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Alexfri Planez leads Lynchburg to victory with two-homer night

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Cleveland minor league recap for June 2, 2021

Defense wasn’t pretty down on the farm last night, but a couple of standout performances were present, including Xzavion Curry continuing to be lights out on the mound and Alexfri Planez hitting two home runs for the Hillcats.

Columbus Clippers 2, Indianapolis 5

Box Score · Clippers fall to 8-15

It’s been a struggle for the Columbus Clippers to find consistent pitching with all the arms going up to the majors over the last month. They managed to get six solid innings out of 30-year-old Kevin Herget last night, though. He struck out four, walked three, and watched two unearned runs cross the plate when Nolan Jones and Ernie Clement botched a double-play attempt that could have ended the inning.

It was the bullpen that blew it this time around, namely Kyle Dowdy’s three earned runs in 1.2 innings. Robert Broom was brought in to get the final out of the game but walked one before striking out the final batter.

Oscar Mercado led the way offensively with his first home run of the season in a 2-for-4 effort.

Bobby Bradley homered as well, his eighth of the year. Although, as I’m sure you know by now, just saying “Bobby Bradley hit a home run” and watching him obliterate a baseball are two different things. So here you go:

Akron RubberDucks 2, Erie SeaWolves 7

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 16-8

Just not a good day at the office for the Akron RubberDucks. Tyler Freeman had a nice day, going 2-for-5 and extending his hitting streak at least.

Alex Call and Bo Naylor had multi-hit days as well. Naylor hit his first triple of the year in the losing effort.

The offense was underwhelming, but it was Alex Royalty’s first misstep in Double-A that really did them in. He struck out four over four innings of work but also allowed three earned runs, including a two-run homer in the fourth. Royalty was not great from the start, allowing three hits and an earned run (and also one unearned on an error) in the first inning.

Lake County Captains 9, Dayton Dragons 10

Box Score · Captains fall to 11-14

After a series of great starts to get the bad 2021 debut out of his mind, Hunter Gaddis pitched another clunker last night. His six walks were a season-high, and he was chased after just 2.1 innings. Lake County’s bullpen didn’t fare much better and they finished with 13 walks as a staff.

The Captains offense did everything they could to keep them in the game. Aaron Bracho and Jose Tena each had two hits, and Will Brennan had three, including his first homer of the season. The offense rallied in the seventh for four runs off two singles, a double, and this Aaron Bracho homer.

Lynchburg Hillcats 7, Salem Red Sox 5

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 15-9

Even with Xzavion Curry dominating on the mound, this was the Alexfri Planez show as the 19-year-old outfielder hit two home runs on the night. His first was the biggest — a grand slam in the fourth inning that extended Lynchburg’s early lead to five. He added another in the sixth for good measure. In the end, Planez plated five of the Hillcats’ seven runs in the win.

Xzavion Curry was once again dominant on the mound for Lynchburg, and at this point, other Low-A teams must be begging for mercy. Last night he struck out six in 5.1 innings of work, pounding the zone for 64 strikes and just 18 balls.

It’s difficult to tell what makes Curry so unhittable while watching from home, but there’s something about his fastball that Low-A batters just can’t seem to read or catch up to. No crazy movement, not overpowering velocity as far as I know, but utterly unhittable to this point. He has pitched 25.1 innings this season, with 38 strikeouts, four walks, and three earned runs.