Are you a fan of pitchers making great plays on the bases that they probably should not make in Double-A that could potentially ruin their arm? Then have I got a highlight for you. Rob Kaminsky did just did in his first game off the disabled list with a diving play to stop a hitting bunt attempt. The RubberDucks lost anyway because everyone in Akron forgot how to hit a baseball.
Every other Cleveland Indians affiliate took home a win yesterday, with all three of the victors scoring exactly five runs. Erik Gonzalez and Ronny Rodriguez each had five hits for the Columbus Clippers, as well. If you are picking lottery numbers today, be sure to include a lot of fives.
Columbus Clippers 5, Buffalo Bisons 4
Box Score · Clippers improve to 29-21
The Columbus Clippers quickly jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning, but they would end up needing 12 innings to win their series opener against the Buffalo Bisons. With yesterday's win, the Clippers have already topped their win total from the last time these two teams played, as Columbus was swept in three games last week.
The Clippers, as a team, were just a home run shy of the cycle in that big second inning. Ronny Rodriguez was the first to get on base, hitting a single -- his first of five hits on the day. Erik Gonzalez followed suit, hitting a double two batters later, then Tyler Naquin tripled and tried for an in-the-park home run, but was gunned down at home to end the inning.
Columbus' next run would not come until the 12th inning when Ronny Rodriguez doubled and was hit home by a long Adam Moore single. With Toru Murata pitching a scoreless bottom half of the 12th, Ronny ended up being the game-winning run.
Gonzalez also had five hits on the day, including that double and a team-high three runs batted in. This one game alone boosted his batting average by nearly .020 points -- up to .305 from .287. It was also his first multi-hit game since his streak of them snapped back on May 22.
Yandy Diaz has been mostly good since coming up to Triple-A, but he was hitless on the day and failed to draw a single walk in his six at-bats.
The Clippers used five pitchers on the day, with everyone but starting pitcher Will Roberts keeping the Bisons off the board. Josh Martin, Jeff Johnson, Tom Gorzelanny, and Toru Murata combined to throw six shutout innings with eight strikeouts.
Akron RubberDucks 2, Harrisburg Senators 3
Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 35-15
With Clint Frazier riding the disabled list and Bradley Zimmer struggling, the Akron RubberDucks offense looks like a shell of its former self. Monday's loss marks their second-straight loss and they have scored three or fewer runs in their last five games.
The RubberDucks as a team recorded only four hits on the day, while striking out 11 times. Three of those strikeouts (and none of the hits...) came from Bradley Zimmer, who snapped a six at-bat strikeout streak with his final at-bat of the game.
Nellie Rodriguez was the closest thing the Akron lineup had to a bright spot yesterday, as he was 1-for-3 with a walk and one of only three RubberDucks batters to not strike out.
Rob Kaminsky, making his first start since returning from the disabled list, allowed three hits and just one earned run in his 2.1 innings of work. He also struck out four, which is his second-best of any game this season. With the game tied, 1-1, in the top of the second, Kaminsky helped himself out with a tremendous play to stop a bunt-for-hit attempt.
But please, never do that again.
Kaminsky was pulled in the middle of the third after allowing back-to-back singles. DJ Brown was brought in to handle the middle innings of the game, and he did his job well (although he was tagged with the loss), lasting 5.1 innings and allowing just one earned run on seven hits.
Lynchburg Hillcats 5, Salem Red Sox 2
Box Score · Hillcats improve to 33-18
No one batter stood out in the Lynchburg Hillcats' win yesterday, but everyone not named Daniel Salters recorded exactly one hit. Three batters -- Greg Allen, Anthony Santander, and David Armendariz -- hit home runs, but no one had a double or a triple. Santander's home run was undoubtedly the biggest as it was a walk-off two-run shot in the bottom of the 10th.
The triforce of power in the lineup scored all but one run for the Hillcats yesterday, as they were 0-for-3 with runners ready to score and they struck out 14 times as a team. Yu-Cheng Chang accounted for only one of those hits, but he did add three walks.
Starting pitcher Luis Lugo had a dominant outing, lasting six innings and striking out seven. David Speer and Trevor Frank combined for four scoreless innings to finish out the game.
Lake County Captains 5, Fort Wayne TinCaps 4
Box Score · Captains improve to 29-22
Similar to the Hillcats, the Lake County Captains received contributions from just about every offensive players, and a trio of home runs was enough to push them over the edge in a close victory.
Willi Castro added one of those home runs, his fourth of the season, in the fifth inning that put the Captains in the driver seat, up 5-0.
The game should not have wound up as close as it did, with the quick five runs and Matt Esparza going 5.2 strong innings with three strikeouts and one earned run. However, Kieran Lovegrove did his best Zach McAllister impression and almost blew the game late, allowing three runs on four hits in the top of the ninth.