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Triston McKenzie allows seven earned runs in rare clunker

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Cleveland Indians minor league recap for July 27, 2017.

Columbus Clippers 4, Charlotte Knights 5

Box Score · Clippers fall to 54-49

The Columbus Clippers rallied late to prevent a regular-inning loss to the Charlotte Knights, but they ended up losing in 11.

Right fielder Tyler Naquin, designated hitter Ronny Rodriguez, and second baseman Michael Martinez all had two hits, while the latter added two doubles. Outfielder Richie Shaffer and Rodriguez also homered in the game, their 23rd and 13th of the season, respectively.

Ryan Merritt got the start for Columbus, but was pulled after 3.2 innings and 69 pitches. Chris Narveson finished the game, throwing seven innings and allowing three runs off six hits.

Akron RubberDucks 2, Binghamton Rumble Ponies 3

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 50-51

Eric Haase continues not only be a valuable backup catcher for the Akron RubberDucks, but perhaps a valuable catcher to the Indians someday. He belted his 20th home run of the season yesterday playing in place of the injured Francisco Mejia.

Another usual power hitter, first baseman Bobby Bradley, was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Bradley, who has seen his overall strikeout rate decrease this season, has struck out at once in nine of his last 10 games. In that same span, he’s gone just 3-for-35 with one home run and two walks.

Lynchburg Hillcats 5, Frederick Keys 13

Box Score · Hillcats fall to 59-43

Maybe Triston McKenzie really doesn’t want to be traded, so he wanted to torch his own trade value in his last start before the deadline. Maybe that’s why he allowed a career-worst seven runs over five innings. Unfortunately for him, he would also have to hope scouts ignore his lengthy track record of being an absolute phenom at 19 in High-A.

Right fielder Ka’ai Tom had another two-hit day yesterday, his third in his last six games. Over his last three, the 23-year-old is 5-for-12 with a home run. He was far from the only Hillcat to record a hit yesterday, though. In fact, everyone except left fielder Connor Marabell got in on the hit parade, while center fielder Andrew Calica, designated hitter Martin Cervenka, and first baseman Anthony Miller added two hits apiece.

Yes, this was Triston McKenzie’s worst outing of the year — maybe even his career — but he still struck out six and 57 of his 90 pitches went for strikes. Sometimes things just don’t go your way for a night.

Lake County Captains 2, South Bend Cubs 15

Box Score · Captains fall to 42-56

Speaking of promising young pitchers having disappointing outings, here’s Juan Hillman with the weather.

Despite being in the midst of a breakout year, Hillman threw a clunker yesterday, allowing eight runs over five innings. This was just the fourth time this season he has struck out two or fewer batters in a start.

The Lake County Captains offense didn’t do him any favors, either. Despite racking up 10 hits as a team, they left eight runners on base and were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. The only extra-base hit of the game came from left fielder Michael Tinsley who hit a triple that scored one of Lake County’s two runs.

Rough night overall for the Captains, but the Mitch Longo show continued as expected. The right fielder had another stellar night, going 2-for-4. Longo has only played in 28 games this season due to injury, so he’s nowhere near the top of any counting stats, but he leads the Captains in batting average (.340), on-base percentage (.409), slugging percentage (.550), and of course on-base plus slugging (.959).

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 2, State College Spikes 3

Box Score · Scrappers fall to 21-14

Outfielder Hosea Nelson has been on a tear lately, going 10-for-29 in his last 10 and raising his batting average from .111 to .255 in that span. The 20-year-old still is not hitting for much power, and he’s striking out a ton, but it’s a good first step after a disappointing start to the shortened Low-A season.

Oscar Gonzalez, ranked 23rd on MLB Pipeline’s latest update, had a disappointing outing, going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. But he did finish with an RBI sac fly, so that’s something.

AZL Indians 5, AZL Rangers 3

Box Score · Indians improve to 7-18

Sam Hentges first couple rehab starts went well, but it’s been bumpy in a coupLE. Results don’t always matter in these rehab stints, especially for prospects, but he seems to be getting better in his latest outing — a two-run, three-inning game in which he struck out five.


The DSL Indians had a scheduled off-day.