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Indians minor league recap: Murphy and Papi collect first Double-A home run and hit

Cody Anderson also has his third straight excellent start.

It was another lackluster day for Tribe affiliate offense as all four teams averaged less than three runs per game overall.

On a positive note, two of the teams were paced by excellent starting pitching and were able to walk away with victories. The commonly villified Cody Anderson in particular was excellent for Columbus, but we'll get to that shortly.

The big story of the day was the solid performances of recently promoted players as Mike Papi and Taylor Murphy led the way for the Akron offense while Matt Whitehouse continues to dominate every long relief appearance at every level.

Columbus Clippers 2, Scranton Rail Riders 1

Box Score · Clippers improve to 30-23

It was another low-scoring affair for Columbus, but this time, the pitching picked up what has been an anemic offense the past few days. Columbus got on the board quickly after a leadoff double from Erik Gonzalez and an RBI single by Giovanny Urshela.

Gonzalez would give the run back in the fourth inning after a two-out throwing error allowed Scranton to tie the game, but thankfully Scranton was in a forgiving mood and responded in kind with a free run in the eight inning as Yandy Diaz would score on a two-out passed ball.

Offensively, Giovanny Urshela, Adam Moore and Yhoxian Medina lead the way for the Clippers with two hits apiece.

The big story of the game was the continued improvement of Cody Anderson. Coming off four innings of no-hit ball that was cut short by a rain delay, Anderson pitched six innings, allowing one unearned run while striking out seven and walking just one. Relievers Ben Heller and Jeff Johnson slammed the door by facing the minimum in the final three innings to seal the win.

Akron RubberDucks 4, Altoona Curve 5

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 36-17

A hole was dug for the Akron offense early and they couldn't quite dig themselves out of it in regulation. Akron starter Anderson Polanco had a rough outing, giving up four runs (two earned) on just three innings of work to drop his season ERA to 8.15 overall.

Down 5-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, Akron started crawling back. It began with Mike Papi's first hit in Double-A, a single which scored Nellie Rodriguez, who hit two doubles on the day. Akron would plate two more in the sixth when Taylor Murphy crushed his first Double-A home run, a two-run shot to right center field.

They would tack on one more in the eighth off of a wild pitch, but weren't able to make use of a leadoff walk from Eric Haase in the ninth and would lose by one.

The bullpen did a great job giving Akron a chance to come back into the game as Grant Sides, Cole Sulser and Nick Maronde combined to give up one run in the final six innings while striking out seven along the way.

Lynchburg Hillcats 4, Wilmington Blue Rocks 2

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 34-19

Lynchburg would get on the board quickly in the first two innings and never looked back. Greg Allen and Claudio Bautista led off the game with a walk and a single, then executed a double steal and were driven in by a clutch two-out RBI single by Yu-Cheng Chang.

Catcher Sicnarf Loopstock (I love saying that name) would single and steal a base in the second inning before scoring on an error. Loopstock would be the hero on the day, reaching base four out of five times including an RBI double in the sixth inning which would add an insurance run.

Bobby Bradley would improve his hitting streak to three games, but picked up his first golden sombrero of the 2016 season with four strikeouts in his other plate appearances.

Starting pitcher Mitch Brown was excellent, spinning five innings while allowing one earned run and striking out seven. Reliever Matt Whitehouse continued his run of dominance after his recent promotion by throwing three scoreless innings of relief with four more strikeouts to help the Hillcats hold off Wilmington down the stretch.

Lake County Captains 1, Bowling Green Hot Rods 8

Box Score · Captains fall to 31-23

This game got out of hand in a hurry.

Lake County got on the board quickly with an RBI single from top catching prospect Francisco Mejia, who plated Ka'ai Tom, but that would be all for the Captains offense the rest of the way.

Starting pitcher Casey Shane started the game with two scoreless innings before completely imploding in the third. Shane was tagged for five runs in the third without being able to finish the frame.

Reliever Cortland Cox didn't fare much better, surrendering seven hits and three earned runs in 2.1 innings. Thankfully Billy Strode and Kieren Lovegrove managed to stop the bleeding with four scoreless innings but the damage had been done and Lake County would only manage three hits in the final eight innings.