You didn't expect Brady Aiken to be flawless all the way up to the majors, did you? The ICleveland Indians' first pick in the 2015 draft had a pretty bad outing in the Rookie League yesterday, but that is to be expected.
In much more encouraging news, Yandy Diaz continues to look like a legitimate third base option for the Indians sometime this season or beyond, as he just keeps hitting well in Triple-A for the Columbus Clippers.
Columbus Clippers 8, Toledo Mud Hens 4
Box Score · Clippers fall to 47-40
Following Tuesday's 0-10 beatdown, the Columbus Clippers bats finally came alive in the form of an eight-run, 12-hit win over the Toledo Mud Hens
Leadoff batter Erik Gonzalez led the way with three hits and a home run as he continues to build up his potential trade deadline value. Gonzalez is slashing .300/.332/.431 on the season and he is on pace to have the most home runs of his career at any level.
Third baseman Yandy Diaz had another great day as well, going 2-for-4 with a walk. There was also a scary moment for Diaz in the fifth inning when a foul tip bounced right off the dirt and back into his face. He stayed in the game and ended up grounding out in the at-bat.
While Ryan Merritt still has not had a great shutdown performance since his six-inning shutout on June 5, he did last five innings and allowed just four runs in last night's win; his four strikeouts were the most he has had in a start since June 16.
Akron RubberDucks 8, Altoona Curve 4
Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 49-38
Take away the second inning, and the Akron RubberDucks only scored two runs in this game. Luckily for us, every inning counts, including their six-run explosion in that second inning.
The damage was almost even worse for the Altoona Curve in the bottom of the second, but Ivan Castillo was robbed of a home run by a potentially bad call. With a runner on base, Castillo hit a ball that was either just inches shy of being a home run, or clearly over the home run line, depending on who you ask. It was difficult to tell with the low-quality MiLB.tv stream, but it certainly looked over the line to me. Full credit goes to Ivan Castillo for legging out the triple in the first place -- if he sat around and assumed it was a home run his hit would have been a double instead.
Castillo would end up being one of the runs plated in the inning when Clint Frazier hit him home with a double three batters later. Frazier finished the day with two hits and two strikeouts.
Mike Papi followed up his legendary six-RBI game Tuesday with a run-of-the-mill Mike Papi game on Wednesday. He was 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored.
Todd Hankins, who is normally a second baseman but has spent quite a bit of time at short this season, had a Francisco Lindor-esque defensive play in the third when he fielded a groundball off-balance, spun, and threw a perfect toss to first base without even looking.
Starting pitcher Julian Merryweather was the victim of some poor defense (aside from Hankins' magic) in his six innings of work, but he still held Curve batters to two earned runs while striking out three. It was good to see Merryweather's control issues from his last start (6 walks against Erie) did not leak into yesterday's.
Lynchburg Hillcats 11, Frederick Keys 7
Box Score · Hillcats improve to 52-31
This game was a shootout from the start, with both teams already tied 4-4 after one inning. The scoring slowed down a bit for the Frederick Keys, but the Lynchburg Hillcats kept rolling to an 11-7 victory.
Two of those four first-inning runs came courtesy of the first four base-runners getting on base via two walks, a single, and a double. The rest came off of a Luigi Rodriguez single later in the inning.
Tyler Krieger, who was part of the four-run rally, continues to have no issues with High-A pitching. He was 1-for-3 yesterday, and in nine games at this level, he is slashing .314/.372/.600 with two home runs.
Yu-Cheng Chang led all Lynchburg batters with four hits, including two doubles and a team-high six runs batted in. The only home run of the day came off the bat of Anthony Santander, a two-run shot in the fourth inning.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers 6, Vermont Lake Monsters 0 (F/5)
Box Score · Scrappers improve to 5-15
In a rain-shortened five innings, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers finally recorded their fifth win of the season.
Scrapper bats were held silent for the first three innings, but a starting pitcher meltdown in the fourth helped them score six runs. Two Mahoning Valley batters were hit by pitches in the inning, while another three were walked by more conventional means. Timley singles from Erlin Cerda and Andrew Calica were enough to score the majority of the runs.
Starting pitcher Aaron Civale pitched three of the five innings, striking out two and walking one.
AZL Indians 2, AZL Dodgers 9
Box Score · Indians fall to 7-6
Brady Aiken's ascension the majors is sure to have some bumps in the road, and he hit another one last night.
Aiken's two-inning, four-run effort was the worst start of his pro career so far. After recording shutouts in his first two starts, he has pitched five innings and allowed seven earned runs, combined, in his last two. The good news is he has 13 strikeouts in nine innings this season.
The bad pitching performances were not helped by an Indians offense that was held to six hits and struck out six times. Two of those hits came from Jose Vincente, while another came from the rehabbing Roberto Perez, who was 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI.
DSL Indians 4, DSL Cubs1 5
Box Score · Indians fall to 15-12
The DSL Indians fought for 11 innings but ultimately lost in walk-off fashion to the DSL Cubs1.
The Indians offense as a whole had eight hits, two apiece from Ronny Dominguez (including a triple) and Cristopher Cespedes. Starting pitcher Luis Araujo pitched a strong six innings for the Indians, striking out five and walk two.
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The Lake County Captains game was postponed due to rain.