While it's fun to watch Clint Frazier murder baseballs, it sure would be nice if the Akron RubberDucks could go back to winning every night. As has happened so many times this season, Frazier had a big game while the rest of the 'Ducks were silent. Even fellow top prospect, Bradley Zimmer, had a bad day getting thrown out on the basepaths twice.
Down in Class-A, the Lake County Captains saw maybe their last at-bats from Francisco Mejia and Tyler Krieger -- two of their best hitters -- as it was announced after the game that they were being promoted to the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats. Mejia left a parting gift for the Captains in the form of a two-run home run.
Columbus Clippers 3, Norfolk Tides 5
Box Score · Clippers fall to 40-37
The Columbus Clippers lost their chance to sweep the Norfolk Tides, but they can head into their lengthy road trip with their heads held high, having won the first two games of the series and three of their last five games, overall.
Starting pitching Ryan Merritt lasted only three innings in the game, leaving in the fourth after an "apparent injury," according to the team's official Twitter account.
Merritt gave up three earned runs before leaving the game, enough to have him tagged with the loss. The bullpen combination of Joseph Colon, Kyle Crockett, Ben Heller, and Austin Adams held the Tide lineup to just three hits over the final 5.2 innings.
The Clippers featured an interesting outfield, with Erik Gonzalez in center field and Yandy Diaz in left field. Diaz has gotten a lot of work in the outfield recent, presumably to groom him for a bigger utility role than just third base. He was 2-for-5 on the day while Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with a double.
Akron RubberDucks 2, Trenton Thunder 12
Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 43-34
In what seems like an everyday occurrence for the Akron RubberDucks lately, a couple key prospects had big games but the team ultimately lost. This time around it was Clint Frazier with a big two-run home run and JP Feyereisen striking out the side in a relief role that put a spotlight on potential future major leaguers.
The Akron lineup managed only three hits on the day, including Frazier's home run. The other two were from Bradley Zimmer (who also struck out twice), and Jeremy Lucas. Although he got on base twice via a walk and a hit, Zimmer had a rough day. He struck out twice and was thrown out on the bases twice (pickoff and caught stealing).
Outfielder Mike Papi is in the midst of brutal stretch of games. In his last eight, he is just 1-for-22 with nine strikeouts. His slash in Double-A on the season sits at .186./.317/.257.
Julian Merryweather, who was making his first start since being promoted from the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, was blown apart by Trenton bats to the tune of nine earned runs in four innings. Seven of those runs came in a disastrous fourth inning in which Merryweather allowed a triple, four singles, and two home runs.
Lynchburg Hillcats 1, Potomac Patriots 7
Box Score · Hillcats fall to 45-28
This game was pretty much over by the middle of the fourth inning. The Potomac Patriots already racked up seven runs off of Mitch Brown by that point, and the Lynchburg Hillcats had done absolutely nothing to respond. They did add a lone run in the bottom of the frame to avoid being shutout, but it was not nearly enough to avoid being swept.
Lynchburg as a team collected just five hits, including one from Bobby Bradley, who also walked twice and had the team's only extra-base hit, a double. Bradley is in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak, but he has also struck out 13 times in those games and he has not homered since June 10.
Lake County Captains 6, Great Lakes Loons 3
Box Score · Captains improve to 42-32
Much of this game was stuck as a 1-1 tie until the Lake County Captains blew it open with a five-run inning in the seventh.
Catcher Francisco Mejia led the way offensively, going 2-for-3, including a two-run home run in that big seventh inning. Mejia is now on an 18-game hitting streak. However, he and teammate Tyler Krieger are being promoted to the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, which is unfortunate for the exciting Captains team, but good news for everyone else.
Bobby Ison has struggled all season long for the Captains, but he had his second multi-hit game in his last 10 yesterday, including a triple and a run batted in.
Starting pitcher Brock Hartson lasted five strong innings, striking out four and allowing just one earned run. Cortland Cox was given the win, however; he relieved Hartson to start the sixth inning and lasted until the ninth with two earned runs on two hits.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers 2, Batavia Muckdogs 7
Box Score · Scrappers fall to 2-8
It's been a tough start to the season for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, as their 7-2 loss yesterday marked their eighth in the first 10 games.
Five Scrapers batters recorded hits on the day -- all singles -- with the only runs coming off the bat of Luke Wakamatsu in the bottom of the first. One of those runs was set up by Alex Pantoja, who stole his second base of the season after singling in the at-bat prior to Wakamatsu's.
Starting pitcher Aaron Civale pitched a solid two innings with three strikeouts and a walk, but reliever Ryan Colegate imploded in the fourth and fifth innings, allowing seven runs (four earned) off of four hits.
AZL Indians 7, AZL Giants 3
Box Score · Indians improve to 3-3
The AZL Indians recorded 15 hits as a team, with every player ending the day with at least one hit. They scored four runs in the first three innings and never looked back on their way to their third victory of the young rookie season.
Catcher Simeon Lucas and second baseman Joma Rodriguez each added three hits on the day, while 2016 first-round draft pick Will Benson recorded his second hit of the season. Fellow 2016 draft pick Hosea Nelson added two hits -- both of which were doubles.
Starting pitcher Francisco Perez held the Giants scoreless for five innings, although he issued three walks and struck out just one batter.