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Indians minor league recap: Brady Aiken strong in Scrappers start

That’s two good starts in a row, for those of you keeping track at home.

When a report surfaced earlier this year that Brady Aiken was having velocity issues and the Indians were “concerned” about it, many urged caution — and for good reason. Players come back from Tommy John surgery at different paces and in different ways, and it was likely that Aiken was still working on some things and not going full speed.

If Aiken’s last two starts any indication of nearing full speed, we’re gonna be alright, ya’ll. Although he still appears to be under a strict pitch limit (73 yesterday, five innings), he struck out six batters for the second start in a row.

Columbus Clippers 7, Indianapolis Indians 5

Box Score · Clippers improve to 76-54

The Columbus Clippers relied on a big, five-run sixth inning to pull out their 76th win of the season. Two of those runs came off the bat of Giovanny Urshela, who hit a double to score Collin Cowgill and Yandy Diaz. That was Urshela’s only hit of the day, but he did draw a walk and he did not strikeout.

Bradley Zimmer looked much better last night, notching three hits, but still striking out twice.

Shawn Haviland — a 30-year-old journeyman who has spent time in the Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox organizations — pitched well in his fourth start with the Clippers. He lasted five innings, striking out seven walking three.

Kyle Crockett had a rough inning of relief, lasting just two outs — both strikeouts — and allowing two earned runs off of a hit and two walks.

Akron RubberDucks 5, Reading Fightin’ Phils 2

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 66-60

Scoring in this game started out fast, with the ‘Ducks up 3-1 by the end of the fourth inning, but neither team would plate another run until the Phils singled home a run in the eighth. Akron responded with their own two-run inning via a double and a triple in the bottom of the frame to seal the victory.

Greg Allen and Jordan Smith both had three-hit days, while Eric Stamets added two, as well as as the only double in the game.

It took a while, but DJ Brown looks like he’s finally settling down into a starting role. The 25-year-old pitched a strong 7.1 innings last night, striking out four and walking none. This marks his third straight start in which he has allowed three or fewer runs and walked one or fewer batters.

Lake County Captains 1, Bowling Green Hot Rods 4

Box Score · Captains fall to 66-60

The Lake County Captains had just as many runs (1) as they did errors (1), and that’s not usually a good way to win a baseball game. They were in range heading into the top of the ninth, with the Bowling Green Hot Rods up, 2-1, but the away team added two more runs and made it even more difficult for the struggling Captains offense to bounce back.

David Armendariz had the only multi-hit game, with Willi Castro and Anthony Miller each adding a hit.

As a team, the Captains struck out 14 times to just four walks, including Sam Haggerty who struck out in all four of his at-bats.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 4, State College Spikes 2

Box Score · Scrappers improve to 30-31

Despite falling into a quick 1-0 hole in the first inning, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers came out swinging, took the lead in the bottom of the first, and never looked back.

Andrew Calica and Gavin Collins led the way with three hits.

Most importantly, Brady Aiken looked sharp for his second-straight outing. The 20-year-old struck out six and walked just one in five innings of work, leaving the game after 73 pitches.

This start was nearly identical to his last one back on the 17th, although he walked fewer batters this time around.

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The Lynchburg Hillcats had a scheduled off day.

The AZL Indians had a scheduled off day.

The DSL Indians had a scheduled off day.