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Indians minor league recap: Triston McKenzie strikes out eight in rain-shortened loss

The Clint Frazier-less Clippers fall, while Triston McKenzie dazzles again in Mahoning Valley.

Yesterday was a whirlwind for the Cleveland Indians, with several prospects likely thinking they were destined to be traded, and a handful being shipped out to the New York Yankees for reliever Andrew Miller. The dust has settled (for now), and the Indians still hold onto their top catching prospect, Francisco Mejia, but their outfield depth at the top of the system got a little bit thinner.

A little lower in the farm system, Triston McKenzie continues to look like a future star, striking out eight batters in a rain-shortened loss.

Columbus Clippers 2, Charlotte Knights 3

Box Score · Clippers fall to 60-49

In their first game in the post-Clint Frazier era, the Columbus Clippers offense failed to do much of anything and a bullpen without Ben Heller blew a late lead. Welp.

The top third of the Clippers lineup was excellent last night, combining to go 6-for-12 with a double and a run batted in. Bradley Zimmer, batting second, had his second-straight multi-hit game for the Clippers and he is now 7-for-22 in six games at Triple-A. With Frazier now in New York, Zimmer figures to once again be the Indians' consensus top prospect.

Jesus Aguilar's prospect sheen has worn off quite a bit, and he is not having a great year, but his 3-for-4 day yesterday was his third multi-hit game in his last 10.

Starting pitcher Adam Plutko turned in six solid innings with four strikeouts and one earned run off of five hits. After a couple of July meltdowns, Plutko rounded out the month with two good outings. Between last night and his July 26 start against the Norfolk Tides he has pitched 13.1 innings with 11 strikeouts and just one walk.

Akron RubberDucks 0, Bowie Baysox 1

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 55-54

Last year's big trade deadline acquisition, pitching prospect Rob Kaminsky, threw a gem yesterday, but the Akron RubberDucks offense mustered just six hits in a shutout loss at the hands of former Tribe farmhand Jayson Aquino.

Mike Papi's two hits led the 'Ducks yesterday, and his double was the only multi-base hit. Despite the good performance, Papi's batting average still sits below .200 (as it has since July 22) and his on-base percentage is hanging on at .330.

Kaminsky's six-inning, six-strikeout start gave the RubberDucks ample opportunities to win, but Craig Stammen allowed the game's only run and wound up with the loss, his first of the season.

Lynchburg Hillcats 5, Winston-Salem Dash 3

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 68-38

You can always count on the Lynchburg Hillcats to make things better. The Indians' High-A affiliates have the best record in the organization, and they improved upon it yesterday with a four-run fourth inning.

Outfielder Taylor Murphy led off the big inning with a double and was followed by a hit by pitch, a single by Connor Marabell, a wild pitch, another single, and finally the first out of the inning after a Winston-Salem pitching change.

Lynchburg batters had nine hits on the day with Murphy and catcher Alex Monsalve adding two a piece. Bobby Bradley was 0-for-3, but he drew two walks and struck out just once.

Matt Whitehouse, making just his second start in High-A (15 relief appearances), held the fort over four innings, allowing one earned run off of four hits. Justin Garcia and Jordan Milbrath combined to close out the game, striking out three batters and walking three over the remaining five innings.

Lake County Captains 1, West Michigan Whitecaps 3

Box Score · Captains fall to 54-51

The Lake County Captains and West Michigan Whitecaps were even at eight hits apiece (with no extra-base hits), but a two-run fourth inning was enough to sink the Captains and their lone run in the seventh inning.

Lake County received offensive contributions from just about everyone in the lineup. Only right fielder Jose Medina and third baseman Ordomar Valdez failed to get on base.

Cortland Cox, making his first start of the season after 20 relief appearances, was tagged with the loss after the fourth inning.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 0, Williamsport Crosscutters 1 (F/5)

Box Score · Scrappers fall to 18-23

Triston McKenzie lost yesterday's start, his third L of the season, but only because of the rain-shortened nature of the game. He still managed to strike out eight (!!) batters in the five innings he pitched, and he walked just two opponents.

Mahoning Valley managed just two hits in their five innings, both coming from shortstop Yonathan Mendoza, who was batting ninth in the lineup.

AZL Indians 4, AZL Athletics 5

Box Score · Indians fall to 22-11

Despite out-hitting their opponents 11--3, the AZL Indians still lost, 5-4.

The Indians had three errors as a team, but combined they only led to one extra run. The real issue was walks, as the Indians staff, combined, issued six free bases, three of which ended up coming around to score.

Nolan Jones led the Indians offense with three hits and a walk, while Connor Capel and Oscar Gonzalez each added two hits. Despite not hitting any home runs, Jones has been great so far in his professional career. In 13 games with the Indians, he is slashing .341/.500/.366.

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The DSL Indians had a scheduled off day.