Akron RubberDucks 5, Altoona Curve 2
Box Score · RubberDucks lead series 1-0
Perhaps showing a sign of what he could bring to the Indians in the upcoming MLB playoffs, Josh Donaldson blasted a home run in his second consecutive game, this time it was a two-run shot in the third inning.
Donaldson finished the game going 1-3 with the two-run shot.
Ernie Clement also played well, going 2-4 from the leadoff position and showing no signs of intimidation despite his aggressive promotion schedule after being a 2017 fourth round draft pick.
Tyler Krieger had himself a game, going 2-3 with a walk and Jodd Carter and Nellie Rodriguez both went 1-3 with a walk, with Carter also smashing a double.
Starting pitcher Kyle Dowdy, the “other guy” in the Leonys Martin trade, was superb, allowing two runs on four hits in 6.2 innings while striking out six and walking two. Reports are he has seen a major spike in his velocity since the trade, moving from the low 90s to the upper 90s consistently.
Indians 2018 second round draft pick Nick Sandlin also pitched a perfect inning of relief with a strikeout. He’s on record pace to make the Tribe roster.
Lynchburg Hillcats 5, Potomac Nationals 2
Box Score · Hillcats lead series 1-0
Lynchburg didn’t need any help from Josh Donaldson as they look to defend their 2017 Carolina League Championship, they had Nolan Jones.
Jones led the way for the Hillcats, going 2-3 at the dish with a walk and a run batted in. Leadoff hitter Dillon Persinger also went 2-4 with a pair of doubles as Lynchburg did all their damage in a five-run second inning.
Starting pitcher Justin Garza, who was great in the first half but missed most of the second half due to injury, was terrific. He allowed just one run while spreading out seven hits in 5.2 innings, striking out two and walking one.
Reliever Adam Scott, a 2018 Indians fourth round pick, tossed a pair of scoreless innings with four strikeout and Dalbert Siri earned a four-out save.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers 6, Tri-City ValleyCats 9
Box Score · Scrappers trail series 0-1
Mahoning Valley got into a slugfest on Wednesday and couldn’t quite make a full comeback.
Indians 2018 18th round pick Ruben Cardenas had a terrific game, going 3-5 at the plate with a double and a two-run home run.
Fellow 2018 draftee and College World Series Champion Steve Kwan went 2-3 with a double, a triple and a walk from the bottom of the batting order and Jose Fermin also blasted a two-run homer for the Scrappers. Tyler Freeman went 1-4 with a walk.
Unfortunately, the Scrappers offense couldn’t overcome some horrific pitching.
Starting pitcher Zach Draper was blasted for four runs in just 1.1 innings after walking four batters. His reliever Randy Valladeras gave up two more runs in 1.1 innings after walking three more and third pitcher Luis Valdez allowed another three runs in his 2.2 innings of work, digging Mahoning Valley too deep of a hole.