Cleveland minor league affiliates are off to a tremendous start for the 2021 season, but Akron and Lynchburg were off to historic starts, as both teams entered Wednesday undefeated.
Only one team left undefeated, however.
Columbus Clippers 4, Omaha Storm Chasers 5
Box Score · Clippers fall to 5-2
Columbus appeared well on its way to winning, but some late bullpen shenanigans cost the Clippers a victory. Kyle Nelson, Blake Parker, and Danny Young all struggled, allowing three runs on three hits and four walks in the final three innings of the game to blow a 4-2 lead.
The Clippers were staked to an early lead by Bobby Bradley, who bashed his second home run of the year.
Bradley had his most productive day of the season, knocking in runs on three separate trips to the plate with a sacrifice fly, the home run, and an RBI single. Bradley finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
Bradley Zimmer reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. One of his hits was even off his older brother, Kyle.
Ernie Clement went 2-for-4 with a double while Gabriel Arias reached base safely three times, going 1-for-2 with a pair of walks.
The bullpen ruined a solid start from Jean Carlos Mejia, who allowed two runs on four hits in five innings while striking out six and walking just one. Justin Garza also added a scoreless inning of relief.
Akron RubberDucks 0, Erie SeaWolves 4
Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 6-1
It’s tough to stay undefeated when you don’t score any runs
Akron struggled Wednesday, managing just two hits against Erie. Tyler Freeman and Josh Rolette were the only RubberDucks to score singles, while Will Benson walked.
Starting pitcher Juan Hillman struggled, allowing four runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings, although he struck out five and walked one.
The bullpen was the highlight of this game as Aaron Pinto, Juan Moto and Jake Miednik combined for 3.2 scoreless innings of relief, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out eight.
Lake County Captains 5, Fort Wayne TinCaps 3
Box Score · Captains improve to 5-3
One start after tossing 4.1 perfect innings to begin his professional career, Logan T. Allen continued his run of dominance with five shutout innings on Wednesday. Allen wasn’t perfect, allowing five hits and walking two, but he also struck out seven.
Jose Tena backed Allen with the best game of his season, going 3-for-4 with a home run, a stolen base, and scoring three runs. Raynel Delgado and Daniel Schneemann both had multi-hit games, going 2-for-4 and 2-for-3, respectively. Bryan Lavastida also reached base twice, going 1-for-3 with a walk and his fourth stolen base. Delgado also stole his fourth base of the season.
Of concern, George Valera left the game early after going 0-for-1 with a sacrifice fly.
Nic Enright struggled out of the bullpen, allowing three runs on five hits in 2.2 innings, but Nick Gallagher picked him up with a perfect 1.1 innings of relief while striking out three to earn the save.
Lynchburg Hillcats 8, Salem Red Sox 1
Box Score · Hillcats improve to 8-0
The Hillcats are the last undefeated team standing in the Cleveland organization, and they’ve honestly yet to even have a close game.
Top Cleveland pitching prospect Daniel Espino made his second start of the season, and he was sensational. He allowed one run on six hits in five innings while striking out five and walking two to earn the first win of his professional career.
Lynchburg Hillcats 20yr old RHP Daniel Espino goes five strong innings in his 2nd start of 2021. Video of four of his five strikeouts on the night vs Salem.— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) May 13, 2021
Line - 5.0(IP) 6H 1R 1ER 2BB 5SO (75 Pitches 51 Strikes)@Daniel24Espino @LynHillcats #Indians #OurCLE pic.twitter.com/JidGF4qprg
As has been the case all season, Espino was backed by some incredible offense. Will Bartlett and Johnathan Rodriguez both had multi-hit games, going 2-for-4, while Andres Melendez, Alexfri Planez, and Gabriel Rodriguez all hit doubles. Micah Pries stayed hot, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, and Johnathan Rodriguez also stole a base.
The bullpen also was tremendous. Jaime Arias-Bautista tossed three no-hit shutout innings of relief and Daritzon Feliz kept his season ERA at 0.00 with another scoreless inning to close the game out.