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Flamethrowing prospect Julian Merryweather dominant in Triple-A debut

Cleveland Indians minor league recap for May 31, 2017.

It wasn’t just Trevor Bauer who was dealing yesterday as all three Indians farm clubs were treated to excellent performances from their starting pitchers, with Julian Merryweather and Juan Hillman tossing their best games of the young season.

Columbus Clippers 5, Scranton RailRiders 0

Box Score · Clippers improve to 23-27

Julian Merryweather had one hell of a task in front of him.

Not only was the #25 ranked Indians prospect making his Triple-A debut, he was doing it against arguably the best offense in the International League, the Scranton RailRiders, home to former Indians number one draft pick Clint Frazier, overall number two MLB prospect Gleyber Torres as well as three other of the organization’s top 15 position players.

Knowing all that, Merryweather’s unbelievable performance just gets that much better.

Over eight innings, the 25-year old befuddled top prospect after top prospect, shutting them out on just four hits while striking out eight and walking none. He was pulled after just 97 pitches, and consistently hit 97 miles per hour with his fastball. It was the best game of Merryweather’s career and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the veteran Columbus rotation has been struggling mightily this season and is in need of some support.

Offensively, Richie Shaffer and Todd Hankins led the way with multi-hit games. Shaffer also had a solo home run.

Akron RubberDucks 4, Altoona Curve 5 (F/10)

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 22-25

Thomas Pannone did his best, allowing just one run over six dominant innings on three hits and three walks while striking out four, but the bullpen let him down, giving up three runs in the seventh inning.

Akron tied the game in the top of the ninth thanks to a pair of solo shots from Yu-Cheng Chang and Eric Haase, but Altoona walked off in extra innings against reliever Cameron Hill.

Surging slugger Bobby Bradley went 2-4 with two doubles in the losing effort.

Lake County Captains 3, Bowling Green Hot Rods 5

Box Score · Captains improve to 18-32

Lake County received a much-need offensive outburst yesterday as they blasted off with four home runs.

Li-Jen Chu led the way offensively, going 2-3 with two home runs, 4 RBI and two walks. He was joined in the multi-hit parade by Conner Capel, Gavin Collins and Miguel Eladio. Capel also slugged a home run (his eighth) while Emmanuel Tapia launched his ninth of the season.

The offense overshadowed starting pitcher Juan Hillman, who tossed by far his best start of the year. Hillman pitched 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven to pick up the win.

* * *

High-A Lynchburg had a scheduled day off.