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Indians minor league recap: McKenzie, Esparza and Aiken struggle in winless day

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Mitch Longo has five-hit game for Mahoning Valley

Yesterday was promotion day in the Indians system as September call-ups affected every team.

The Indians called up Cody Anderson, Erik Gonzalez, Adam Moore and Joseph Colon.

Columbus called up Jeremy Lucas, Todd Hankins and Nick Maronde from Akron.

Akron called up David Speer, Mark Mathias, Alex Monsalve and Jordan Milbrath.

Lynchburg called up Leandro Linares and Willi Castro.

Lake County called up Ben Krauth and Erlin Cerda.

Last but not least, Mahoning Valley called up AZL MVP Oscar Gonzalez plus Dalbert Siri, Domingo Jimenez, Simeon Lucas and Miguel Eladio.

Perhaps distracted by all the promotions, Tribe affiliates had a horrible day, failing to get one good starting pitching performance on any of the teams still playing in a winless day of baseball.

Columbus Clippers 1, Toledo Mud Hens 8

Box Score · Clippers fall to 80-60

It wasn’t a good day for Columbus, both on the pitching side or offensively.

Only three Clippers managed hits overall, and Jesus Aguilar had two of them including a solo home run which accounted for the lone score of the game for Columbus. Joey Butler also went 2-2 off the bench. Bradley Zimmer’s struggles continued, going 0-4 with a strikeout.

Former free agent pitcher Shawn Haviland, fresh off a POTW nomination, was absolutely drilled for eight runs on 10 hits in six innings. He struck out seven, but also walked three and gave up three home runs in the loss.

Akron RubberDucks 7, Erie SeaWolves 8

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 72-64

All of the runs were scored in the first six innings of this game, but Akron just barely couldn’t keep up with Erie in a 7-8 defeat. Mike Papi had a monster game, going 3-5 with a home run while Luigi Rodriguez, Jordan Smith and Ivan Castillo also had multi-hit games.

On the pitching side, DJ Brown was torched for all eight runs (six earned) over 4.2 innings, giving up 12 hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Cameron Hill and Robbie Aviles pitched 3.1 innings of shutout relief to give Akron a chance to come back but the offense stalled out after the sixth.

Lynchburg Hillcats 1, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 7

Box Score · Hillcats fall to 83-53

Lynchburg’s offense has really been sputtering for some reason this week, and yesterday was no different. They only managed five hits yesterday spread across four players, with Francisco Mejia, Bobby Bradley, Yu-Cheng Chang and Conner Marabell collecting base knocks, and they scored just one run.

Matt Esparza had a good outing going until the fifth inning, where he was lit up for five runs. Overall, he gave up six runs on eight hits in five innings of work. The bullpen shut down the door for the final three innings but the damage had already been done.

Lake County Captains 2, Dayton Dragons 6

Box Score · Captains fall to 70-66

The Lake County Captains collected 11 hits and a walk but just couldn’t put runs on the board yesterday in a loss to Dayton. Catching prospect Li-Jen Chu had a great game, going 3-5 with two doubles while Bobby Ison, Sam Haggerty and Jose Medina also had multi-hit games, but the team just couldn’t put runs on the board as hit sequencing was poor all night.

Triston McKenzie had the worst outing of his young career, giving up three runs in 4.1 innings on seven hits while striking out six and walking three to take the loss. Argenis Angulo would give up three more unearned runs in relief thanks to of his own errors to keep the game out of reach.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 6, State College Spikes 8

Box Score · Scrappers fall to 35-36

Mahoning Valley’s offense was firing on all cylinders yesterday, but their four-run rally came up just short in the ninth inning.

Mitch Longo had the best game of his career, going 5-6 at the plate with a double and two runs batted in while Gavin Collins and Todd Isaacs also had multi-hit games.

Center field prospect Gabriel Mejia had a rough day at the dish, going 0-6 with four strikeouts from the leadoff position.

Brady Aiken, fresh off a POTW nomination, came back down to Earth with a rough outing, giving up five runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings. He struck out four and walked two while taking the loss.