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Indians minor league recap: First round draft pick Will Benson makes his pro debut

Tristen McKenzie and Adam Plutko turn in excellent starts in losing efforts

While it wasn't a great day for ICleveland Indians affiliates, there were several solid pitching performances all-around and there was plenty to get excited about for the future as several 2016 draft picks made their professional debuts including first round selection Will Benson.

The offense was practically non-existent for half of the Tribe farm system, but at least Lake County had an excuse as all of their All-Stars were given the day off.

Hopefully, the bats start to wake up soon.

Columbus Clippers 0, Rochester Red Wings 2

Box Score · Clippers fall to 38-36

Adam Plutko made his second start since being promoted to Triple-A and he was superb, giving up just two runs over six innings of work while striking out two for a solid quality start.

The problem? Columbus bats were mystified by top Minnesota pitching prospect Jose Berrios, who owned the Clippers lineup to the tune of nine strikeouts and only three hits over eight scoreless innings.

Collin Cowgill picked up two of those three hits, but nothing was sequenced together and a solid pitching effort on Plutko's part was spoiled.

Akron RubberDucks 5, Reading Fightin' Phils 6 (F/11)

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 42-31

Despite outhitting Reading 15-9, Akron could not get the base knocks when they mattered, going 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranding 11 men on base in total.

Clint Frazier and Todd Hankins remained red hot, both going 3-for-5 with a walk on the day while third baseman Joe Sever collected four hits in five plate appearances. Catcher Eric Haase had an all-or-nothing day, slugging a game-tying home run in the eighth and striking out in his other three at-bats.

Starting pitcher Michael Peoples was serviceable, giving up three earned runs in 5.1 innings and Nick Maronde and Perci Garner were excellent in relief to the tune of 4.1 scoreless innings.

Unfortunately, the bottom of the 11th inning was a comedy of errors. With JP Feyereisen on the mound, the leadoff man reached on an error by Hankins, advanced to second on a single, moved to third on a passed ball and then, astoundingly, scored on a wild pitch during an attempted intentional walk to win the game for Reading.

Lake County Captains 1, Great Lakes Loons 2

Box Score · Captains fall to 40-31

Coming off the All-Star break, the Captains manager decided to sit all of his All-Stars to give them an extra day of rest, so Francisco Mejia, Willie Castro, and Tyler Krieger all rode the pine and watched the Lake County offense completely spin its wheels without them.

Nathan Lukes and Connor Marabell also deserved to be All-Stars, but they didn't play like it yesterday, going 0-for-8 combined with three strikeouts.

The lone bright spot of the Captains offense was left fielder Jose Medina, who went 2-for-3 with a double, scoring their lone run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The offensive ineptitude spoiled an excellent pitching performance combination of Shao-Ching Chiang and Jared Robinson. Chiang went five innings, giving up two runs and striking out four while Robinson provided four scoreless innings of relief on just one hit.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 1, Williamsport Crosscutters 2 (F/10)

Box Score · Scrappers fall to 1-6

Another game, another lackluster offensive performance by Mahoning Valley.

This time, they ruined a great start from top 10 Tribe prospect Tristen McKenzie, who pitched 4.2 scoreless innings while striking out five. In his two starts this season, McKenzie's line is a stellar 10.2 IP, 0 ER, and 11 strikeouts to just two walks.

Center fielder Gabriel Mejia went 2-for-5 to pace the Scrappers while Jodd Carter reached base safely three times.

The dunce cap yesterday was worn by reliever Henry Martinez, who not only blew the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning but also gave up the walk-off run in the bottom of the 10th.

AZL Indians 6, AZL Rangers 9

Box Score · Indians fall to 0-3

This was a game of debuts as recently signed first round draft pick Will Benson made his first appearance in the Tribe system. 2016 Ninth round pick Hosea Nelson, 10th rounder Samad Taylor and 17th round pick Trenton Brooks also started for the first time.

Benson didn't have a great day at the plate, going 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout. Nelson, Taylor and Brooks however, all collected their first career hits, combining to go 6-for-14 on the day with three doubles.

Third baseman Miguel Eladio also had a fine day, going 3-for-5 from the leadoff position to set the table nicely for the rest of the lineup.

Starting pitcher Gregory Vasquez was solid, giving up one earned runs in five innings of work, the bullpen let him down. Recently promoted Dominican-leaguer Luis Santos gave up three runs in one inning while 2016 draft picks Skylar Arias (24th round) and Dakody Clemmer (19th round) gave up another three runs combined in two innings as the Indians could not hold their early lead.

DSL Indians 3, DSL Cubs1 1

Box Score · Indians improve to 9-7

The lone bright spot in terms of wins for the Tribe system on the day was the DSL Indians, who were lead by another excellent start from Juan Mota, who threw five innings without giving up an earned run while striking out five.

Reliever Kenny Nunez was spectacular, striking out another five in two innings of perfect baseball.

Left fielder Pablo Jimenez single-handedly led the Indians on offense, going 4-for-4 with a home run and a double

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The Advanced-A Lynchburg Hillcats had their game postponed due to rain.