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Indians minor league recap: Bradley Zimmer walks twice in return to Akron

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The Tribe's top prospect sat a couple days with an ankle injury, but he finally returned yesterday.

While the Cleveland Indians were beating the Cincinnati Reds like a High-A squad, the Tribe's actual High-A team was blowing out their opponent. As were the Akron RubberDucks, who now have Bradley Zimmer back in the fray after missing two games with a minor ankle injury. He did not do much besides walk from the designated hitter slot, but it was nice to see him out there again.

Columbus Clippers 0, Indianapolis Indians 2

Box Score · Clippers improve to 23-14

Were it not for the newly-promoted Bryson Myles slapping two base hits, the Columbus Clippers would have been no-hit tonight. Even then, it was relatively close to a perfect game from Indianapolis Indians pitching.

Columbus had a runner on as soon as the first inning, but that was on a fielding error. Their next base runner would not appear until the sixth when Myles hit his first hit of a game, a double to left field.

Pseudo-starter Jarrett Grube did a fine job over four innings of work, striking out four and issuing just one walk with one earned run. The two relievers who came into the game, Felipe Paulino and Jeff Johnson, were able to hold the Indians to just two hits and two runs over the final four innings, but the snoozing Clippers offense could not capitalize.

To be fair, they were going up against Chad Kuhl, a 23-year-old Pittsburgh Pirates prospect who has allowed just four runs all season. But still. Yikes.

Akron RubberDucks 9, Hartford Yard Goats 3

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 27-10

Something something lots of offense, whatever. The important thing in yesterday's RubberDucks game was that top Indians prospect Bradley ZImmer returned after missing the last two games with a mild ankle injury. He was in at designated hitter against the Yard Goats, going 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout. Glad to have him back.

Fellow top prospect Clint Frazier must have been happy to have him back too because he himself was 3-for-5  with a run batted in on the day. Frazier's RBI was one of nine runs on the day for Akron, four of which came in an explosive seventh inning.

As a team, the 'Ducks only recorded eight hits, but they walked six times and the Hartford Yard Goats committed two errors. Frazier was the only player with a multi-hit game, but Eric Haase added his third home run of the season, a three-run blast in the seventh.

Starting pitcher Michael Peoples threw well enough to earn his third win of the season, allowing four hits and striking out three in his 7.0 innings. This was arguably Peoples' best start of the year so far, and it was the first time he lasted more than 6.1 innings.

Lynchburg Hillcats 7, Carolina Mudcats 3

Box Score · Hillcats advance to 25-12

It took an extra inning, but with yesterday's 7-3 win, the Lynchburg Hillcats have completed their three-game sweep of the Carolina Mudcats.

Heading into the final out of the ninth inning, the game was tied at just 3-3, but the Hillcats offense would suddenly wake up when they saw double-digits in the innings column. It was not the prettiest way to score four runs -- it was mostly done by a combination of singles, sacrifice hits, walks, and a hit by pitch -- but runs are runs.

Yu-Cheng Chang led the way offensively, going 2-for-5 with a strikeout. Mike Papi has cooled off considerably since his hot start to the year, but he hit another home run today, his second in his last three games. Papi's seven home runs on the year would lead the Hillcats, if only a mythical superbeast by the name of Bobby Bradley did not inhabit the same leaderboard.

Starting pitcher Justus Sheffield did was starting pitcher Justus Sheffield always does: He dominated. This time, it was to the tune of five strikeouts and one walk over 6.2 innings. This was only Sheffield's second shutout of the year, but he allowed more than two runs only twice all year. His lone free base also ties a season-low.

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The Lake County Captains had a scheduled off day.