While most Tribe affiliates lost yesterday, there were several things to be very happy about.
First of all, Akron swept a double-header, but even more importantly, Yan Gomes made his first appearance on a baseball field since injuring his shoulder on July 17th against Minnesota.
Even better, after struggling at the plate all season, he brought the lumber, picking up two hits in three at bats.
In other news, Jesus Aguilar slugged his 29th home run for Columbus while 2016 fourth round pick Shane Bieber continues to dazzle his beliebers by throwing his 23rd consecutive inning without giving up an earned run for Mahoning Valley.
Columbus Clippers 3, Toledo Mud Hens 7
Box Score · Clippers fall to 80-61
Another day, another rough outing for Columbus starting pitchers as the 2016 regular season winds down.
This time around, it was the usually very consistent Ryan Merritt who was tattooed, giving up six runs on nine hits (three of them home runs) while failing to get out of the fifth inning.
Jesus Aguilar had another big day at the plate, going 3-4 with a home run, his career best 29th of the season which also ties him for the organization lead with Mike Napoli and puts him in first place in the minors ahead of Bobby Bradley (28).
Top prospect Bradley Zimmer went 1-4 on the day with two strikeouts and Michael Choice was the only other multi-hit performer for the Clippers with two singles and an RBI.
Akron RubberDucks 7, Bowie BaySox 4 (Game 1)
Akron RubberDucks 6, Bowie BaySox 3 (Game 2)
Akron played an unorthodox double-header yesterday, first finishing a game which had been suspended after four innings, then playing another seven-inning game afterwards.
The first game was a home run derby as Mike Papi, Nellie Rodriguez and Jordan Smith all went deep. Smith and Eric Stamets also had multi-hit games. Akron entered the game leading 6-3 after four innings and they held on to the lead to win 7-4. Grant Sides offered 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win and David Speer gave up one run in two innings in his Double-A debut.
In game two, Akron jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning thanks in part to a rehabbing Yan Gomes, who slugged a double in his first at bat for the RubberDucks to score Greg Allen, who had led off the game with a walk. Gomes would score on a throwing error and Eric Haase would cap off the inning with a big two-run double. Gomes would go 2-3 on the day as the designated hitter.
That would be all the runs Akron would need thanks in part to Michael Peoples, who tossed a complete game, giving up three runs (one earned) over seven innings on nine hits and 91 pitches.
Lynchburg Hillcats 0, Salem Red Sox 2
Box Score · Hillcats fall to 83-54
The curious case of the disappearing Lynchburg offense continued yesterday as the Hillcats were shut out on just three hits by a pitcher with a 4.04 season ERA.
Bobby Bradley, Taylor Murphy and Yonathan Mendoza were the three Lynchburg players with hits, all singles. Murphy and Mendoza also worked walks to reach base safely twice.
Despite flooding the Carolina League’s leaderboard in just about every statistical offensive category, Lynchburg has been shut out twice in its last four games, scoring four runs total in the process. Hopefully they can uncurse their bats in time for the looming playoffs.
Starting pitcher Luis Lugo had a good game, but giving up one earned run over 5.1 innings was his downfall as that would be more than enough to take a loss.
Lake County Captains 2, Dayton Dragons 3 (12 innings)
Box Score · Captains fall to 70-67
It wasn’t a great day offensively for Lake County, as only Sam Haggerty and Andrew Calica managed multi-hit games despite playing for a full 12 innings.
Anthony Miller slugged a solo home run and Calica knocked in Angel Miguel for the lone Captains offense for the day.
The poor showing offensively ruined some pretty great pitching performances by Micah Miniard, who gave up one run in 5.2 innings and Jon Fitzsimmons, who struck out all seven outs of his 2.1 innings of relief.
Kenny Mathews gave up the walkoff in the bottom of the 12th.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers 2, State College Spikes 4
Box Score · Scrappers fall to 35-37
There are only a few things certain in life. Death, taxes, and Shane Bieber tossing three scoreless innings in a start for Mahoning Valley. Biebs dropped his season ERA to 0.38 with his strong showing yesterday, leaving the game with a scoreless tie.
Unfortunately, long-relief man Luis Jimenez gave up four runs (three earned) over the next six innings of work.
Mahoning Valley tried to battle back with two late runs thanks in part to multi-hit games from Todd Isaacs and the debuting Miguel Eladio, but the rally fell short.