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Indians minor league recap: Bobby Bradley homers twice in Lynchburg win

Francisco Mejia proved he can hit even when he’s not in the midst of making history.

Being that they both play with the Lynchburg Hillcats, it’s kind of difficult to watch Francisco Mejia and Bobby Bradley on right now. But, just like Bradley Zimmer and that-other-outfield-prospect before them, they will soon be in Double-A and easy to watch. When that happens, you probably will not want to miss a game.

Bradly and Mejia both had huge days for the Hillcats last night, who boast the organization’s best record at 79-49.

Not to be outdone by their High-A counterparts, the Triple-A Columbus Clippers roared back with an exciting comeback to earn their 77th win of the season.

Columbus Clippers 5, Indianapolis Indians 2

Box Score · Clippers improve to 77-54

Despite allowing nine hits in 5.2 innings of work, starting pitcher Ryan Merritt did enough to keep the Columbus Clippers in range for a late-inning rally and subsequent victory.

The comeback began in the eighth inning, down 0-2, when the first four batters reached base through a mix of singles, walks, and a wild pitch. Yhoxian Medina plated a run with a single and Erik Gonzalez added another with a ground ball that squeaked into left field.

Columbus was not done there, however, as they went into the top of the ninth tied 2-2 and added three more runs when Guillermo Quiroz blasted one over the left field wall.

TJ House and Perci Garner combined to pitch those final two innings, with Garner going 1.2 innings and getting the win, his second of the season.

Other than Quiroz’s home run, the Clippers only had one other extra-base hit on the night, a double from Medina. Giovanny Urshela had a good night as well, going 2-for-4 with a walk and no strikeouts.

Akron RubberDucks 4, Reading Fightin’ Phils 1

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 67-60

Thanks to a big offensive night from Jordan Smith, and a shutdown pitching performance from Michael Peoples, the Akron RubberDucks were able to win their 67th game of the season last night.

Smith was 3-for-4 with two doubles and half of the team’s runs batted in. Greg Allen had a good day offensively, as well, going 1-for-3 with a walk. If you’re a fan of arbitrary data points, Allen has gotten on base one way or another in every game since almost being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on August 1.

Michael Peoples earned his 10th win of the season, throwing six strong innings with five strikeouts and only two walks. He did allow hits, but he was able to scatter them enough to allow only one earned run. In his last three starts, combined, Peoples has allowed five earned runs over 18 innings of work.

Lynchburg Hillcats 8, Wilmington Blue Rocks 4

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 79-49

Worried that Bobby Bradley has lost his power stroke? You probably shouldn’t be. The 20-year-old slugger has five home runs in his last 10 games, including two last night in the Lynchburg Hillcats’ 8-4 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

Unfortunately, as it always seems to happen, with more power comes more strikeouts for Bradley. In that same span of 10 games, Bradley has walked just three times and struck out 10. Overall, this season, he has seemingly been working on a better approach at the plate, posting a 13.2 percent walk rate in 2016, his highest in any one season.

Francisco Mejia, whose historic hitting streak was snapped last week but on-base streak continues, had a big game yesterday. The catcher was 3-for-4 with a home run of his own and three runs batted in. He also drew a walk and raised his slash line on the season to .336/.378/.519.

Everyone but Connor Marabell had a hit for the Lynchcats, including three-hit games from Sicnarf Loopstok, Yonathan Mendoza, and the aforementioned Mejia.

Sean Brady finished the day allowing four earned runs off of seven hits, including two home runs. He struck out four and walked one in six innings of work.

Reliever Mitch Brown closed out the game, striking out three of the four batters he faced.

Lake County Captains 1, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3 (Game 1)

Lake County Captains 6, Bowling Green Hot Rods 7 (Game 2)

Game 1 Box Score · Game 2 Box Score · Captains improve to 66-62

The Lake County Captains dropped Game 1 of this doubleheader without much protest. They had four hits as a team, two from Jodd Carter, and could only plate one run in the bottom of the seventh.

Shao-Ching Chiangs solid effort went to waste, as the 22-year-old pitched the full seven innings, struck out five, walked none, but was still given the loss — his 11 on the season.

Game 2 had a similar result, despite the Captains outhitting the Bowling Green Hot Rods, 8-7. Jodd Carter had another hit in the 7-6 loss, while Martin Cervenka added three more himself.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 1, Brooklyn Cyclones 2

Box Score · Scrappers fall to 30-32

Despite some good pitching performances, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers still fell to the Brooklyn Cyclones, 2-1. As a team, the Scrappers struck out 13 times and did not draw a single walk.

Six of those strikeouts came from the top two batters in the lineup — Todd Isaacs and Silento Sayles — who combined to go 0-for-10 with six whiffs.

Gian Paul Gonzalez had the only positive offensive game, going 3-for-4 with no strikeouts.

Even with all the offense troubles, pitchers Shane Bieber and Luis Jimenez combined to pitch eight innings and allow one run off of two hits. The game ended due to a Ryan Perez collapse in the bottom of the 11th inning when the switch-pitcher allowed three hits, including the game-winning single.

AZL Indians 6, AZL Royals 5

Box Score · Indians improve to 30-21

Even if it’s just the Rookie League, I always like seeing the Indians beat the Royals. In this case, it was the AZL Indians narrowly edging out the AZL Royals, 6-5.

Nolan Jones led the way for the Indians, going 2-for-4 with a double and a triple. Junior Soto and Elvis Perez added the only other extra-base hits on a the day with doubles of their own.

Starting pitcher Francisco Perez pitched five innings, allowing three earned runs off of six hits.