There was not much good news to be had in the Cleveland Indians minor league system yesterday.
With only three teams playing, they decided to pull off their best Indians April road trip impression, dropping all three games by four runs combined including two at the last at bat.
Two of the Indians' most reliable minor league arms this season were also roughed up a bit in the process.
Columbus Clippers 2, Indianapolis Indians 4
Box Score · Clippers fall to 24-16
This was a bad game for hit sequencing.
The Clippers managed to get the leadoff man aboard in five of the nine innings, tying Indianapolis with eight hits on the day while also earning three more walks (5:2) in the process. Their problem was the inability to string those hits and walks together or manage more than one extra base hit as the Clippers were held scoreless over the first six innings and only scoring single runs in the seventh and ninth innings.
Starting pitcher Ryan Merritt was good but not great on the day, giving up four runs on eight hits over seven innings while striking out four.
The bright spot for the offense was Tyler Naquin, who returned to the club with a solid 2-4 day with a walk, picking up the team's only double.
Lynchburg Hillcats 6, Salem Red Sox 7
Box Score · Hillcats fall to 27-13
It took extra innings but Salem was finally able to beat Lynchburg yesterday with a 10th inning sacrifice fly.
The Lynchburg offense was very efficient on the day, scoring six runs on just seven hits and four walks. No hitters managed to pick up multi-hit games, but shortstop prospect Yu-Cheng Chang's hit was a big one, cracking a two-out three-run bomb in the third inning to briefly give the Hillcats the lead.
Top slugging prospect Bobby Bradley had another quiet day, going 0-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
Red hot starting pitcher Julian Merryweather had his worst outing of the season, lasting just two innings while surrendering two runs on three hits and giving up two free passes. His pitch count was already 58 after two frames before he was pulled. His ERA balloons up to 1.01 on the year.
Defense was also not a bright spot on the day as Lynchburg would pick up four errors, including two in the costly 10th inning.
Lake County Captains 1, Dayton 2
Box Score · Captains fall to 24-16
Despite a tremendous start from pitching prospect Sam Hentges, the Captains were unable to provide enough run support and the bullpen suffered a late collapse en route to a tough loss.
The captains were held to just four hits on the day, but red-hot outfielder Ka'ai Tom did manage to score the only extra-base hit, a double. Second baseman Tyler Krieger had a rough day, going 0-4 with three strikeouts and an error.
Hentges was brilliant, pitching five scoreless innings while giving up three hits and striking out seven. Reliever Brock Hartson made one mistake, an eighth-inning pitch which was knocked out of the park with a runner on base to pick up the loss.
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The Akron Rubberducks had a scheduled off day yesterday.