they needed to win.
Akron's four runs in the first came courtesy of four straight two-out hits. Bradley Zimmer kickstarted the offense after Clint Frazier and Yandy Diaz were struck out and grounded out, respectively. Later in the inning, still with two outs, Jordan Smith registered a triple that scored Nellie Rodriguez and Bryson Myles, who were on base following hits of their own.
This was Bradley Zimmer's first hit since April 24, and he drew his first walk in more than a week. Even when Zimmer's bat is not the best, he has been helping the team with his speed. His seven stolen bases leads the RubberDucks and it has him tied for fourth in the Eastern League.
In the eighth inning, Jordan Smith and Eric Haase each recorded their first home runs of the seasons to finish off the Curve. Smith's great box score at the end of the day included three hits and a team-high three runs batted in. He also scored two runs.
As a team, the RubberDucks were 7-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and they left just six runners stranded.
Lynchburg Hillcats 7, Carolina Mudcats 6
Box Score· Hillcats improve to 17-6
Despite trailing in base hits, 6-10, the Lynchburg Hillcats were able to snap their two-game losing streak. For most of the game, things did not look good for the Indians' High-A affiliates. They were trailing 5-2 heading into the eighth before things got interesting.
Carolina Mudcats pitcher Michael O'Neal issued a walk then threw a wild pitch before being replaced, but it did not help Carolina much. Bobby Bradley, the first batter to face the new reliever, walked, then the next two batters reached base before Mark Mathias brought them all home with a double. Unfortunately, Carolina was able to stop the bleeding there with Sicnarf Loopstok, Claudio Bautista and Greg Allen registering quick outs.
On top of his eighth-inning walk, Bobby Bradley also homered in the sixth inning, his sixth longball of the season and third in the last five games. Bradley is currently second in the Carolina League in home runs, but also leads the league in strikeouts (35). Hopefully, these last few games are an indication that Bradley is adjusting the High-A pitching and will begin to get his strikeout numbers down. If he can do that at only 19 years old, he is in good shape.
After a hot start to the season, Mike Papi continues to struggle in recent games. He was 0-for-3 with a walk in Saturday's contest, and he is 3-for-18 n his last five.
Lynchburg starting pitcher Luis Lugo struck out four and allowed just two walks in his five innings of work. He did also allow three runs, however, something he has done in all but one start this season.
Lake County Captains 3, Peoria Chiefs 2
Box Score· Captains improve to 15-7
The Lake County Captains won a close one over the Peoria Chiefs on the back of an excellent start from Casey Shane.
Shane pitched a six-inning shutout while striking out four and walking none. This was already Shane's third shutout (second straight) of the season in his six starts.
The Captains offense was lead by Tyler Krieger -- as it often has been ths season -- who went 2-for-4 with a team-high two runs batted in. Connor Marabell and Sam Haggerty also added two hits apiece.