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Yandy Diaz homers in the bottom of the ninth to ignite Clippers’ rally


Columbus Clippers 6, Buffalo Bisons 5

Box Score - Clippers even keel at 29-29

This is the minor league baseball.

After an absolute bullpen implosion that resulted in all five runs allowed by the Clippers, the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate walked off in the bottom of the ninth inning to hang on for a 6-5 victory. Brandon Guyer led the charge early with two solo home runs, one in the 3rd and one in the 5th. After Matt Beliveau and Jeff Belisle combined to allows the five runs late (blood curdling scream), our old friend Yandy Diaz tied the game at five with a solo shot to deep right field. After Brandon Barnes and Yu Chang erased themselves, Francisco Mejia doubled. Drew Maggi brought him home with a walk-off single.

The other interesting thing on the night: Mitch Talbot pitched 6.2 innings of shutout baseball, allowing four hits and one walk against five strikeouts. I don’t know if we’ll actually see him in Cleveland anytime soon, but it’s exciting to see someone who battled through the Independent leagues and the KBO make his case for another shot at the show.

Akron RubberDucks 8, Portland Sea Dogs 2

Box Score - RubberDucks quack to 35-26

Aaron Civale didn’t waste any time reinstating himself at the top of the Double-A rotation in his first start back from the DL. With a pitch count restriction limiting him to four innings, Civale struck out two and allowed no runs. The win went to Dominic DeMasi for his four innings of “relief”.

The RubberDucks offense tallied eleven hits and seven walks, and it seems like every time I do the Saturday recap they’ve gone absolutely ham the night before. Tyler Krieger walked three times, Willi Castro notched three hits, and Sam Haggerty drove in three runs with two outs. Everyone reached base in the effort.

Lynchburg Hillcats 3, Potomac Nationals 9

Box Score - Hillcats sulk to 26-30

Eli Morgan struggled early against the Nationals. He coughed up four runs on six hits despite striking out six. It’s tough to tell how BABIPpy the hits were for the 22-year-old, though it’s easy to give him the benefit of the doubt; across two levels of Single-A this season he’s only allowed 50 hits and twelve walks in 66.2 innings while striking out 80. The pitching staff didn’t get a lot of help from the defense behind it, which committed four errors. That’s a lot of extra pitches.

The offense languished except for Mitch Longo, Jodd Carter, Li-Jen Chu, and Trenton Brooks. The first three collected three, two, and two hits respectively, will Brooks walked thrice and added a single. These efforts only amounted to three total runs as the team went 2-10 with RISP.

Lake County Captains 4, Great Lakes Loons 5

Box Score - Captains drift to 35-36

A late rally came up short for the Captains, as three runs allowed by Kirk McCarty in the fifth made the difference. The offense helped out where it could, as every player reached base at least once. The sequencing didn’t shake out quite right, however. Nolan Jones and Ernie Clement both added two walks to their hits, with Clement’s being his 13th double of the year.

Shout-out to Kyle Nelson: the 15th round pick for the Indians in 2017 continues to impress as a lefty reliever. In 21.1 innings this season his ERA is a paltry 0.42, with a WHIP of 0.80 and 28 strikeouts. he tossed another scoreless inning last night in the 7th. I am enjoying the miniature pitching pipeline that the Indians have with UC Santa Barbara.

DSL Indians 0, DSL Red Sox 2

Box Score - Indians fall to 3-3

It’s still early days in Rookie ball. Starter Mike Garcia pitched four innings without allowing a run, and all things considered Luis Peguero and Jerson Ramirez did their job admirably, too. The trio earned only one run as the insurance scored by the Sox in the 8th was error-aided.

Leadoff hitter Daniel Aguilar walked twice and singled. Richard Paz singled twice. That accounted for five of seven base runners for the Indians. It did not help that they were caught stealing twice.