I mean, I'm not saying that Clint Frazier's hair is imbued with the ability to make offenses around him spring to life, but it certainly worked Tuesday for the Akron RubberDucks. In the seven games without Clint Frazier (May 24 - May 30), the RubberDucks scored in the double-digits only once, and they scored fewer than six runs in every other game. Yesterday they dropped 11 after a streak of three straight games in which they scored three or fewer. Boom. Myth plausible.
Frazier himself did not do much in his first game back since his short disabled list stint, but instead it was Jordan Smith with a big home run and several other batters having big games. It appears, as I am writing this, that Smith has been promoted to the Columbus Clippers. Hopefully, he carries some of the good luck over from Akron to Triple-A, because the Columbus Clippers could really use it.
Columbus Clippers 1, Buffalo Bisons 5
Box Score · Clippers fall to 29-22
Following his five-hit game on Monday, Erik Gonzalez added two more hits yesterday. Unfortunately, the rest of the Columbus Clippers lineup was too busy admiring his recent streak of greatness and they promptly went 2-for-28 with 12 strikeouts as a whole.
The lone Columbus run came as a result of a throwing error in the top of the eighth. With one out and the bases loaded, the Clippers offense was rolling like it had not all game. Naquin hit a ball to the Buffalo shortstop who made an errant throw to first that allowed Guillermo Quiroz to score from third. Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte then struck out the final two batters to end the inning relatively unscathed.
Jarrett Grube turned in an impressive start, lasting seven innings and giving up only three earned runs (five runs total). This is the second time this season Grube has lasted at least seven innings, and it is a big rebound for the reliever-turned-starter after his eight-run disaster his last time out.
Akron RubberDucks 11, Altoona Curve 4
Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 35-15
Invigorated by the sight of their fiery-haired leader charging into battle once again (or something like that), the Akron RubberDucks offense has suddenly come back to life after a week of looking decidedly mediocre. Clint Frazier made his return from the disabled list since he strained his hamstring on May 23, going 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts from the designated hitter slot.
Eric Stamets led the way offensively, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and scoring every time he reached base. Hitting Stamets home twice was Todd Hankins, who had two hits himself including a double.
Akron had the game mostly locked up by the fifth inning as they were already up, 6-2. However, following a single run in the top of the seventh from Altoona, the RubberDucks piled on five more just to make sure the thought of a comeback was never a reality.
The only home run of the game came in the third when Jordan Smith had a solo shot fly to left and barely make it over the wall.
Starting pitcher Shawn Morimando continues to make his case for a call-up to Triple-A. Sure, he lasted six innings and allowed just one earned run, but this was far from his best outing of the season -- that is how good he has been. The two strikeouts from Morimando is a season-low, and he already has three shutouts on the season. Unfortunately, with Ryan Merrit returning to the Columbus Clippers and Mike Clevinger likely following suit, Morimando might be stuck in Double-A for a little longer.
Lake County Captains 7, Bowling Green Hot Rods 2
Box Score · Captains improve to 30-22
The Lake County Captains' seven runs were the most of any game since their 9-5 victory against the Dayton Dragons last Thursday, but they really did not need even that many. Starting pitcher Shao-Ching Chang twirled a gem on Tuesday, throwing seven innings and allowing just one earned run on five hits. He only had one strikeout, but he walked just one as well.
Lake County's offense was powered purely by singles and walks. Not a single player hit a multi-base hit, but they walked 12 times as a team. The damage could have so much worse (or better, depending on your viewpoint) if only they did not finish the game 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position and stranding 14 runners on base.
Tyler Krieger had a hit yesterday, extending his hit streak to 12 games. In his last 10 games, Krieger is 15-for-38 with only six strikeouts -- good for a .395 batting average. He is currently second in the Midwest League in hits (6) and fifth in on-base percentage (.410).
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Advanced-A affiliate Lynchburg had a scheduled day off yesterday