The 2019 minor league season kicked off yesterday and four Tribe affiliates were in action. (I’ll have a complete preview of the Tribe’s full-season affiliates posted this weekend). Check out how they performed below.
Columbus Clippers 10, Indianapolis Indians 4
Box Score · Clippers improve to 1-0
The Columbus bats were hot last night.
Everyone’s favorite new outfield prospect Oscar Mercado had a great start to his 2019 campaign, going 2-4 with a hit by pitch and a stolen base. Carlos Gonzalez went 2-4 with a double and a walk, Cameron Maybin went 2-5 with a double, Yu Cheng had a pair of walks, Trayce Thompson went 1-2 with a double and two walks and Bobby Bradley went 1-3 with a double and a walk.
The player of the game, however, was recently re-signed utility infielder Ryan Flaherty, who went 3-4 with two doubles and four runs batted in.
All in all, Columbus batters had 11 hits, nine walks and a hit by pitch to reach base safely 21 times.
On the pitching side of the equation, the Clippers played a bullpen game. Chih-Wei Hu started the game, allowing one run on two innings and Brooks Pounders gave up two more runs in his one inning of work.
R.C. Orlan, Henry Martinez and A.J. Cole shut things down with five scoreless innings of combined relief and Nick Goody gave up one run in the ninth.
Akron RubberDucks 0, Altoona Curve 5
Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 0-1
Opening day starter Sam Hentges was cruising along with three shutout innings before he ran into trouble in the fourth, allowing back-to-back two-out RBI singles. Hentges was yanked with one out in the fifth inning after walking a batter and allowing a double. Reliever Argenis Angulo allowed both inherited runners to score.
The five-run hole was far too big for Akron’s offense to climb out from as the RubberDucks managed just two hits on the evening.
Both hits belonged to Tyler Krieger, who went 2-4 with a triple and opened the season as a third basemen. No one walked for the RubberDucks, although Andrew Calica did get hit by two pitches.
Lynchburg Hillcats 14, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 5
Box Score · Hillcats improve to 1-0
Lynchburg batters had themselves a day, reaching base safely 23 times thanks in part to 17 hits and six walks.
In his High-A debut after skipping Single-A Lake County entirely, Tribe 2018 fifth round draft pick Steven Kwan proved he belonged by going 4-6 from the lead-off position with three runs scored and a stolen base.
Other top offensive performers were Nolan Jones, who went 3-5 with a walk and three runs scored, Gavin Collins, who went 3-5 with a walk and a double and Oscar Gonzalez, who went 3-6 with a triple.
Luke Wakamatsu and Trenton Brooks both hit home runs while Jodd Carter reached base safely three times, going 1-3 with a pair of walks and a stolen base.
Starting pitcher Justin Garza was phenomenal, throwing 5.0 no-hit, shutout innings while striking out four and walking two. Relievers Felix Tati and Robert Broom allowed five runs to score in their three combined innings of work, but the offense more than gave them the breathing room to operate comfortably.
Lake County Captains 4, West Michigan Loons 0
Box Score · Captains improve to 1-0
Several Lake County Captains began their 2019 campaigns on a high note.
Will Benson went 1-3 with a walk, a double and a stolen base. Former Tribe 2017 top draft pick Quentin Holmes went 2-3 with a walk while Bo Naylor and Marcos Gonzalez both walked twice.
In his full-season debut, Tyler Freeman went 0-5, although he did not strike out.
Starting pitcher Luis Oviedo was tremendous, striking out five in five shutout innings while allowing four base hits and failing to walk a batter.
Relievers Dakody Clemmer and Aaron Pinto three two scoreless innings apiece to preserve the victory.