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Indians minor league recap: Triston McKenzie does his best Houdini act

Lynchburg sweeps double-header in 4-5 day for Tribe affiliates.

After several days off due to multiple All-Star breaks, every team in the Tribe system wasn't just back in action, but several even had double-headers.

The Lynchburg Hillcats were the team to watch yesterday as Thomas Pannone made his High-A debut while Bobby Bradley had a big day, collecting four hits combined in his two games played.

The Columbus Clippers, meanwhile, had victory snatched away at the last second.

Columbus Clippers 3, Toledo Mud Hens 4

Box Score · Clippers fall to 49-44

The Clippers seemingly had this game in the bag, but a late bullpen collapse was their downfall.

No one on Columbus managed more than one hit, but Ronny Rodriguez made his a big one, leading off the game with a solo shot to give the Clippers the lead. After Toledo responded with one run in the bottom of the first, the game remained scoreless until the sixth.

Recently promoted shortstop Eric Stamets collected his first career Triple-A hit, then stole second base. After a Roberto Perez Walk, Yandy Diaz, and Jesus Aguilar would follow with RBI singles to give Columbus a 3-1 lead.

Ryan Merritt pitched a beauty, leaving the game after 5.2 innings while allowing one run on three hits and striking out one. The bullpen couldn't hold the lead, however, as Perci Garner gave up one run in the eighth, then usually dependable power arm Ben Heller gave up three straight hits in the bottom of the ninth without getting anyone out as Toledo walked off.

Akron RubberDucks 3, Erie SeaWolves 5

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 50-42

With recent All-Stars Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer both getting the night off, the Akron offense couldn't muster enough power to rally.

Erie jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead after two innings off starter Julian Merryweather. Merryweather settled down, however, tossing four scoreless frames after that and striking out seven while walking zero.

Nellie Rodriguez slugged a solo blast for Akron and catcher Daniel Salters had a double, but no one else had an extra base hit or a multi-hit game, although Eric Haase did manage to walk twice.

Lynchburg Hillcats 5, Carolina Mud Cats 1 Game 1

Lynchburg Hillcats 10, Carolina Mud Cats 7 Game 2 (F/7)

Game 1 Box Score · Game 2 Box Score · Hillcats improve to 57-33

Lynchburg began the day by completing a suspended game from the day before. Justus Sheffield had started the game with two scoreless innings, but obviously couldn't pitch again, so Lynchburg called up recent LGT interviewee Thomas Pannone to finish the game. Pannone was excellent in his High-A debut, tossing 5.1 innings while giving up one run and striking out three.

Offensively, Anthony Santander, Bobby Bradley, and Tyler Krieger were all the heroes of game one, each collecting a multi-hit game while Santander had three hits including a home run. Francisco Mejia extended his hitting streak to 34 games with a 1-4 day at the plate.

Game two was a bullpen game for Lynchburg, and everyone performed admirably except for Justin Garcia, who was hammered for five runs in one-third of an inning. Thankfully, the Hillcats brought their bats to game two, teeing off for 10 runs in the seven-inning affair.

Again, Bobby Bradley collected a pair of hits and he was joined by Yu-Cheng Chang, Luigi Rodriguez, and Paul Hendrix. Hendricks also homered and picked up five RBI in the game.

David Speer and Jordan Milbrath both tossed multiple scoreless innings while Billy Strode extended his scoreless innings streak to over 22 with another 1.2 shutout frames.

Lake County Captains 1, Cedar Rapids Kernels 8

Box Score · Captains fall to 47-42

It was a very forgettable day for Lake County as they had poor performances both offensively and from the pitching staff.

Shao-Ching Chiang was teed off on for six runs but did manage to go six innings. Almost all the damage was done in a five-run third inning from Cedar Rapids when they hit a three-run bomb after a walk and three singles.

Lake County managed seven hits, but couldn't get hardly anyone in scoring position, only having four opportunities to knock a runner in from second or third base in the entire game. Willi Castro and Connor Marabell paced the Captains with two hits apiece while Angel Miguel collected an RBI single in the eighth for Lake County's lone run.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 7, State College Spikes 4

Box Score · Scrappers improve to 9-18

Mahoning Valley had Triston McKenzie on the mound, but the talented right-hander did not have his best stuff. McKenzie allowed five hits while walking five in four innings, but somehow was able to dodge, dip, dive, duck and... dodge as he stranded all 10 State College baserunners in his four innings of work to somehow drop his ERA from 0.33 to 0.28 on the season.

Silento Sayles had a good game for the Scrappers, going 2-4 with a double and an RBI triple. Yonathan Mendoza also had a bases-clearing triple to remove all doubt in a five-run seventh inning for Mahoning Valley as the offense has seemingly started to wake up a bit.

AZL Indians 5, AZL White Sox 8 (F/7)

AZL Indians 7, AZL White Sox 3 (F/7)

Game 1 Box Score · Game 2 Box Score · Indians move to 12-7

The AZL Indians knocked out the White Sox starter after just 0.1 innings, but couldn't put the game out of reach. Indians starter Jhonleider Salinas was cruising until the fourth inning, where he ran into trouble and was chased. Reliever Dakody Clemmer entered the game with a 16.20 ERA and somehow managed to raise it, allowing 3 more runs in 1.1 innings of work.

A late rally came up short in the bottom of the seventh as the Indians scored three times. Catcher Li-Jen Chu raised his batting average to .500 with a 2-4 game including a home run, his first of the year.

In game two, the Indians took advantage of a comedy of errors from the AZL White Sox, scoring seven runs despite only collecting four hits in the game. The big blow was dealt in the third inning, where the Indians walked four straight times and then were knocked home by a big base-clearing double by Junior Soto.

Cesar Ventura was excellent in his first start for the Indians, lasting 4.2 innings while giving up just one run and striking out four.

DSL Indians 2, DSL Rangers1 4

Box Score · Indians fall to 16-18

The DSL Indians collected 10 hits on the day, but could only manage two measly runs. Ronny Dominguez, Miguel Jerez and Pablo Jimenez all had big days, picking up eight of the teams hits between them.

Luis Valdez and Jose Oca tossed eight innings between them, giving up two runs (one earned) to give the Indians a chance to win, but Malker Manzanillo gave up two runs in the top of the ninth to break the tie and pick up the loss.

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The DSL Indians had the second game of their double-header with the DSL Rangers suspended in the first inning due to rain.