It was a wild day for Tribe affiliates yesterday, as teams scrambled to recover from Shawn Morimando's last minute call-up to Cleveland. Both Columbus and Akron were affected, but they made it work with replacement starters and last minute call-ups of their own.
The heroes of the day were Thomas Pannone and Justus Sheffield, who both had brilliant starts for Advanced-A Lynchburg and Single-A Lake County respectively.
Let's get to business:
Columbus Clippers 7, Pawtucket Red Sox 2
Box Score · Clippers improve to 45-38
Just like the big league club, Columbus had themselves a bullpen game yesterday, and they had to lean heavily on pitchers who had just been promoted for spot duty.
Thankfully for the Clippers, the pitchers they called up did a terrific job. Nick Maronde, called up from Double-A and David Speer, called up from Advanced-A Lynchburg, both pitched three innings and gave up one run. Columbus relievers Jeff Johnson and Josh Martin combined for three more scoreless innings to help Columbus keep Pawtucket's offense at bay.
The offense only had eight men successfully reach base, but they managed to score seven runs thanks to four errors. Joey Butler had a big day, going 2-4 with two doubles and four runs batted in. Jesus Aguilar and Giovanny Urshela also had multi-hit games to help Columbus pull out the victory.
Akron RubberDucks 5, Erie SeaWolves 7
Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 45-38
With expected starter Shawn Morimando called up to Cleveland, Akron started Lynchburg pitcher Nick Pasquale yesterday, and he was brilliant, leaving with the lead after five innings and giving up just one run.
The bullpen couldn't hold it, however, as Casey Weathers and Robbie Aviles combined to give up five runs in 1.2 innings of work.
Bradley Zimmer, Clint Frazier and Mike Papi all had big days, collecting two hits apiece. Zimmer and Frazier also both stole a base while Papi slugged his first career Double-A home run in the ninth inning. The rally fell short, however and Akron lost by two.
Lynchburg Hillcats 3, Carolina Mud Cats 1 (F/7)
Box Score · Hillcats improve to 50-29
Something seems to have clicked for Justus Sheffield. Ever since appearing in the Advanced-A All-Star game, the young southpaw has kicked it up a notch and he was in rare form yesterday with one of the best starts of his career. Sheffield tossed six innings, giving up one run on five hits while striking out 10 and walking three.
The offense managed to put three runs on the board thanks to a home run from Yu-Cheng Chang, who went 2-3 as well as some excellent table-setting from Greg Allen and Tyler Krieger, who both hit a double and reached base safely twice on the day.
Francisco Mejia extended his hitting streak to 28 freaking games with a triple and the game was called in the bottom of the seventh inning as fog rolled in and visibility dropped to nearly zero.
Lake County Captains 3, Fort Wayne Tin Caps 2
Box Score · Captains improve to 45-35
For the second straight game, the Lake County Captains were down 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth after a reliever had spoiled a great starting pitching performance, and for the second straight game, the Captains put two runs on the board to walk off.
Ordomar Valdez was the offensive player of the game for Lake County, collecting three hits on the day, and he led the ninth inning off with a single. Nathan Lukes singled to push him to third base and then savior Connor Marabell slugged a double to bring them both home for the victory.
Thomas Pannone pitched a gem of a game, tossing six shutout innings and striking out six while walking none. Billy Strode pitched the ninth to push his scoreless innings streak to 20 innings. It's time to take notice of this 23-year old, who's ERA is 0.70 on the season.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers 1, State College Spikes 4
Box Score · Scrappers fall to 3-13
The only thing pretty about this game was the effort from center fielder Gabriel Mejia, who went 3-3 with a double and a walk from the leadoff position. The only other member of the team to collect a hit on the day was Luke Wakamatsu, who went 1-4.
Micah Miniard started for the Scrappers and pitched five innings, giving up three runs (zero earned) while striking out four and walking one.
Something needs to be done about the Mahoning Valley offense, as they had six players in the lineup yesterday who are batting well below the Mendoza line on the season.
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The AZL Indians had a scheduled day off and the DSL Indians had their game suspended due to inclement weather.