The big news from yesterday was the Indians promoting both of their top two prospects, Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer, to Triple-A, putting them one step from Cleveland.
As for the games...
Columbus Clippers 5, Pawtucket Red Sox 2
Box Score · Clippers improve to 57-46
Ryan Merritt is not matching his 2015 production, but allowed only one earned run in five innings of work. He only struck out two, but also only allowed five hits and zero walks.
Ronny Rodriguez, Yandy Diaz, Adam Moore, and Michael Choice each had two hits for the Clippers. Choice's pair included his ninth home run of the season.
The Clippers took an early lead, and never looked back. They currently lead their division by four games, and their quest to win the International League will get a big boost from the arrival of Frazier and Zimmer.
Akron RubberDucks 1, Altoona Curve 6
Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 54-48
In his final game with the RubberDucks, Zimmer led off with a single, then stole second and third (giving him 33 steals on the year) before scoring to give Akron an early lead. Unfortunately, it was the only run they'd score, as the team managed only for hits all game, two of them by Jordan Smith. Clint Frazier went 0 for 3 in his final game at Double-A.
Julian Merryweather allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings, working around three walks in a decent effort. Grant Sides entered next, and after retiring the first batter he faced, he gave up hits to the next four in a row, capped by a home run to center field.
Akron is in third place in their division, but only two games out of first. We'll see how they do in the face of losing their top two hitters.
Lynchburg Hillcats 5, Carolina Mudcats 2
Box Score · Hillcats improve to 65-34
Luis Lugo moved his record to 7-3 with five good innings, allowing only an unearned run while striking out six.
The Hillcats picked up only six hits, and didn't draw any walks, but they clustered all of their hits into just two innings of work, allowing them to score some runs. Greg Allen, Bobby Bradley, and Yu-Cheng Chang, the three players from the lineup who interest me the most, each had one of those hits. For Chang it was his 28th double of the season. Sicnarf Loopstok was hit by a pitch, and initially stayed in the game, but was later removed.
Lynchburg has already clinched a spot in the Carolina League postseason, by winning their division in the first half. They're currently tied for the division lead in the second half; winning both halves would allow them to host every game of the first round.
Lake County Captains 6, Beloit Snappers 2
Box Score · Captains fall to 52-47
Starter Matt Esparza gave up two runs in 4.1 innings, then relievers Leandro Linares and Kieren Lovegrove combined for 4.2 shutout innings to finish the game out. Linares did allow an inherited runner to score, but also struck out five in his 2.2 innings. Lovegrove struck out three in his 2.1 frames.
The Captains trailed 2-0 heading into the 7th, but David Armendariz hit a three-run homer to give Lake County the lead, and Will Castro doubled in another run before the inning ended. The team tacked on two more in the 9th for the final margin. Armendariz and Castro each had three hits on the day.
Lake County is six games back of the second-half division crown, and five games back of the second-half Wild card spot.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers (14-21)
DSL Indians (20-21)
scheduled day off
AZL Indians 4, AZL Reds 3
Box Score · Indians improve to 19-8
Brady Aiken gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk over 3.2 innings, with four strikeouts. Relievers Luis Santos, Dalbert Siri, and Ben Krauth combined for 5.1 shutout frames though, allowing the Indians to come back from their early 3-0 deficit and win their fifth game in a row.
Samad Taylor and Hosea Nelson led the offense with two hits apiece. Elvis Perez had a two-run double.
The winning streak has pushed the Indians into first place in their division, but they lead the Dodgers by only half a game, as the best best records in the three-division league reside in the same division.