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Indians minor league recap: Julian Merryweather dominates in return from DL

And, uh, let's just pretend the Akron RubberDucks didn't play yesterday.

Rain caused the Cleveland Indians to sit around and do nothing for three hours yesterday, and it affected their farm teams as well. The Columbus Clippers and Lynchburg Hillcats both played in rain-shortened contests yesterday, with the latter's game lasting just five innings before being called.

In those five innings, though, Julian Merryweather made a dominant return to the Hillcats lineup with a four-inning dazzler and his sixth (!!) shutout of the season at High-A.

Meanwhile, in Double-A, the Akron RubberDucks were embarrassed over the course of two games in their doubleheader, including total domination by an old Indians friend.

Columbus Clippers 4, Scranton RailRiders 1

Box Score · Clippers improve to 32-24

After the rough string of baseball games the Columbus Clippers suffered through last week, they really needed a weekend like this past one. No major collapses, no blowout losses, just a good old fashion 2-0 weekend.

Their latest victory, on Sunday, ended up being called early due to rain after six-and-a-half innings. Luckily, the Clippers had already amassed four runs at that time, while starting pitcher Ryan Merritt was having himself a great game -- lasting all six innings and allowing zero earned runs on five hits. This was Merritt's first start in Columbus since his big-league debut on May 30.

The Columbus offense was primarily carried by a red-hot Guillermo Quiroz, who has gone 12-for-35 in his last 10 games at catcher for the Clippers. In that span, he also has two home runs and four multi-hit games. Yhoxian Medina has had no trouble adjusting to Triple-A pitching to this point, as he is now slashing .319/.373/.468 in his 16 games with Columbus. He had two hits as well on Sunday, including one of the team's three runs batted in.

Along with Quiroz, Erik Gonzalez had one of the Clippers' three extra-base hits on the day, a double off of Phil Coke (hey, remember that guy?) to hit Medina home in the sixth inning.

Akron RubberDucks 0, Bowie Baysox 6 (Game 1)
Akron RubberDucks 7, Bowie Baysox 12 (Game 2)

Game 1 Box Score · Game 2 Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 38-19

Have you ever woken up and had a feeling you were going to have a really bad day at work? If anyone on the Akron RubberDucks is perceptive like that, they probably had a bad feeling after rolling out of bed on Sunday. In a doubleheader meant to make up a game postponed on April 9, Akron failed to do much offensively in Game 1, then threw batting practice in Game 2.

Were it not for Joe Sever's two hits and Clint Frazier's single, the RubberDucks would have been no-hit in Game 1. As a team they struck out eight times with just two walks, but hey, at least they were only 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position! The pitcher who shut down Akron was none other than former Indians farmhand Jayson Aquino, who the Indians designated to make room for outfielder Joey Butler in the offseason. He struck out eight and allowed just three hits in his seven innings.

Shawn Morimando had an uncharacteristically bad outing in Game 1, going 4.2 innings and allowing five earned runs on five hits. This was by his worst start of the season, and even with allowing so many runs in so few innings his ERA only went up to 2.17.

Game 2 had a different story, but the ending was the same. Akron jumped out to a five-run lead with a monster first inning, including back-to-back leadoff home runs from Todd Hankins and Taylor Murphy. Three more runs followed later with an Alex Monsalve bases-clearing triple that plated Nellie Rodriguez, Mike Papi, and Jeremy Lucas. The hot first inning was enough to carry the 'Ducks until the bottom of the sixth.

Heading into that fateful frame, Akron was up 6-3, but an absolute bullpen explosion ended up costing the team the game. Starting pitcher D.J. Brown pitched the first five innings of the game, finishing with a respectable three earned runs on seven hits and three strikeouts. However, things went downhill when Cole Sulser came in to replace him in the sixth. He allowed a double, a single, and a triple in three straight at-bats then walked the next batter.

When it was clear that Sulser was struggling, RubberDucks manager Dave Wallace made the call to bring in Grant Sides, who promptly issued three-straight walks and a grand slam. He did manage to induce the final out of the inning, a groundout to third, but the damage was already done.

Lynchburg Hillcats 1, Salem Red Sox 0

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 36-20

Sunday's game only lasted five full innings, but based on how the Lynchburg Hillcats offense was hitting (or not hitting) that was probably a good thing. They managed a run in the second thanks to a Sicnarf Loopstok single in the second inning, and that would end up being the only run of the game.

Combined, the Hillcats and the Salem Red Sox accounted for only five hits, with three of those coming from the losing team.

Lynchburg pitcher Julian Merryweather is just biding his time until a call-up to Double-A at this point -- his dominating outing on Sunday dropped his season ERA to 0.92. In his nine starts this season, six have been shutouts. Six! This was Merryweather's first start since May 19 when he was placed on the minor league disabled list.

Lake County Captains 4, Great Lakes Loons 8

Box Score · Captains fall to 33-24

Despite numerous chances to score more than four runs and win the game, the Lake County Captains snapped their young winning streak at two games.

As a team, Captains batters were 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position and they left 10 runners on base. Connor Marabell had another nice game, going 2-for-5 with a double one of the Captains' four runs batted in. Marabell has now gone 5-for-12 in his last three games and is batting .406 in his last 10.

Francisco Mejia added a hit himself, extending his hit streak to eight games.

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The DSL Indians had a scheduled off day.