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Indians Minor League Recap: Aiken shelled in first extended start

Two affiliates lose, 1-0, as several great starting pitching efforts are wasted.

It wasn't a great day for Cleveland Indians affiliates, who went 2-4 overall yesterday, with two teams dropping tough 1-0 games.

While the offense wasn't kicking into high gear anywhere (except Lynchburg), the farm system was paced by multiple excellent starts across the board, although several of them were wasted in those low-scoring losses.

Perhaps worst of all was Brady Aiken's start, as he was shelled in his first game with an extended pitch count while on his comeback from 2015 Tommy John surgery.

Let's get on with it.

Columbus Clippers 4, Pawtucket Red Sox 6

Box Score · Clippers fall to 43-38

Columbus had some solid contributions from the usual suspects yesterday, but it wasn't enough to overcome Will Roberts' awful start. Roberts gave up one run in the first, two in the second and then three in the third before finally getting pulled. If they hadn't, he'd have been on pace to give up a total of 45 runs in a nine-inning game.

Abraham Almonte continued to tear the cover off the ball, going 3-5 while Jesus Aguilar and Erik Gonzalez also collected multi-hit games. Aguilar blasted his organization lead-tying 16th home run in the eighth inning, a two run shot to make the game interesting, but that would be the end of the Clippers offensive threat.

Relievers Jeff Johnson, TJ House and Josh Martin did a great job, tossing five shutout innings of two-hit ball to keep Columbus in the game, but the comeback fell two runs shy.

Akron RubberDucks 0, Erie SeaWolves 1

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 44-37

Despite a great pitching performance all-around by the RubberDucks, the Akron offense completely failed to show up yesterday, getting shut out for the second straight game en route to a 1-0 defeat.

Akron has a killer lineup and five upcoming Double-A All-Stars (plus a recently promoted Lynchburg All-Star), but they only managed two hits and zero walks yesterday, a double from Todd Hankins, and a single from Daniel Salters.

DJ Brown was excellent, tossing five scoreless innings on four hits while striking out three. Poor reliever Cole Sulser was hit with the loss, giving up a run in the bottom of the seventh inning which proved insurmountable. Akron at one point this year was 21 games over .500. Now they're just seven over. As good as the Indians' June was, Akron's was just as forgettable.

Hopefully they can snap out of this funk soon.

Lynchburg Hillcats 9, Carolina Mud Cats 1

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 48-29

Backed by another well-rounded performance from the offense and some stellar pitching, Lynchburg easily rolled over Carolina.

Greg Allen continued to terrorize Advanced-A pitching, collecting another multi-hit game from the leadoff spot while Tyler Krieger and Francisco Mejia seem to have adapted well to the transition after their recent promotions. Krieger slugged his first home run for the Hillcats while Mejia roped a double to extend his hitting streak to an unreal 26 games.

Bobby Bradley and Paul Hendrix also joined the multi-hit club for the day.

Starting pitcher Luis Lugo tossed 6.2 shutout innings on four hits while walking two and striking out two to collect an easy victory for the Hillcats.

Lake County Captains 0, South Bend Cubs 1

Box Score · Captains fall to 43-35

This was a frustrating loss. Lake County outhit South Bend 7-3 and played errorless ball, but a gem of a start from surging Captains ace Matt Esparza was wasted as the Captains were shut out for the second time in three games.

Captains hitters did fine on the day, with Connor Marabell going 2-4 and Angel Miguel having a solid 2-3 game with a double, but as a team, they went 0-7 with runners in scoring position.

Matt Esparza gave up one run in the sixth inning, striking out seven and allowing just three hits and one walk, but that was more than enough as the Captains' offense was completely anti-clutch en route to losing their third game in a row.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 2, Auburn Doubledays 5

Box Score · Scrappers fall to 3-11

Starting pitcher Luis Jimenez was knocked around for five runs in 3.1 innings and that would be more than enough due to the lifelessness of Mahoning Valley's offense.

Neither team hit particularly well, collecting five hits apiece, but it was the three errors for the Scrappers which really did them in. Catcher Gian Gonzalez had two errors himself and third baseman Grofi Cruz joined the party as well.

The lone bright spots were center fielder Todd Isaacs, who went 3-4 with two doubles on the day, and long relievers Devon Stewart and Argenis Angulo, who provided 5.2 innings of lockdown relief. Angulo moved his scoreless innings streak to 9.2 innings to start out the season.

AZL Indians 3, AZL White Sox 10

Box Score · Indians fall to 4-5

Indians 2015 first round draft pick Brady Aiken started the year with a pair of scoreless two-inning outings and he was given an opportunity to extend his pitch count yesterday.

It didn't go well.

Aiken was shelled for five runs (three earned) on four hits in 3.1 innings, walking two and striking out four.

Errors and walks played a big part in the loss as the Indians outhit the White Sox 7-5 despite losing by seven runs.

Jorma Rodriguez and Simeon Lucas had big games, going 2-3 and 2-4 with a triple and a home run respectively. Indians 19th round pick in 2016 Dakody Clemmer had an atrocious outing out of the bullpen, giving up four runs without getting anyone out in the eighth inning.

DSL Indians 4, DSL Mets1 3

Box Score · Indians improve to 13-10

This game was a back-and-forth affair with multiple ties and lead changes, but the Indians pulled ahead in the top of the ninth inning, led by a three-hit performance from Christopher De Jesus, who collected a triple and knocked in two of the four runs.

Starting pitcher Luis Araujo tossed five solid innings, giving up two runs (one earned) while striking out four and walking none. Alejandro Izaguirre threw a perfect ninth inning to collect his first career save.