Like sharks smelling blood in the water, Columbus Clippers starting pitchers seem to realize that there is a potential to be called up to the Cleveland Indians soon. That or the Lehigh Valley IronPigs are just a really really bad team. Either way, all three pitchers who started in the Clippers' last three games were fantastic, especially Mike Clevinger last night.
The Akron RubberDucks took a game to extra innings but were able to pull out a win (unlike the Tribe) with a true walk-off.
And down in High-A, Bobby Bradley put the Lynchburg Hillcats up early but they were not able to do a whole lot with the lead.
Columbus Clippers 10, Lehigh Valley IronPigs 2
Box Score · Clippers improve to 21-11
Well, look at you, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, scoring two runs (the most in the series). Too bad the Columbus Clippers dropped 10. Yes, on the back of yet another shutdown performance from a starting pitcher, the Clippers have taken three-straight against the IronPigs, outscoring their opponent by a combined score 19-3.
Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger held the IronPigs to just three hits, while striking out seven of them. This was Clevinger's longest outing of the season at 6.0 innings, and he tied a season high for strikeouts. He is now second on the team in innings pitched (35.2) and he leads all pitchers in strikeouts (36). Could this be his last start before a promotion to the Indians? Doubtful, but we can dream.
Six of the Clippers' 10 runs came in the second inning when a series of errors by the IronPigs helped them get men into scoring position. Erik Gonzalez was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, a wild pitch allowed him to advance to second, then Jesus Aguilar singled. Catcher Adam Moore brought them all home with a three-run home run to deep center field. Two batters later, with two more runners on, Michael Martinez doubled to clear the bases yet again. Martinez would later score on another wild pitch by IronPigs starting pitcher Mark Appel.
Four Clippers batters had multi-hit games. Giovanny Urshela doubled in his lone at-bat in the game. He was removed with an "unknown injury," according to the Clippers' Twitter account, but I have not been able to find any updates on his condition since the game. Yhoxian Medina, making his first appearance in Triple-A since being promoted earlier in the week, was 2-for-3 with a home run as his replacement.
With this series concluded, the Clippers now lead the International League in batting average (.261), slugging percentage (.336), on-base plus slugging (.736), and they are second in home runs (27). Their 21-11 record is also best in the IL.
Akron RubberDucks 9, Erie SeaWolves 8 (F/10)
Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 23-9
In an effort to be more like their big-league club, the Akron RubberDucks decided to take a game into extra innings yesterday. Unlike the Indians, however, the 'Ducks were able to win -- and in much fewer innings. The 10th-inning "hero" of the game was Todd Hankins, who was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, walking home the winning run.
Outside of his game-winning shot to the hand, Hankins was 0-for-4 on the day with a strikeout. The rest of the RubberDucks offense added 12 hits, including three from Eric Stamets and Nellie Rodriguez. Clint Frazier added a pair of hits as well, making this his third multi-hit game in the last 10. He also has a seven-game on-base streak.
Starting pitcher Michael Peoples had a rough go of it in his 5.2 innings of work. He managed just one strikeout on the day and allowed five earned runs on eight hits. Reliever J.P. Feyereisen was given the win on the day. The young fireballer closed out the game in the final two innings, allowing one earned run but striking out two on his way to the win.
Lynchburg Hillcats 3, Salem Red Sox 6
Box Score · Hillcats fall to 22-10
The Lynchburg Hillcats quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to Bobby Bradley's first-inning home run, but an eighth-inning bullpen collapse cost them the game late.
As he has done all season long, Lynchburg starting pitcher Justus Sheffield dominated yesterday, striking out seven and walking just one in his 6.0 innings of work. The bullpen combination of Nick Pasquale and Luke Eubank spoiled his effort, allowing a combined five earned runs in their 2.0 innings.
The Hillcats offense did not do much outside of Bradley's home run (his eighth of the season). Second baseman Mark Mathias did add three hits, including a double, but no one else on the Hillcats was able to register more than one hit. They were able to draw five walks on the day, but they were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Lake County Captains 7, West Michigan Whitecaps
Box Score · Captains improve to 21-12
The Lake County Captains jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning and never looked back on their way to a series-clinching win against the West Michigan Whitecaps.
The explosive Captains offense was lead by leadoff hitter Ka'ai Tom, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs batted in. I don't have much to add here other than the fact that his full name is Blaze Ka'ai Tom, which is the coolest name ever.
Tyler Krieger continues to be one of the hottest hitters on the team, and he added two more singles today. The second baseman is 13-for-39 with just eight strikeouts in his last 10 games.
Lake County starting pitcher Casey Shane put together a solid 5.2 innings, striking out four and not issuing a single walk. While Shane has not struck out more than four batters since his first outing of the season, he has also allowed more than two runs only once in that span. His 5.2 innings yesterday was his second-longest of the season.