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Indians minor league recap: Clint Frazier homers for first time in almost a month

Yay dingers.

On the same day that Cleveland Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said he and Bradley Zimmer could be "options" later this season, Clint Frazier homered for the first time in nearly a month. The Akron RubberDucks still suffered a blowout loss, as they have done so many times in their 11-game losing streak, but at least Frazier hit a ball really hard.

The only two teams to record a win yesterday in the entire organization were the Lynchburg Hillcats and the DSL Indians. Even the normally dependable Lake County Captains suffered two losses in a doubleheader sweep, including one in which they could only muster two hits on offense.

Columbus Clippers 1, Rochester Red Wings 4

Box Score · Clippers fall to 35-31

The Columbus Clippers were able to put up eight hits as a team, but with only one of those baserunners able to score, the Rochester Red Wings' four-run third inning was more than enough to hand the Clippers their sixth straight loss.

Starting pitcher Will Roberts cruised through the first inning, but trouble started brewing as early as the second. He started the inning with a fly out but followed that with a pair of walks and a ball that slipped past Adam Moore. No damage was that inning, but Roberts completely collapsed in the third. Rochester batters quickly loaded the bases via a walk and two straight line drive singles. Then, following a fly out that failed to score the runner from third, Roberts gave up a grand slam.

Roberts was not pulled from the game until he allowed two more hits and issued another walk. The bullpen combination of Kyle Crockett, Josh Martin, and Joseph Colon was brilliant over the final 5.1 innings, striking out five and keeping Rochester scoreless.

Four runs is not an insurmountable lead, but the Clippers offense made it look like one. Erik Gonzalez and Giovanny Urshela both recorded a pair of hits, with one of Gonzalez's being one of two doubles on the day (the other coming from Jordan Smith).

Akron RubberDucks 2, Erie SeaWolves 9

Box Score · RubberDucks fall 38-28

For a video version of this recap, please refer to Matt Schlichting's post-game Facebook Live session follow last night's Indians loss.

The RubberDucks are now in an epic 11-game skid with no end in sight. Including Wednesday's seven-run defeat, they have lost by at least four runs in nine of those 11 losses. This is just not a team that looks good as a unit right now.

But again, as I have saod in many of these minor league recaps, wins and losses do not matter in the minors. They probably matter to players, as they should, but to anyone rooting for prospects to do good prospecty things, what matters is individual performances. And in this case, Clint Frazier had an... okay one. He recorded only one hit on the day, but it went really far -- far enough to be his first home run since May 20.

Every hitter on the RubberDucks besides Eric Haase and Angel Miguel had at least one hit yesterday, while Jeremy Lucas and Joe Sever each had two. As a team, the 'Ducks did not draw a single walk and they struck out seven times. The good news? Only one of those strikeouts came from Clint Frazier and none came from Bradley Zimmer. In fact, in his last five games, Zimmer has only struck out two times in 21 at-bats. Still too small of a sample to really say he is turning a corner, but it is encouraging.

Starting pitcher DJ Brown took the brunt of the damage to his ERA, allowing six earned runs (including two home runs) in 5.0 innings. Casey Weathers allowed three more in the ninth just to drive the point home.

Lynchburg Hillcats 4, Carolina Mudcats 2

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 43-23

With at least one run scored in four of the first five innings, the Lynchburg Hillcats opted for a slow and painful death to take out the Carolina Mudcats.

Lynchburg was able to win without much power -- only one extra-base hit -- and they were only 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. One of their runs came as the result of an error in the very first at-bat when Taylor Murphy tripled and was able to slip home after an errant throw from the Carolina Mudcats' right fielder.

First baseman Bobby Bradley made his first appearance in a game since June 12 and was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Mark Mathias had a two-hit game, his second in a row, and he appears to finally be getting a handle on High-A pitching. In his last 10, he is 11-for-32 with two home runs and five walks. After his slow start to the season, his recent surge has lifted his slash to .260/.350/.380 -- still work to be done there, but he showing definite improvement.

Anderson Polanco lasted six strong innings for the Hillcats, striking out four and allowing just one earned run off of four hits. This was only Polanco's second start for the Hillcats this season after making his first five appearances out of the bullpen. This was also his first start since being demoted from the Double-A RubberDucks where he sstruggled in a starting role with an 8.06 ERA.

Lake County Captains 1, Bowling Green Hot Rods 6 (Game 1)

Lake County Captains 5, Bowling Green Hot Rods 7 (Game 2)

Game 1 Box Score · Game 2 Box Score · Captains fall to 43-23

Well... at least they kind of put up a fight in Game 2? Game 1 in this doubleheader looks like it was a total disaster for the Captains, as they managed just two hits and starting pitcher Matt Esparza was pulled after three innings.

Game two was a bit of a different story with Nathan Lukes, Willi Castro, and Francisco Mejia all having multi-hit games. Both of Mejia's two hits were doubles, as was one of Lukes'.

Lake County starting pitcher Shao-Ching Chiang allowed four runs over 4.0 innings, while weirdly walking none and striking out none.

DSL Indians 3, DSL Pirates

Box Score · Indians improve to 3-6

19-year-old Luis Valdez was solid in his Dominican Summer League debut, lasting five innings and striking out four. Collectively, the Indians bullpen threw four innings and struck out three.

Leadoff batter Jose Fermin was hitless for only the third time this season, but he did draw a walk in the third. Ronny Dominguez and Jhan Rodriguez both had multi-hit games, while Julio Cabrera did not technically record a hit but scored twice.