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Shane Bieber continues run of dominance in Akron shutout victory, Mike Napoli carted off in Columbus

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Cleveland Indians minor league recap for April 18, 2018.

Columbus Clippers 3, Pawtucket Red Sox 4

Box Score · Clippers fall to 4-7

The Columbus Clippers continue to struggle, as Shawn Morimando was hammered for four runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings while walking two and striking out two.

The Clippers offense clawed its way back, but was never quite able to tie the game. Yandy Diaz had a decent game, going 1-3 at the plate with two walks while Todd Hankins went 2-4 with two stolen bases.

Of note, Mike Napoli tripped over the bullpen home plate chasing after a ball in foul territory just two pitches into the first inning and had to be carted off the field. He’s scheduled for an MRI tomorrow, but it looks like a knee injury. Hopefully it’s not as serious as it looked.

Akron RubberDucks 2, Altoona Curve 0

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 6-5

Shane Bieber was on the mound for Akron yesterday so if history was going to repeat itself, that meant three things were going to happen: No runs allowed, no walks allowed and plenty more strikeouts.

Bieber stayed true to tradition, tossing 7.0 shutout innings on four hits while walking zero (duh) and striking out six. Through 20 innings pitched to begin the season, he sports a spotless 0.00 ERA on 10 hits, no walks and 23 strikeouts. I think someone is ready for a promotion.

The Akron offense wasn’t pretty, but Sicnarf Loopstok and Mark Mathias had the most notable games. Loopstok went 1-3 with a walk and a run scored while Mathias went 1-2 with a double, a walk, a run batted in and a run scored to account for all of Akron’s scoring.

Of note, Mitch Brown tossed two scoreless innings of relief to earn the save, striking out three and walking one. From what I heard, he was hitting 99 mph on the radar gun. If he can improve his command, the former 2012 second round pick could have a path to the big leagues.

Lynchburg Hillcats 4, Frederick Keys 1

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 6-6

With Rob Kaminsky, Brady Aiken and Juan Hillman all struggling, many were wondering who the next best Indians LHP prospect was.

The answer is Sam Hentges, and it’s not even close.

Hentges continued his run of excellent outings Tuesday for Lynchburg, striking out 10 batters in six shutout innings while giving up six hits and walking one. The six-foot-six southpaw is getting stretched out after returning from Tommy John surgery last season and through three starts this season, he’s 2-0 with one earned run allowed while striking out 19 and walking three in 16.0 innings pitched. His ERA is an immaculate 0.56.

Here’s hoping he stays healthy.

Offensively, four Hillcats had multi-hit games as Mitch Longo, Emmanuel Tapia, Conner Capel and Dillon Persinger all went 2-4 at the dish. Capel and Longo also stole a base. Jodd Carter went 0-0 with a whopping four walks.

Lake County Captains 7, Lansing Lugnuts 2

Box Score · Captains improve to 5-5

Lansing forced starting pitcher Eli Morgan out of the game after just 3.0 innings, but he still pitched well.

Morgan’s pitch count soared to 76 in just three innings, but he only allowed one run to cross the plate on four hits and two walks while striking out six.

The bullpen allowed just one run the rest of the way to preserve the victory.

Offensively, Ernie Clement, Oscar Gonzalez, Jorma Rodriguez, Ulysses Cantu and Jose Vicente all had multi-hit games. Top third base prospect Nolan Jones also went 1-3 with two walks in his return from the disabled list and he didn’t commit an error as Lake County snapped its surprising five-game losing streak.