After getting their feet wet Thursday following the All-Star break, Tribe affiliates settled in yesterday, picking up impressive wins across the board.
Most notably, Juan Hillman and Michael Peoples had solid scoreless starts for Mahoning Valley and Akron respectively.
Hillman, a 19-year old 2015 second round pick, gave up three runs in his first start of 2016, and has not allowed an earned run since in his follow-up five starts. His current scoreless innings streak stands at 25.2 innings on the season.
Columbus Clippers 5, Toledo Mud Hens 4 (F/10)
Box Score · Clippers improve to 50-44
After blowing a game yesterday, the Clippers decided to give the Toledo Mud Hens some heartbreak this time around.
Columbus jumped out to an early 4-0 lead thanks to contributions from both the top and bottom of the order, but the biggest blow was a three run bomb from leadoff hitter Ronny Rodriguez in the second inning. Rodriguez, Yandy Diaz, Collin Cowgill and Joey Butler would all have two-hit games.
Starting pitcher Adam Plutko cruised through the first six innings without giving up a run, but then ran into trouble in the seventh where he left after giving up two runs with two men still on base, and both would come around to score to tie the game.
Thankfully, the Clippers made this a short extra innings affair as Ronny Rodriguez would come through again, doubling, moving to third on a ground out and then scoring on a wild pitch for the go-ahead (and winning) run.
Akron RubberDucks 2, Erie SeaWolves 0
Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 51-42
While the offense was once again deficient, this time, the RubberDucks were carried by some spectacular pitching performances.
The story of this game was Michael Peoples, who shut out Erie for seven innings while surrendering just three runs and striking out four. Peoples also picked off two baserunners in the first inning. Cole Sulser would slam the door with two shutout frames to earn his second save.
Clint Frazier paced Akron with a 3-5 day at the dish, all singles, while first baseman Jeremy Lucas went 2-4 with a double and scored both of Akron's runs in the game. Mike Papi was the lone other contributor, going 1-3 with a walk on the day.
Lake County Captains 1, Cedar Rapids Kernels 6
Box Score · Captains fall to 47-43
For the second straight day, the Lake County Captains were blown out after shoddy pitching performances and some pathetic offense. It seems the team is really missing promoted standouts Francisco Mejia and Tyler Krieger.
It certainly wasn't for lack of trying from remaining middle of the order sluggers Connor Marabell and Nathan Lukes, though. Lukes went 2-4 with a triple while Marabell was 3-4 with a double to account for five of the Captains' seven hits on the day including the lone run and RBI.
Lake County starter Casey Shane struggled through 4+ innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and only striking out one batter. The team received a solid five innings of shutout relief from Cortland Cox, but it was to no avail as the offense couldn't get anything going beyond the number three and four hitters.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers 8, State College Spikes 5
Box Score · Scrappers improve to 10-18
After struggling out of the gate in 2016, the Mahoning Valley offense is finally starting to pick up steam. They were paced yesterday by some solid contributions from the top of the order as number 1-3 hitters Andrew Calica (2016 round 11 pick), Michael Tinsley (2016 round 7 pick) and Jodd Carter (2014 round 24 pick) all hit doubles, combining for four RBI and scoring three runs.
The Scrappers also took advantage of three errors from State College.
Starting pitcher Juan Hillman gave up one unearned run in four innings, striking out two and walking three to earn his fifth straight scoreless (earned runs) outing. Hillman and fellow top 2015 pick Triston McKenzie have made 12 starts in 2016, tossing 62 innings in total and have given up a whopping four runs thus far. Not a bad start to their minor league careers, ehh?
Ryan Perez gave the team a scare late by giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but he kept his composure and was able to finish the game without help to secure the victory.
Box Score · Indians improve to 13-7
Backed by yet another tremendous start from surging 18-year old Dominican lefty Francisco Perez, the AZL Indians were able to win their second straight game.
Indians 2016 first round pick Will Benson had the best game of his young career, going 2-3 with a solo home run and a walk to pace the AZL Indians offense. Ninth round selection Hosea Nelson contributed a double, walk and stolen base as well, his fifth of the young season.
Perez tossed six innings, giving up just one run on four hits while striking out three to pick up the win.
DSL Indians 0, DSL Rangers1 3
Box Score · Indians fall to 16-19
It was a frustrating day for the DSL Indians as they were shut out by the DSL Rangers1 on five hits. The Indians pitchers only gave up six hits themselves, but they took advantage of mistakes, scoring three runs while only actually batting one of them in thanks to three errors, two wild pitches and a hits batsman.
Every single member of the DSL Indians lineup struck out at least once in the game.
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The High-A Lynchburg Hillcats had their game postponed yesterday due to inclement weather..