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Indians minor league recap: Unlikely heroes play big roles in 3-1 day

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Move over Clint Fraziers and Bradley Zimmers of the world, it's Paul Hendrix's time to shine.

As far as top prospects were concerned, yesterday was not a great day. Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer both failed to hit while Justus Sheffield had a rare "bad" outing. However, Cleveland Indians farm teams combined for a 3-1 record yesterday, meaning some unlikely heroes had to step up big time.

Paul Hendrix did just that for the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, blasting a late grand slam that would end up being the go-ahead runs. And down in Class-A, Lake County Captains center fielder Nathan Lukes was just a home run shy of the cycle.

Columbus Clippers 8, Louisville Bats 6

Box Score · Clippers improve to 26-17

It has been an up-and-down week for the Columbus Clippers but hopefully, with this 8-6 win over the Louisville Bats, they start up another winning streak. It took them a late comeback attempt to get it done yesterday, with the game not concluding until the 10th.

Through six innings, the Clippers were down 4-0 thanks to a rough start from reliever-wearing-a-starter-hat Ross Detwiler. Detwiler finished the game after 4.1 innings after allowing four earned runs on nine hits.

Columbus batters did not plate a run until the seventh when Yandy Diaz hit a leadoff home run, his first Triple-A long ball. Joey Butler and Yhoxian Medina crossed the plate later in the inning, following a pair of hits and walks. Tyler Naquin ended the rally with a fly out to center field.

Diaz has been slow to adjust to Triple-A pitching, but Medina has hit the ground running for the Clippers. In his 10 games since being called up from Double-A, Medina has gone 10-for-29 with three doubles and a home run. All of that is good for a slash line of .345/.406/.552.

Catcher Adam Moore and Erik Gonzalez both tied for a team-high two hits on the day while Bryson Myles finished 1-for-3 with two walks.

Akron RubberDucks 7, Binghamton Mets 1

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 31-11

After a couple of close victories, the Akron RubberDucks finished their sweep of the Binghamton Mets with a good 'ole fashion blowout. The six-run win is their largest margin of victory since they defeated Hartford, 9-3, on May 16.

Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer both failed to register a hit (gasp), but combined they walked three times and only struck out once. Frazier's walk was enough to extend his on-base streak to 17 games, and that's not even his longest such streak of the season. In his last 10 games, Frazier has a .444 batting average, going 16-for-36 with three home runs, nine walks, and just six strikeouts. It is safe to say he has Double-A pitching figured out at this point.

Eric Haase added his fourth home run of the season in the seventh inning as he led the RubberDucks in runs batted in on the day with four.

Akron starting pitcher Michael Peoples lasted six innings, striking out three and walking one  in the win. The bullpen combination of Cole Sulser and Justin Brantley held the Mets lineup hitless through three innings with four strikeouts of their own.

Lynchburg Hillcats 7, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 4

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 29-14

It took a late five-run rally, but the Lynchburg Hillcats were able ot record their 29th win of the season yesterday. Paul Hendrix played the hero in that big eighth inning, hitting a grand slam to put the Hillcats up, 6-4, at the time. Lynchburg would add another run in the top of the ninth, but they did not need it.

Although he allowed just three earned runs and lasted 5.2 innings, you could probably call this a "bad" outing for Justus Sheffield. Compared to his other dominant outings this season, his three strikeouts (a season low) and three walks (tied for a season high) look bad. He looked to be in line for a loss after giving up three runs in the sixth, but Hendrix's heroics in the eighth made that point moot.

Hendrix's big day was not just limited to the grand slam, either. He also added two other hits on the day. Star first base prospect Bobby Bradley was just 1-for-4 on the day with two strikeouts.

Lake County Captains 4, South Bend Cubs

Box Score · Captains fall to 24-19

The only Indians affiliate loss on the day came from the Lake County Captains, who have now dropped four-straight games.

Starting pitcher Thomas Pannone, who looked downright dominant at times this season, had his worst outing of the season, lasting just 2.2 innings and allowing four earned runs on five hits and three walks. Most of the damage was done in a three-run first inning, but Pannone did not look sharp in his other 1.2 innings. The third frame, in particular, was a struggle for the young lefty. Pannone walked two of the first three batters he faced, then walked another later in the inning before finally being pulled for reliever Matt Whitehouse.

Nathan Lukes led the Captains offense with three hits on the day, including two doubles and a triple. Third baseman Yonathan Mendoza added three hits as well while Willi Castro hit two and Bobby Ison had a leadoff double.