Bradley Zimmer has had a pretty up-and-down season to this point, but right now he appears to be on an up swing. The 23-year-old had one of his best games of the season yesterday, leading the Akron RubberDucks to a four-run win.
Down in Class-A, Connor Marabell carried the Lake County Captains to a series-opening win of their own.
Columbus Clippers 5, Louisville Bats 7
Box Score · Clippers fall to 53-46
Giovanny Urshela had a Tyler Naquin-esque performance, but that could not save the Columbus Clippers from a disasterous Adam Plutko outing.
Urshela led the way offensively with two home runs, both solo shots. Michael Choice had two hits as well, including one home run.
Yandy Diaz, playing in right field, was challenged consistently in the game, especially the sixth inning. He first fielded two-straight fly balls to shallow right field to hold runners on base before a Louisville Bats runner made a mental error and got caught inbetween two bases. Diaz was given the outfield assist, although it was not much more than a toss-in. He also finished with one hit on the day.
Starting pitcher Adam Plutko has had a rough couple of weeks. His first start of July was a one-run, 6.2-inning effort, but over his last three, he has allowed 19 earned runs over 17 innings. On Wednesday he allowed six off eight hits while striking out four. The silver lining is that he did not issue a single walk, so take that as you will.
Akron RubberDucks 7, Richmond Flying Squirrels 3
Box Score · RubberDucks 53-45
It's taken a few months, but Bradley Zimmer is finally hitting like a top prospect in Double-A. He led the Akron RubberDucks to a blowout win yesterday with a four-hit day, including two runs batted in and a run scored.
Fellow top prospect Clint Frazier remains cold, however, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He also scared Indians Twitter with an ominous tweet, but as Brian Hemminger pointed out he may just be upset at himself for being in such a slump. Or maybe he butt-tweeted a two-letter word, who knows.
no— Clint Frazier (@clintfrazier) July 20, 2016
Jeremy Lucas benefitted from Zimmer's big day, recording three hits himself and racking up two runs batted in.
Starting pitcher Michael Peoples pitched 7.2 innings, allowing three earned runs off of eight hits. He only struck out two batters, but walked none. This was only Peoples' second start of the season in which he did not issue a walk.
JP Feyereisen closed the game, but it wasn't pretty. He issued two walks and allowed a hit, but managed to escape unscathed with two timely strikeouts.
Lake County Captains 4, Beloit Snappers 2
Box Score · Captains improve to 50-45
The Lake County Captains enjoyed a nice two-day break earlier this week, and now they are in back in action with a series-opening win over the Beloit Snappers.
Three of the Captains' four runs came in the third inning when a pair of errors and a timely hit from Connor Marabell plated three runs. Marabell had two hits in the game, including a triple later on in the game.
Brock Hartson continues to put together a solid season as a starting pitcher, last five innings and allow two earned runs off of six hits in his latest outing. Hartson has become a full-time starter, seemingly, since Jun 19. In those six starts he has already blanked his opponents twice and had six or more strikeouts three times. His ERA is a bit high, thanks to one bad outing.
Kieran Lovegrove was given his fourth save of the season by striking out two batters in his lone inning of work.
AZL Indians 14, AZL Padres 3
Box Score · Indians improve to 16-8
Hello offense, you beautiful, beautiful thing. The Indians exploded for an eight-run inning in the fifth and sprinkled some runs throughout the other eight innings for good measure.
Six Indians batters had multi-hit games, and as a team they had 17. Will Benson had a particularly great game, going 3-for-5 with three doubles and four runs batted in. Third baseman Nolan Jones had two hits himself, as well as a walk and a strikeout.
Starting pitcher Francisco Perez remains undefeated on the season, pitching six innings and allowing one earned run off of five hits. This was Perez's fifth-straight start allowing one earned run or fewer, although he has yet to match the 10-strikeout performance he put up on July 3.
DSL Indians 5, DSL Pirates 8
Box Score · Indians fall to 18-20
The DSL Indians tried their best at a comeback attempt with a three-run second inning, but they were down too soon and too far for it to make much of a difference. Pablo Jimenez, Cristopher Cespedes and Cristopher De Jesus all had multi-hit games.
Luis Valdez got the start but lasted just 1.2 innings. In that short time he issued five walks, one hit and allowed four earned runs.
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The Lynchburg Hillcats and Mahoning Valley Scrappers had scheduled off days.