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Indians minor league recap: Clippers clinch IL West Division with ninth-straight win

Next step: Governors’ Cup.

Giovanny Urshela, Instagram

Congratulations to the Columbus Clippers, the 2016 International West League Division champs for the third year in a row! A threepeat did not always look possible for this year’s Clippers, but they are finishing the year on such a tear that, if it continues into the playoffs, they could have championship aspirations once again.

As for players who may find themselves on the Clippers in the future, Bobby Bradley homered again down in High-A, while Rob Kaminsky continues to look very good for the Akron RubberDucks.

Columbus Clippers 3, Indianapolis Indians 1

Box Score · Clippers improve to 78-54

At times this season it seemed like the Columbus Clippers were in danger of not be able to defend their International League West title for the third straight year, with much of the Indians’ organizational talent a few levels below them, or being promoted throughout the year. But an influx of new players towards the end of the year, and a healthy Giovanny Urshela, spurred them into a nine-game winning streak, including last night’s IL West Division clincher.

Erik Gonzalez led the offense in yesterday’s afternoon win, recording two hits and drawing a walk. Ronny Rodriguez, Michael Choice, Collin Cowgill, and Yhoxian Medina all added hits as well, but that was it for the offense. Luckily, they did not need much.

Shawn Morimando was fantastic through six innings, striking out five and walking one. He did allow a run off a solo home run, but that was one of just three hits allowed by the 23-year-old.

Tommy Hunter, Craig Stammen, and Cody Anderson finished the game tossing three scoreless innings of relief; Anderson struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth for his first Triple-A save of the season.

Akron RubberDucks 4, Reading Fightin’ Phils 3

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 68-60

The Akron RubberDucks roared out to a 4-0 lead by the fourth inning, but the Reading Fightin’ Phils still made it a close game by the end.

No ‘Ducks batters had a multi-hit game, but everyone except for Jeremy Lucas and Jordan Smith at least had one hit. Mike Papi had a double and Nellie Rodriguez homered — the only two extra-base hits of the game for Akron.

Rob Kaminsky cruised through the first three innings, perfect in fact. He got a little wild in the fourth inning, however, walking two batters and hitting another — but he still got out of the frame without damage. He was not so lucky in the fifth when he allowed a solo home run and two singles, although all three outs were strikeouts for Kaminsky in the fifth.

Kaminsky looks to finish the season strong. In his last 10 starts he has an ERA of 2.26 and has allowed two or more earned runs in only one start, when he allowed five back on July 26.

Lynchburg Hillcats 8, Wilmington Blue Rocks 3

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 80-49

The Lynchburg Hillcats cruised to their 80th win of the season thanks to two big offensive innings, and big games from the bottom-half of the lineup.

Taylor Murphy and Sicnarf Loopstok — batting in the seventh and eighth holes, respectively — each had two hits on the day, with the former adding a three-run homer into the mix. Bobby Bradley homered in the game as well, his third in the last two games.

Brock Hartson threw five innings, striking out four and walking one. Reliever Matt Whitehouse allowed three hits in just two innings of work, but he also recorded five strikeouts.

Lake County Captains 2, Bowling Green Hot Rods 7

Box Score · Captains improve to 66-63

Our first loss of the day comes all the way down in Single-A, where the Lake County Captains pitchers could seemingly do no right against the Bowling Green Hot Rods.

Casey Shane pitched a rough 5.2 innings, allowing four earned runs off of nine hits. Relievers Argenis Angulo and Yoiber Marquina did not help much either, combining to pitch 3.1 innings and allowing two runs off of five hits themselves.

Li-Jen Chu and Sam Haggerty each had good games, with two and three hits, respectively, but it was not nearly enough to help Lake County overcome the deficit they found themselves in from the early innings on.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 6, Brooklyn Cyclones 5

Box Score · Scrappers improve to 31-32

After starting the season 4-15, the idea of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers being a .500 team seemed like a long shot in the short-season league. But here they are, a month-and-a-half later, and they are just a game under that mark after a strong second-half of July and first-half of August.

Last night’s victory was of the comeback variety. Entering the top of the ninth down, 4-5, the Scrappers scored on a sacrifice fly from Andrew Calica and on a wild pitch later in the inning.

Kenny Matthews had a rocky ninth inning with two walks, but he was able to hold the Brooklyn Cyclones scoreless in the bottom of the frame to earn his second save of the season.

Gabriel Mejia, Todd Isaacs, and Logan Ice all had two hits for the Scrappers. Nathan Winfrey added the only extra-base hit of the day, a double, and two of the team’s five runs batted in. The Scrapers struck out 14 times as a time and only walked three times.

AZL Indians 4, AZL Royals 2

Box Score · Indians improve to 31-21

What’s that? You want another Indians victory over the Royals? Well here you go.

For the second straight day, the AZL Indians took it to the AZL Royals, this time winning with four late runs.

Miguel Eladio led the way for the Indians with two hits.

Randy Marte pitched two innings in his start, striking out three and walking none. Gregori Vasquez pitched the majority of the game, however, staying in for the final five frames and striking out four.