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Daniel Johnson homers for third consecutive game in Clippers loss, Mason Hickman dominates for Lake County

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Cleveland minor league recap for May 24, 2021

Columbus Clippers 5, Toledo Mud Hens 12

Box Score · Clippers fall to 8-9

With regular starting pitcher Jean Carlos Mejia still in Cleveland, Columbus was forced to have a bullpen game Sunday, and while it started well, the end was a complete disaster.

Leading 5-1, the Clippers bullpen allowed a whopping nine runs in the eighth inning. Manuel Alvarez failed to get any of the five batters he faced out, walking two, allowing two hits, and hitting a batter with a pitch. Kyle Dowdy then proceeded to allow all three inherited runners to score with a grand slam. Then, after Dowdy was pulled without getting out of the inning, Jordan Stephens promptly allowed his two inherited runners to score with a three-run home run.

Yuck.

Thing looked good for Columbus early. Conner Marabell went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and a stolen base. Daniel Johnson homered for his third consecutive game.

Andres Gimenez went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles. Nolan Jones and Ryan Lavarnway both went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk and Gabriel Arias went 2-for-5.

Justin Garza pitched well for Columbus, tossing three scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

Akron RubberDucks 13, Reading Fightin’ Phils 1

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 12-5

The RubberDucks were on fire yesterday, both on offense and pitching.

Catcher Mike Rivera had the best game of his career, going 4-for-5 with two doubles, three RBI, and two runs scored.

Oscar Gonzalez had three hits, while both Trenton Brooks and Will Benson homered. In fact, every single RubberDuck except Marcos Gonzalez reached base safely twice, and Gonzalez at least had a double.

Pitching to contact, Juan Hillman was terrific, allowing just one run on four hits in seven innings while striking out two and walking four.

Miednik finished off the game with two innings of scoreless relief.

Lake County Captains 5, Great Lakes loons 3

Box Score · Captains improve to 11-7

Mason Hickman is looking locked in.

The 2020 fifth-round pick out of Vanderbilt was dominant Sunday, striking out seven batters over 5.0 scoreless innings on two hits and two walks. His season ERA is 1.98 after three starts.

Joe Naranjo went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk to lead the offense, while Will Brennan stayed scorching hot, going 2-for-5 from the leadoff position.

Jose Tena hit his team-leading fourth home run of the season, going 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly.

Raynel Delgado didn’t get a hit, but he walked and stole his team-leading seventh base of the season already. Lake County batters have been base stealing machines this season and stole three more on Sunday.

Lynchburg Hillcats 3, Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Box Score · Hillcats fall to 13-5

Jhonkensy Noel, who has helped carry the Lynchburg offense this season, left the game after being struck by a pitch. Let’s hope it’s not serious, but it doesn’t look good.

There wasn’t much to say about Lynchburg’s offense Sunday. Only Yordys Valdez had a multi-hit game, going 3-for-4 from the nine-hole. Micah Pries was the lone other Hillcat to reach base safely twice, going 1-for-3 with a walk.

Starting pitcher Lenny Torres struggled with his command, allowing three runs (two earned) in 3.1 innings on four hits while striking out three and walking two.

The highlight of the game for Lynchburg was the pro debut of Cade Smith, a 22-year-old RHP who I believe went undrafted in 2020 (remember, the 2020 MLB draft only had five rounds). Smith struck out a ridiculous seven batters in just 2.2 scoreless innings pitched, allowing one hit and walking zero.