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Indians minor league recap: Kaminsky and Esparza have best 2016 outings

Clevinger's return to the Clippers rotation is less than stellar.

Perhaps inspired by the recent back-to-back last at bat victories by the Major League club, the Columbus Clippers ran wild in the ninth inning against Scranton.

The rest of the Tribe affiliate clubs were paced by inspired starting pitching performances from some top prospects looking to rebound from tough starts to the season.

Edit: Last but not least, the Tribe Dominican league affiliate kicked off its season.

Columbus Clippers 7, Scranton Rail Riders 5

Box Score · Clippers improve to 31-24

Columbus pulled off one hell of a comeback this game.

Down 4-0 after an inauspicious start by the returning Mike Clevinger, Columbus would rally back with three runs in the sixth inning after three straight clutch two out RBI hits with runners in scoring position by Jesus Aguilar, Yandy Diaz and Adam Moore.

The real drama was in the ninth inning, however. Down to their last out, Erik Gonzalez and Giovanny Urshela would come through with clutch two-out RBI hits to help score four runs and take the lead.

Clevinger had a rough day in his first start back at Triple-A after his cup of coffee with the Tribe, giving up four runs in 3.2 innings on five hits while walking three and striking out five. Will Roberts provided 4.2 innings of one-run relief and Ben Heller picked up a save using just two pitches.

Ronny Rodriguez was the offensive star of the day, going 2-4 with a walk to set the table for the rest of the lineup.

Akron RubberDucks 2, Bowie Baysox 1

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 38-17

Akron didn't provide much offense in this one, but they didn't need to thanks to some stellar pitching performances.

Jeremy Lucas put the RubberDucks on the board with a solo shot in the seventh inning while Todd Hankens picked up an RBI single in the eighth. There wasn't much to write home about offensively as both Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer had quiet days at the plate, going 0-7 with a walk combined.

Also of note, 26-year old Cuban player Angel Miguel picked up his first career hit in his MiLB debut, although he was subsequently picked off.

The real star of the game was Rob Kaminsky, who looked sharp in his second start after returning from the disabled list. Kaminsky pitched five shutout innings while surrendering only one base hit, striking out three and walking zero in his best start of the 2016 season. He likely could have gone deeper into the game but was still on a pitch count.

Lynchburg Hillcats 3, Salem Red Sox 4

Box Score · Hillcats fall to 35-20

You can blame the bullpen for this one.

Lynchburg jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the third inning after back to back doubles from Bobby Ison and Sicnarf Loopstock, but Salem always responded.

The Hillcats again took the lead in the eighth inning after Greg Allen executed a suicide squeeze, but Salem would tie the game in the bottom half of the inning and then walk off on a wild pitch from reliever Jordan Milbrath.

Starting pitcher Nick Pasquele gave his team a chance to win, allowing two runs in 6.1 innings of work, although he walked four batters.

There wasn't much to write home about on the offensive side of things, except for the fact that maybe Lynchburg didn't need to utilize the sacrifice bunt three times in one game, especially with the amount of mashers they have in their lineup.

Lake County Captains 4, Great Lakes Loons 1

Box Score · Captains improve to 33-23

Matt Esparza was the star of this game. The lanky right-handed starter struck out 10 batters in just six shutout innings of work while only giving up one hit and walking two. It was by far the best start of his minor league career.

Offensively, Anthony Miller had a good day, going 2-4 with his team-leading fifth home run while catching prospect Francisco Mejia reached base safely three out of four times including an RBI single in the third.

Erick Algarin made his Lake County debut in the ninth inning, giving up one run on a solo shot before closing the door on the game.

DSL Indians 1, DSL Yankees1 2

Box Score · Indians fall to 0-1

There's not much that can be learned about this game, as most players in the Dominican Summer League are a complete crapshoot, although diamonds in the rough can be found (like Gabriel Mejia).

Leadoff hitter Jose Fermin had a nice game for the Indians, going 2-2 with two walks. The 17-year old shortstop made a promising debut against the first Yankees team in the league (there are two).

Starting pitcher Luis Oviedo took the loss, giving up one run in four innings on six hits while striking out four. Relievers Jose Oca and Luis Araujo provided three scoreless innings while combining to strike out four.