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Four brilliant starts from McKenzie, Morgan, Hillman and Oviedo pace Tribe affiliates

Cleveland Indians minor league recap for July 9, 2018.

Columbus Clippers 4, Indianapolis Indians 5

Box Score · Clippers fall to 45-43

A late comeback bid fell just short as the Clippers scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to lose 4-5 on Sunday. It was the third straight loss for the Tribe’s Triple-A affiliate.

Yu Cheng went 2-3 with a triple and a hit by pitch while Eric Haase went 2-4 with a home run and four runs batted in to pace Columbus offensively. Haase’s home run was a two-run shot in the ninth to bring the Clippers within one.

Starting pitcher Adam Wilk was tagged for three runs in the first inning, but settled down after that to pitch another three frames. Reliever Ben Taylor gave up another two runs in his one inning of work.

Akron RubberDucks 1, Richmond Flying Squirrels 2

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 51-38

Triston McKenzie was sensational, but got no support from the Akron offense.

McKenzie gave up one run on two hits in 6.0 innings while striking out five and walking two, but earned a no decision after leaving the game with the score tied 1-1. In his seven starts since missing the first half of the season, McKenzie holds a 3.05 ERA and has struck out 32 batters and walked eight in 38.1 innings pitched.

Argenis Angulo gave up one run in the eighth inning to give Richmond the lead.

Joe Sever went 2-4 for Akron while Bobby Bradley bashed his 17th home run of the season and Tyler Krieger went 1-3.

Lynchburg Hillcats 4, Wilmington Blue Rocks 0

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 40-44

Eli Morgan continues to throttle opposing hitters, this time earning double digit strikeouts for the first time in his professional career.

Morgan tossed 6.0 shutout innings on three hits while whiffing 10 batters and walking one. Morgan dropped his season ERA to 1.96 and has struck out 114 while walking 18 in 96.2 innings this year.

Ben Krauth and Dalbert Siri completed the shutout with three innings of hitless relief.

Offensively, Ernie Clement continues to torch Carolina League pitching, going 3-4 with a double and a run batted in. Since being promoted to High-A, Clement is batting .421 after going 24-for-57 in 14 games played and has struck out just one time.

Lake County Captains 7, West Michigan Whitecaps 1

Box Score · Captains improve to 37-51

Something has clicked for former Indians second round pick Juan Hillman.

After a terrible start to the 2018 season, one he has repeated at Single-A, Hillman has now gone four consecutive starts while giving up two runs or fewer.

Hillman allowed just one run yesterday through 6.0 innings on four hits while striking out one and walking two, which dropped his season ERA below 5.00 for the first time all season.

Hillman was backed by a strong offensive performance by the Captains as Oscar Gonzalez continues to rake, going 2-4 with a double and both Will Benson and Elvis Perez blasted home runs.

Benson’s home run was his 12th of the season but he has otherwise struggled. His batting average sits at just .171, though he has suffered from a horrifically low BABIP of .216 this season.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 4, Williamsport Woodcutters 8

Box Score · Scrappers fall to 15-7

The bullpen wasted another tremendous start from Luis Oviedo.

Oviedo tossed 5.0 innings without giving up an earned run on six hits while striking out six and walking two to drop his season ERA to a ridiculous 0.32. He is first in the New York Penn League in strikouts and ERA and seems ready for a promotion to Lake County as any pitcher I’ve ever seen.

Unfortunately, relievers Luis Valdez and Luis Araujo gave up a combined seven runs in 2.2 innings.

Offensively, 2018 third round pick Richard Palacios went 3-3 with a triple and a walk to raise his batting average to .409. Jose Fermin and Tyler Freeman both went 1-3 with a walk and two runs scored, with Fermin hitting a double. Freeman lowered his league-best batting average to .415.

AZL Indians1 4, AZL D-Backs 3 (F/10)

Box Score · Indians improve to 12-5

Cody Farhat went 3-4 with an RBI while Johnathan Rodriguez went 2-4 with a double, a walk and two RBI to pace the AZL Indians on Sunday.

Johnneyver Gutierrez gave up two runs (one earned) in 5.0 innings on four hits while striking out three and walking none. Shane McCarthy gave up another run in three innings of relief and Aaron Pinto earned the win by tossing two scoreless innings of relief, including the bottom of the 10th when a runner started on second base.

AZL Indians2 1, AZL Cubs1 6

Box Score · Indians fall to 9-8

Billy Wilson blasted a mammoth home run in the first inning and then the AZL Indians2 bats went silent for the rest of the game, including Wilson’s, who struck out in his next three at bats.

Wilmer Mejia was tagged for five runs in 5.0 innings on nine hits, although Jerson Ramirez tossed 2.0 solid innings of scoreless relief while striking out four and walking one.