Offense? What is that? For the upper levels of the Indians farm system, hitting baseballs was just a myth yesterday, as both teams were shutout and wasted good starting pitcher efforts of their own. The one exciting thing was Mike Papi making his debut with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks, and the fact that Clint Frazier recorded two hits, right back on track where he was pre-hamstring injury.
The only win in the minors yesterday came from the Lake County Captains, who rode another great Thomas Pannone outing to victory. Pannone now has four shutouts on the season, and his seven innings was his longest outing of the season.
Columbus Clippers 0, Buffalo Bisons 4
Box Score · Clippers fall to 29-23
With their 4-0 loss last night, the Columbus Clippers have officially dropped the series to the Buffalo Bisons. They were outscored 6-13 in the three-game set, and only snuck in an extra-innings win Game 1 back on Tuesday. This Columbus team does not look great right now.
Ronny Rodriguez has certainly been a bright spot lately, having gone 5-for-6 in that Tuesday victory and he added two more hits on Wednesday. The only other Columbus hits on the day came from Yandy Diaz, Joey Butler, and Collin Cowgill. Diaz's hit was the only extra-base hit of the day, a two-out triple that went for naught when Joey Boey grounded out in the next at-bat to end the seventh inning.
Ross Detwiler, making his sixth start in the minors, had a solid six innings of work, striking out six and walking none. He was, of course, tagged with the loss because the Clippers offense was shutout and he did allow two earned runs off six hits. Hard to expect much more out of a reliever temporary playing a starter, though. The Clippers bullpen did their best Indians impression, allowing three hits and two earned runs in two innings.
If it tells you anything about just how good the Clippers started their season, they still rank near the top of the International League in on-base plus slugging, runs scored, home runs, and on-base percentage. Even with their recent struggles, this Columbus offense has not been bad, overall.
Akron RubberDucks 0, Altoona Curve 2
Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 36-16
The good news is that Clint Frazier had two hits on the day for the Akron RubberDucks. The bad news is he could not hit for everyone else in the lineup. Everyone in the Akron lineup not named Clint Frazier combined to go just 4-for-25 with five strikeouts. As a team, they left 13 men on base and were 1-for-7 with runners ready to score.
Both of Frazier's hits were relatively harmless singles, but Jeremy Lucas had the only multi-base hit of the day with his fifth double of the season.
Mike Papi made his Double-A debut yesterday with the most Mike Papi game possible, going 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout.
Much like Ross Detwiler in Columbus, Akron starting pitcher Michael Peoples had a good start wasted. Peoples allowed just one earned run for his fourth-straight outing and dropped his ERA down to 3.02. Relievers Louis Head and JP Feyereisen combined to allow two hits, but no runs crossed the plate and they struck out three batters.
Lynchburg Hillcats 6, Wilmington Blue Rocks 9
Box Score · Hillcats fall to 33-19
Sure, the Lynchburg Hillcats lost, but at least they landed a few punches first. The biggest problem for Lynchburg is that they were playing from behind the entire game, as starting pitcher Antonio Romero imploded in the first inning.
In the first frame, the Wilmington Blue Rocks recorded a three walks, four hits, and a stolen base. All of this, plus a sacrifice fly or two, accounted for five runs, putting Lynchburg at an instant disadvantage.
To his credit, Romero stayed in the game past the first inning and ended up shutting out the Blue Rocks over the next three. The Hillcats even came and took the lead, 6-4, by the middle of the fifth. Unfortunately, Wilmington was not done scoring. Throwing errors by Bobby Bradley and Paul Hendrix turned an otherwise harmless fifth inning into a three-run, go-ahead effort by Wilmington.
Shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang had a great game, going 2-for-4 with two doubles. Bobby Bradley more than made up for his fielding blunder with a two-hit effort himself, including a walk and a home run -- his Carolina League-leading 12th of the season.
Lake County Captains 6, Bowling Green Hot Rods 1
Box Score · Captains improve to 31-22
The only Indians affiliate to win yesterday was the Lake County Captains, who are slowly creeping their way towards the best win/loss record in the Tribe organization. Their winning effort tonight came courtesy of two big innings in the fourth and sixth.
After a brief interruption on Tuesday, Ka'ai Tom continued his hitting ways Wednesday with a single. He is now batting .300 in his last 10 games with a home run and five walks to just three strikeouts.
Francisco Mejia is building a nice hitting streak of his own, as he now has a single in four straight games.