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Indians minor league recap: Clevinger, Merryweather and Esparza toss gems

Oh, and Francisco Mejia improved his hitting streak to 41 freaking games.

After getting swept across the board on Thursday night, the Indians affiliates bounced back nicely yesterday, racking up a 5-3 record backed by some excellent pitching performances from the likes of Mike Clevinger, Julian Merryweather, Matt Esparza and 2016 fourth round pick Shane Bieber.

Francisco Mejia also made headlines by collecting a hit in his 41st straight game, moving up to 14th all time in hitting streaks.

Not bad, not bad at all.

Let's get to it:

Columbus Clippers 1, Charlotte Knights 0

Box Score · Clippers improve to 59-48

The Columbus Clippers scored one measly run yesterday.

But thankfully, that would be all they needed due to a spectacular pitching performance from Mike Clevinger and the bullpen.

Clevinger lasted just five innings, but struck out eight while giving up six hits in his scoreless frames. Perci Garner then proceeded to toss three no-hit innings of relief and Shawn Armstrong slammed the door with two strikeouts in the ninth for his fifth save.

Offensively, Columbus only had four hits, but Bradley Zimmer led the way with a single and a walk, the only Clipper to reach base twice on the day. Zimmer's third inning single drove in Collin Cowgill to plate the game's only run.

Akron RubberDucks 3, Bowie Baysox 1

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 55-52

Recently promoted Greg Allen led the way for Akron, the only RubberDuck to collect a multi-hit game and he also blasted a home run on the night to pace the offense.

Jordan Smith and Joe Sever also collected RBIs for the RubberDucks as they were led by a strong pitching performance.

Julian Merryweather, who has struggled a bit since his promotion in late June, had his best outing in Double-A, throwing six innings, giving up just one run while striking out eight and walking one on three hits. Cole Sulser closed things out for his fourth save.

Lynchburg Hillcats 0, Winston-Salem Dash 4

Box Score · Hillcats fall to 66-38

Matt Esparza pitched well in his debut with High-A Lynchburg, but not well enough as the Hillcat offense was shut out on just four hits.

Thankfully, one of those four hits just happened to be a seventh inning single off the bat of Francisco Mejia, who ran his 2016 baseball-best hitting streak to a ridiculous 41 games with a rope to left field.

No one managed an extra base hit, although Tyler Krieger did walk twice.

Esparza threw six innings, giving up two runs on just three hits while striking out seven and walking two. He picked up a quality start in his debut, but also unfortunately took the loss.

Lake County Captains 7, South Bend Cubs 11

Box Score · Captains fall to 54-49

This game was all about the offense as both teams collected 15 hits each, but South Bend was able to make better use of their base runners.

Willi Castro, the only top prospect remaining on Lake County from the beginning of the season, had a monster game, pacing the Captains offense with a 4-5 game. Jodd Carter, Martin Cervenka and Juan De La Cruz joined him with multi-hit games.

Starting pitcher Casey Shane was teed off on, giving up six runs on eight hits and walking two in just four innings of work while failing to strike out a single batter. The team was down 11-2 by the sixth inning and simply wasn't able to crawl back into the game.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 7, Aberdeen IronBirds 1 Game 1 

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 2, Aberdeen IronBirds 6 Game 2

Game 1 Box Score· Game 2 Box Score · Scrappers move to 18-22

Game one was all Scrappers, thanks to a pair of big home runs from Erlin Cerda (two-run shot) and Emmanuel Tapia (three-run bomb) as well as a solid pitching performance from 2016 fourth round draft pick Shane Bieber, who tossed three shutout innings while striking out three. Andrew Calica, Logan ice and Mitch Longo also collected multi-hit games in the seven-inning romp.

Game two wasn't nearly as much fun.

Despite multi-hit efforts from Gabriel Mejia, Todd Isaacs and Nathan WInfrey, the Scrappers offense couldn't quite get off the ground.

Aberdeen jumped all over Scrappers starter Luis Jimenez, scoring five times in the third inning and that would be more than enough to pull out the victory. Of note, Ryan Colegate stuck out six batters in his 2.1 innings of relief.

AZL Indians 11, AZL Padres 6

Box Score · Indians improve to 22-9

The AZL league-leading Indians continued their torrid 2016 with a stomping of the AZL Padres last night.

Backed by 15 hits, the Indians scored in five separate innings. Six separate Indians collected multi-hit games, led by Jorma Rodriguez, who had three base knocks including a triple.

Dorssys Paulino continued to dominate in his rehab stint, going 2-5 with a walk and a double plus a stolen base. Hosea Nelson joined the stolen base party with two of his own, reaching base safely three times in the game. Top 2016 draft pick Will Benson went 1-4 with a double and two walks but he also struck out three times.

Starting pitcher Felix Tati had a rough outing, giving up all six runs in 3.1 innings, but Domingo Jimenez and Ryder Ryan provided a solid 5.2 innings of scoreless, hitless relief.

DSL Indians 5, DSL Cubs1 2 

Box Score · Indians improve to 21-26

The DSL Indians snapped a short losing skid thanks to some excellent pitching and some timely hitting. The team went 5-9 with runners in scoring position, with Henderson De Oleo leading the charge with the lone multi-hit game and multiple runs batted in.

Jose Oca wasn't great in his starting role, giving up both runs, but Christophers Santana and Alejandro Izaguirre held the Cubs at bay with a combined six innings of shutout relief to help the Indians pick up the win.