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Matt Esparza makes 2018 debut in strong rehab outing, Mark Mathias hits grand slam in Akron win

Cleveland Indians minor league recap for July 2, 2018.

Columbus Clippers 3, Indianapolis Indians 3

Box Score · Clippers improve to 42-39

Francisco Mejia’s multi-hit streak ended yesterday, but that’s because he didn’t enter the game until it was half over. Mejia still went 1-2 with a walk and a run scored, raising his season batting average to .291.

With the game tied 3-3, the Clippers blew it wide open in the bottom of the eighth by scoring five runs. The first two came courtesy of Adam Rosales, who launched a pinch-hit blast:

Drew Maggi and Yu Cheng both had multi-hit games and a double. Dorsys Paulino went 1-2 with a double and a walk, Greg Allen went 1-3 with a double, a walk, and Yandy Diaz went 1-4 with a double and a walk in the victory.

Mitch Talbot put forth another strong effort, giving up one run in 6.0 innings on six hits while striking out two and walking none, although he got a no decision.

Akron RubberDucks 6, Altoona Curve 5

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 47-35

After being shut out for the first five innings, Mark Mathias put the RubberDucks on the board with a sixth-inning grand slam.

Andrew Calica and Alexis Pantoja also had multi-hit games, but it was recently promoted Logan Ice who played hero with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning. Ice went 1-3 with a walk in the game.

Starting pitcher Jake Paulson gave up three runs on eight hits in 5.0 innings while striking out one and walking three.

Kieren Lovegrove and Henry Martinez slammed the door with 2.2 innings of scoreless, hitless innings to give the RubberDucks a chance to walk it off.

Lynchburg Hillcats 7, Frederick Keys 6

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 36-42

Li-Jen Chu tallied a pair of home runs and Jodd Carter also went deep for Lynchburg as the Hillcats barely held on to defeat Frederick on Sunday.

Tanner Tully was spectacular, giving up two runs in 7.0 innings on seven hits while striking out four and walking zero.

Micah Miniard nearly blew the lead by allowing four runs in 0.2 innings in the eighth, but James Karinchak came in and slammed the door with 1.1 solid innings of relief to earn the save.

Lake County Captains 6, Fort Wayne Tincaps 4

Box Score · Captains fall to 33-48

The middle of Lake County’s lineup paved the way offensively on Sunday. Elvis Perez went 3-4 with a double while Oscar Gonzalez and Nolan Jones both went 2-4, with Gonzalez also hitting a double. Jose Medina also went deep for a two-run home run.

Jean Carlos Mejia tossed one of his best starts of the season, giving up just one run on three hits in 6.0 innings while striking out eight and walking none.

Kyle Nelson earned the save with a scoreless 0.2 inning, lowering his season ERA to 0.61.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 2, State College Spikes 5

Box Score · Scrappers fall to 11-4

Mahoning Valley outhit State College 11-8, but just couldn’t come up with the big hit, going just 2-9 with runners in scoring position.

Gabriel Mejia went 3-4 with two stolen bases, Mitch Reeves went 3-5 with a double and Hosea Nelson went 2-4 with two doubles.

Starting pitcher Zach Draper was tagged for five runs (four earned) in four innings, but Skylar Arias was brilliant in relief, throwing 3.0 scoreless, hitless innings while striking out six.

AZL Indians1 13, AZL Reds 1

Box Score · Indians improve to 9-2

The AZL Indians1 continued their rampage through the rookie league with an absolute thrashing of the AZL Reds.

Michael Cooper went 4-5 with a double while Bryan Lavistada went 3-4 with two runs scored. Indians 2017 third round pick Johnathan Rodriguez went 2-4 with a walk and four runs scored, Connor Smith went 2-4 with a walk and Miguel Jerez and Ruben Cardenas went 2-5 with a double and triple respectively.

Matt Esparza made his 2018 debut in a rehab outing, striking out four in 2.0 scoreless innings on one hit.

Indians 2018 22nd round pick Eli Lingos was particularly nasty, striking out seven batters in three perfect innings.

AZL Indians2 4, AZL Brewers 1

Box Score · Indians improve to 7-4

Jonathan Lopez, Henderson De Oleo and and Yainer Diaz all went 2-4, with Diaz hitting a double as the AZL Indians2 easily defeated the AZL Brewers.

Starting pitcher Ignacio Feliz gave up one run in 5.0 innings on five hits while striking out four and walking three.

Aaron Pinto and Juan Peredes combined for four innings of scoreless relief in the victory.