Starting pitcher Adam Plutko was invited to the Cleveland Indians' spring training prior to the season, and he might be close to those major-league teammates sometime again soon. He will if he keeps pitching like he did yesterday, at least, when he struck out 13 batters in 7.2 innings. Unfortunately, Plutko's strong effort was not enough to get the 'Ducks a win, as the offense fell flat on its face for the second-straight game.
There were a couple exciting, extra-inning games, but it was a relatively quiet day down on the farm, overall. Maybe it's the calm before the draft storm.
Columbus Clippers 3, Indianapolis Indians 2 (F/10)
Box Score · Clippers improve to 34-25
The Columbus Clippers had a lead through seven innings, but they decided to make things interesting for fans at Huntington Park by allowing the Indianapolis Indians to have a run in the top of the eighth. That plan worked (or backfired) as the Clippers wound up needing 10 innings to get the exciting walk-off win.
That final run came courtesy of a Ronny Rodriguez sacrifice fly that scored Bryson Myles from third. Prior to Rodriguez game-winning hit, Myles stole third base and Jordan Smith stole second from first with a double steal.
Almost all of Wednesday's production came from the top half of the lineup, with Erik Gonzalez, Ronny Rodriguez, Giovanny Urshela, Adam Moore, and Jesus Aguilar accounting for six of the team's seven hits. Moore's multi-game hit streak, but it does extend his overall hitting streak to five games.
Pitching for the Indians was ex-Cleveland Indian Justin Masterson, who has been in the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league system for the last two seasons.
Columbus Clippers starter TJ House went 5.2 innings, striking out four and allowing one earned runs. House has allowed two or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts. Unfortunately, that one game that he allowed more than two was his last outing when he was blown up for five runs.
Akron RubberDucks 2, Reading Fightin' Phils 3 (F/11)
Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 38-21
In similar fashion to their Triple-A big brothers, the Akron RubberDucks had a lead through seven innings but allowed a game-tying run to cross to plate in the top of the eighth. Unfortunately for the Akron RubberDucks, they were not the ones celebrating after extra innings.
Adam Plutko was absolutely dominant for the 'Ducks. He struck out 13 (nice) batters and walked just one. As you might expect, that was a season-high for the 24-year-old, although issuing one walk is par for the course at this point for Plutko. Throughout all of his starts this season he has never walked more than two batters in a game.
Relief pitcher JP Feyereisen finished off the eighth inning with a strikeout in relief of Plutko, but he got into trouble in the ninth. After recording another strikeout he issued two more walks before being pulled in favor of Nick Maronde to finish off the inning. Both relievers came out unscathed.
Offensively, the RubberDucks could not match their starting pitcher's excellent performance. They could only muster four hits on the day and they struck out a whopping 17 times. Three of those hits were doubles (two from Todd Hankins), but it was still not enough to score more than two runs.
Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier struggled once again, combining to 1-for-9 with four strikeouts.
Lake County Captains 14, Lansing Lugnuts 12
Box Score · Captains improve to 35-24
The Lake County Captains absolutely exploded yesterday, with every starting position player recording a hit, and five of them having three-hit games. All of these hits and runs were accomplished with just two home runs, one from Nathan Lukes, and one from Francisco Mejia.
The Captains as a team were 9-for-15 with runners in scoring position and they stranded just seven of their almost 30 baserunners they had in the game. Weirder still than having just two home runs, the team also had only two doubles and no triples.
Connor Marabell continues to be spectacular for the Captains, and he has to have an inside track to being named Player of the Week, or even month if he can keep this up through a good portion of June. So far in the month, he has 11 hits and two home runs.
Starting pitcher Sam Hentges had a short leash yesterday, and was pulled after a rough 2.1 innings in which he allowed three earned runs off of five hits.
DSL Indians 7, DSL Mets
Box Score · Indians improve to 1-2
The DSL Indians jumped out to a six-run lead in the second inning, and they needed every bit of those runs to complete their first win of the season over the DSL Mets.
Those six runs were accomplished with a two singles, two doubles, and a series of errors from the Mets defense. Twenty-year-old Wilbis Santiago led the way for the Indians, recording two hits and a double.
Starting pitcher Felix Tati went 4.0 innings for the Indians, striking out five and walking none. Three runs scored while he was on the mound, but only two were charged to the 19-year-old, with the other two coming as a result of fielding errors.