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Indians minor league recap: Triston McKenzie dominates again

Andrew Calica goes 4-4 in first game with Lake County since being promoted

The Cleveland Indians had top prospects pitching at nearly every single level yesterday, but none were more impressive than Triston McKenzie, who continues to befuddle opposing bats despite being promoted.

McKenzie tossed his second straight scoreless outing yesterday in a 3-0 victory for Lake County, and it’s looking more and more like he’ll have a rocket strapped to his back in the Tribe organization as long as he can stay healthy.

Also of note, 11th round pick Andrew Calica continues to tear the cover off the ball and he appears to be a seriously impressive dark horse draftee from the 2016 field.

Columbus Clippers 1, Toledo Mud Hens 5

Box Score · Clippers fall to 78-56

In a repeat of their game on Thursday night, Columbus just couldn’t get its offense firing on all cylinders. The Clippers would have been shut out if not for a ninth inning opposite field home run from Jesus Aguilar, his 26th of the season. Aguilar had half the team’s hits, going 3-4 on the day.

Starting pitcher Adam Plutko breezed through four innings, then ran into trouble in the fifth before getting pulled in the sixth, giving up all five of his runs in his final four outs.

TJ House, Joseph Colon and Shawn Armstrong provided excellent relief but the offense couldn’t dig itself out of the hole.

Akron RubberDucks 9, Richmond Flying Squirrels 3

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 69-61

The bottom of the batting order was the big hero in this game, accounting for all eight runs batted in. Catcher Daniel Salters was the big hero, going 3-5 with two runs batted in while Todd Hankins went 2-5 with a double and triple plus three runs batted in. Jordan Smith also had a multi-hit game to join the party.

Starting pitcher Julian Merryweather had a quality start, giving up three runs (two earned) over six innings, dancing around eight hits and two walks while striking out five.

Greg Allen and Eric Stamets didn’t have hits but they both walked twice at the top of the order to help set the table.

Lynchburg Hillcats 1, Potomac Nationals 4

Box Score · Hillcats fall to 81-50

The normally high-powered Lynchburg offense sputtered yesterday as the Hillcats were stopped by Potomac.

Anthony Santander led the offense with a 2-3 day at the plate including a double while Dorssys Paulino accounted for the only run, slugging a solo shot in the seventh inning to save face.

Matt Esparza had his worst start since being promoted to High-A, giving up four runs on eight hits in four innings while only striking out one batter and the bullpen shut Potamic down the rest of the way to no avail.

Lake County Captains 3, Lansing Lugnuts 0

Box Score · Captains improve to 66-64

A day after giving up 14 runs, the Lake County pitching staff tossed a shutout thanks in part to super prospect Triston McKenzie.

McKenzie twirled six dominant innings, shutting down Lansing batters and allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out nine. The 19-year old phenom has lasted at least 5.1 innings and struck out at least seven hitters in all five of his starts since being promoted to the Captains.

Offensively, another young star continued to dominate. Indians 2016 11th round draft pick Andrew Calica made his first appearance since being promoted from Mahoning Valley and he had a huge game, going 4-4 at the plate with a double, a run scored and two runs batted in, participating in all of the Lake County offense on the day.

Calica was joined by Willi Castro and Jodd Carter, who both went 2-4 with a run scored from the top of the order.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 4, West Virginia Black Bears 3

Box Score · Scrappers improve to 33-32

Mahoning Valley moved above .500 for the first time all season thanks in part to a big time starting pitching performance and its stellar leadoff hitter.

Gabriel Mejia went 3-4 from the top of the order, scoring a run and knocking one in. His teammates combined to slug five doubles on the day to help spread the offensive wealth around, although Nathan Winfrey also had a multi-hit game.

Starting pitcher Tanner Tully continues to impress, giving up one run over five innings of work on five hits while striking out five and walking zero. Thus far in 2016, the college arms the Indians drafted have been nothing short of spectacular.

Switch pitcher Ryan Perez tossed a scoreless eighth inning to pick up the win.

AZL Indians 5, AZL White Sox 11

Box Score · Indians fall to 31-23

A day after struggling, two of the top Indians 2016 draft picks had big days. Top pick Will Benson went 2-4 at the plate with a home run and a walk while sixth rounder Ulysses Cantu went 3-5.

The real problem yesterday was the pitching, as Cesar Ventura was torched for seven runs over five innings of work. He gave up six of the runs in the first two innings, so at least he was able to spare the bullpen a bit by lasting deeper into the game.

Dakoty Clemmer and Domingo Jimenez also gave up two runs apiece in their inning of relief work

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The DSL Indians game was postponed due to rain.