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Strikeouts aplenty, but wins scarce in rough night for Cleveland affiliates

Cleveland minor league recap for May 26, 2021

It was a big day for strikeouts among Cleveland affiliates Tuesday night, but runs were hard to come by. Just ask Xzavion Curry and Hunter Gaddis, who combined to strike out 16 batters and still both lost.

Columbus Clippers 2, Nashville Sound 8

Box Score · Clippers fall to 8-10

A quiet night for Columbus bats as the Clippers fell, 8-2, to the Nashville Sound. Only Andrés Giménez, who is trying to prove he belongs back in the majors, and catcher Gavin Collins recorded hits. They each had two.

Nolan Jones snapped a six-game hitting streak by going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a walk. He’s slashing .172/.324/.259 on the season as he continues to struggle to hit for power but is beginning to draw walks and get on base with singles.

On the mound, Tanner Tully’s rough season continued as he allowed five earned runs for the third game in a row. This time he lasted a season-high six innings and struck out four. Robert Broom faced five batters and struck out three of them.

Akron RubberDucks 8, Binghamton Rumble Ponies 7

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 13-5

The lone win in Cleveland’s system yesterday, the Akron RubberDucks racked up 11 hits on their way to an 8-7 victory over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

Led by outfielder Oscar Gonzalez’s three hits, including his sixth home run of the season in the first inning, the ‘Ducks offense continues to roll after scoring 24 runs in their two games prior to Tuesday night.

Shortstop Tyler Freeman also had two hits and a walk, and second baseman Andruw Monasterio had two hits, including a double.

Thomas Ponticelli turned in a solid start over 3.1 innings, and Skylar Arias and Aaron Pinto held the Rumble Ponies to one run over 4.2 innings. The game almost got away from Akron when Alec Wisely took the mound, however.

The 23-year-old righty was brought in to close out a blowout win in the bottom of the ninth and started off well with a pop-up. After that, though, he allowed a single to Yoel Romero, walked a pair of batters, then gave up a double and a homer before ultimately being replaced by Nick Mikolajchak, who has yet to give up a run this season as Akron’s closer.

As he’s done all season long, Mikolajchak shut the door, striking out the only batter he faced.

Lake County Captains 3, West Michigan White Caps 4

Box Score · Captains fall to 11-7

Hunter Gaddis, fresh off the bump of an interview with our own Brian Hemminger, came out of the gate hot. He struck out the side in the first inning, allowed just one hit in the second, and struck out the side again in the third to be at seven strikeouts through three.

Things got away from Gaddis a bit in the fourth, however, after he gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning. He settled down after a mound visit, but a groundout and sac fly scored a pair of runs, and Gaddis’ day was done. He finished with his three earned runs over four innings after allowing one run over his last two starts combined. The early strikeouts he racked up totaled a season-high seven and he walked just one batter in the loss.

The Lake County Captains offense didn’t fare much better, totaling five hits and scoring two runs early on before fading for the rest of the game. Outfielder Will Brennan led with two hits and a double, while third baseman Brayan Rocchio singled and struck out.

Outfielder George Valera is going on two weeks without starting but has yet to be placed on the injured list.

Lynchburg Hillcats 3, Delmarva Shorebirds 7

Box Score · Hillcats fall to 13-6

Xzavion Curry just keeps bringing the heat. His latest performance last night, in which he struck out nine batters over 4.2 innings, brought him to a Cleveland affiliate-leading 32 strikeouts on the season.

Similar to Hunter Gaddis in Lake County, Curry came out of the gate on fire, striking out the first four batters he faced before giving up his first hit. Unfortunately, that hit was a solo home run, but he was able to work out of the second with a pair of easy outs. He walked one and struck out two in the third, pitched a clean fourth, then gave up three singles and struck out three in the fifth. In the end, he allowed three hits over his 4.2 innings of work and still left the Lynchburg Hillcats within striking distance.

Also like Lake County, though, the scoring just wasn’t there last night. The Hillcats offense has been on a tear all season long, but last night they were hampered by bad luck sequencing and way too many strikeouts. As a group, they struck out 13 times, led by Christian Cairo’s four whiffs from the lead-off spot. Designated hitter Yainer Diaz, outfielder Jonathan Rodriguez, and shortstop Andres Rodriguez each had two hits. Outfielder Michah Pries hit his first triple of the season, as well.