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Juan Hillman continues to cruise with six shutout innings in Akron

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Cleveland minor league recap for June 23, 2021

Columbus Clippers 3, St. Paul Saints 8

Box Score · Clippers fall to 19-23

Cleveland’s mad dash to find a working rotation has cascaded to struggles for Triple-A squad. The Clippers are down to 30-year-old Kevin Herget making his sixth start, and last night he allowed five earned runs in Columbus’ loss to the St. Paul Saints.

Reliever Francisco Perez made his Triple-A debut after dominating Double-A batters over the first month of the season. It was a rough one, though, as he allowed two earned runs and walked a batter in 0.1 innings of work. Justin Garza struck out both batters he faced and lowered his ERA to 0.42.

Franmil Reyes has blanked his three rehab at-bats, and Nolan Jones went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Gabriel Arias and Daniel Johnson each had a team-leading two hits apiece.

Akron RubberDucks 3, Erie SeaWolves 0

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 25-16

It’s been slow and steady for Juan Hillman over his six-year professional career, but he looks like he’s putting it all together now. The 24-year-old has a career-best 3.02 ERA on the season and he struck out five over six shutout innings last night to lead Akron to their fourth straight victory.

Bo Naylor led the offense with two hits. After a lengthy slump that included a 1-for-17 stretch in June, Naylor has five hits in his last two games. Maybe this is what he needs to get his OPS above .600 again. He also showed off his arm with a snap throw to Tyler Freeman to prevent a stolen base. This is a combination we could be seeing in the majors in a couple years.

Freeman also had a double, his 10th of the season, and Will Benson hit his fourth triple of the year.

Lake County Captains 1, Great Lakes Loons 9

Box Score · Captains fall to 23-20

Not a great night for the boys of Lake County. Aaron Bracho’s double was the only offensively highlight as the team went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven runners in total. George Valera also had a hit to support his fledgling hitting streak which currently sits at three games.

Hunter Gaddis’ up-and-down season continued with a deep valley. He allowed seven earned runs in 3.2 innings, including three home runs. His struggles really came in the fourth when he allowed three straight hits to start the inning followed by a strikeout and a double to bring them all home. That was more than enough to sink the Captains.

Lynchburg Hillcats 8, Salem Red Sox 9

Box Score · Hillcats fall to 22-19

An extra-innings thriller didn't end for Lynchburg until the Salem Red Sox took advantage of their Manfred runner in the bottom of the 11th with a bunt and a game-winning single.

In a shootout that included 14 total runs before extra innings, the Hillcats fought hard several times. First, they jumped out to a big lead in the fifth inning with four runs in the fifth inning. They went with the infuriating 2015 Royals method of a big inning — a lot of walks, singles, and timely doubles. Angel Martinez and Gabriel Rodriguez provided the doubles after Hosea Nelson led off the inning with a walk.

After reliever Brauny Munoz struggled and allowed four runs, the Hillcats put together a ninth-inning rally to score two and tie the game at seven. That came thanks to another big Angel Martinez extra-base hit (a triple this time) and his hustle home on a wild pitch.

Martinez and Alexfri Planez led the way with three hits apiece, and the former raised his OPS to .917 on the season. Ike Freeman and Cody Farhat combined to go 2-for-10 with eight strikeouts in the middle of the order.