Although the Akron RubberDucks suffered their eighth (!!) straight loss yesterday, it was not all bad for Cleveland Indians fans watching to see the future of their favorite team. Top prospects Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier both looked fantastic on the day, while Nellie Rodriguez did his best Carlos Santana impression by walking three times.
The Lake County Captains continue to impress down in Class-A, with Connor Marabell, Tyler Krieger, Nathan Lukes, and Francisco Mejia all making contributions in the walk-off win.
Columbus Clippers 5, Scranton RailRiders 8
Box Score · Clippers fall to 35-29
Whether he is in the majors, the minors, or probably on MLB: The Show, Cody Anderson is having a rough year playing baseball. Yesterday's start for the Columbus Clippers was no exception as he allowed seven earned runs off seven hits in just 3.2 innings of work. The Clippers offense could not overcome Anderson's own troubles and they were down 7-0 by the time the bottom of the fifth rolled around.
TJ House came into the game as a reliever for the first time this season, eating up three innings for the bullpen. He did not look particularly sharp either, walking four and allowing three hits. Shawn Armstrong pitched the final inning of the game and struck out two of the three batters he faced. More encouragingly, he did not walk anyone. If Armstrong hopes to get back into the Tribe bullpen, this is the kind of outing he needs more often.
Offensively, the Clippers did not look bad. Three batters recorded multi-hit games, and lead-off hitter Erik Gonzalez slugged a pair of home runs in the fourth and ninth innings. Outfielder Joey Butler added a longball of his own, a 4th-inning shot, his sixth of the season.
With two hits on the day, third baseman Yandy Diaz extended his on-base streak to four games; this was his third multi-hit game in that streak. In his last 10 games, Yandy has gone 10-for-33 with seven walks.
Akron RubberDucks 6, Harrisburg Senators 7
Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 38-25
As far as keeping an eye on top prospects go, this Akron RubberDucks game was fantastic. The Clint Fraizer-Bradley Zimmer duo combined to go 6-for-10 on the day with a home run from Zimmer and only two strikeouts between them coming from Frazier. Even Nellie Rodriguez, who only had one hit on the day, walked three times.
Zimmer's home run was particular important because it tied the game for the 'Ducks in the top of the ninth, although they would still go on to lose in the bottom half of the frame.
However, a costly fielding error by Frazier in the first inning and an overall lukewarm start from Michael Peoples cost the 'Ducks a chance to break the horrendous eight-game losing streak they now find themselves in. Peoples' four earned runs were the most he has allowed since May 11 when five Erie SeaWolves crossed the plate against him. His 10 hits allowed was also his highest mark of the season.
Mike Papi has not played well since his promotion from High-A, and he slashing .152/.317/.212 against Double-A pitching, a huge departure from the .236/.370/.450 he was slashing with the Lynchburg Hillcats.
Lynchburg Hillcats 3, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 2
Box Score · Hillcats improve to 40-22
A win! They do exist! Thanks to a two-run third inning spurred by a double from Yu-Cheng Chang, the Lynchburg Hillcats achieved a win, which is exceedingly rare in the Tribe farm system lately. Chang added another hit later on in the game, a single, making him one of only two Hillcats batters to have a multi-hit game on the day.
The other was Taylor Murphy, who has been spectacular in High-A this season. To be fair, he has been great in Double-A this season as well, which is where he would probably be if the RubberDucks were not so stacked with outfield prospects already. In 50 games between the two levels this season, Murphy is slashing .301/.402/.454 with five home runs and 13 doubles.
Greg Allen failed to register a hit from the leadoff spot, snapping his hit streak at four games, but his two walks means his on-base streak is still alive at five games. In the last 10 games, Allen has walked 10 times to just seven strikeouts. He has also swiped four bases in that time.
Hillcats starting pitcher Luis Lugo lasted a strong seven innings, striking out six and walking none. David Speer was brought in to start the eighth inning and wound up finishing the game. He allowed a game-tying run in the eighth but induced three straight groundouts in the ninth to seal the win, meaning he was given both a blown save and a win on the day. Pitcher stats, everyone.
Lake County Captains 4, Great Lakes Loons 3
Box Score · Captains improve to 37-26
The Lake County Captains continue to quietly be one of the best farm teams in the Indians organization. Connor Marabell has been unbelievable over his last 10 games and he added to that with a hit and a walk yesterday.
Francisco Mejia, who was a runaway winner for our MiLB Player of the Week, recorded a hit but struck out twice. He only had one hit, but it was a big one, a two-run single in the seventh that opened the scoring for the Captains and gave them a chance to comeback against the Great Lakes Loons. Lake County would end up scoring again in the eighth and finally walk off with a win in the bottom of the ninth.
Tyler Krieger had two hits himself, with one of them being a triple that set him up to be that winning run in the ninth.
Starting pitcher Thomas Pannone was roughed up in the fourth inning, but he came back strong to last six innings and strike out seven on the day with only two walks.
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The DSL Indians had a scheduled off day.