It has not been a good week for Cleveland Indians affiliates.
Columbus has now not won a game in over a week while Akron, after an incredible start which pushed them to 21 games over .500, is now in the middle of an epic 12-game losing streak with no end in sight. Even the explosive Lake County offense has been a bit quiet, losing three straight and the DSL Indians have a losing record.
The lone bright spot has been Lynchburg, but they were rained out and postponed yesterday.
Perhaps the best news is the beginning of midseason ball in Mahoning Valley, as the Low-A Scrappers kick off their season tonight on the east side of Cleveland.
Columbus Clippers 2, Rochester Red Wings 6
Box Score · Clippers fall to 35-32
Columbus has not won since the first leg of a doubleheader on June 9th, and they haven't even held the lead in a game for about 50 innings.
The Clippers quickly fell behind 1-0 yesterday but starting pitcher Ryan Merritt kept the game competitive until his last inning, giving up three runs in the sixth as Columbus failed to score any runs for him whatsoever.
The offense finally put two runs on the board in the eighth inning after a home run by backup catcher Guillermo Quiroz and an RBI single from Erik Gonzalez but they were quickly countered by a two-run home run from Rochester in the bottom of the eighth.
Of note was the fact that TJ House, normally a starter, was brought in to face two batters as a relief pitcher in the bottom of the eighth inning. Perhaps he's transitioning to a new bullpen role as Double-A arms are called up? We'll learn more in the coming games.
Akron RubberDucks 2, Erie SeaWolves 4 (F/10)
Box Score · RubberDucks fall 38-29
It certainly wasn't for lack of effort, but Akron's losing streak continued yesterday. Akron outhit Erie 12-8, but could not sequence anything together and managed a measly two runs in 10 innings.
Akron tied the game 1-1 in the second inning after Nellie Rodriguez homered, but they could have had more as Joe Sever was gunned down at the plate after a single by Mike Papi to end the inning.
Clint Frazier picked up an RBI groundout in the third to give the Rubberducks a 2-1 lead, but starting pitcher Shawn Morimando couldn't keep Erie at bay all night.
Morimando was excellent, giving up two runs in 6.2 innings on six hits while striking out seven and walking just one, but he received a no-decision due to the offense's failed sequencing.
Joe Sever, Nellie Rodriguez, Todd Hankins and Jeremy Lucas all had multi-hit games, and Clint Frazier made a hell of a defensive play in center field (Bradley Zimmer had the day off), but normally reliable reliever JP Feyereisen gave up a two-run home run in the top of the 10th inning and that was that.
Lake County Captains 1, South Bend Cubs 5
Box Score · Captains fall to 38-29
Lake County didn't put up much of a fight in this game. Starting pitcher Casey Shane threw five decent innings, giving up one earned run on four hits.
No one on the Captains offense managed more than one hit, although star catching prospect Francisco Mejia picked up a double in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to 18 games. Conor Marabell led off the ninth with a triple and would score Lake County's only run.
Of note, usually free-swinging shortstop prospect Willi Castro reached base three times on the day with a single and two walks.
DSL Indians 2, DSL Yankees1 1 (F/11)
Box Score · Indians improve to 4-6
The DSL Indians provided the lone bright spot for Tribe affiliates yesterday, headlined by a brilliant starting pitching performance from 17-year old Luis Oviedo, who pitched five scoreless innings while striking out six on two hits and walking none. Through three starts this season, Oviedo sports a brilliant 0.64 ERA, having given up only one earned run in 14 innings of work.
The offense was paced on the day by Felix Fernandez, Miguel Jerez, and Pablo Jimenez, who all had multi-hit games. Jerez picked up a walk-off double to plate Fernandez in the bottom of the 11th to win the game.
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Advanced-A Lynchburg's game was postponed due to weather.