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Daniel Espino, Gavin Williams electric in their 2022 debuts

Cleveland Guardians minor league recap for April 9, 2022

Columbus Clippers 0, Lehigh Valley IronPigs 4 (G1)
Columbus Clippers 4, Lehigh Valley IronPigs 2 (G2)

Game 1 Box Score · Game 2 Box Score · Clippers move to 2-3

In game one, both teams managed just two hits apiece, but one of Lehigh Valley’s hits was a big one, a three-run home run in the first inning off newly-acquired Tobias Myers. Myers allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts in 3.1 innings. Aaron Pinto, Erick Mock, and Eli Lingos combined for 2.2 innings of perfect relief with two strikeouts.

Veteran Mitchell Tolman was the only Clipper to reach base safely two times, walking twice.

In game two, the Clippers scored four runs on four hits. Two of those hits were home runs, one from Oscar Gonzalez and the other from David Fry, who went back-to-back with him.

Will Benson went 1-3 with a walk and Tolman walked twice again as the only Clippers to reach base safely two times. Both men stole a base.

Starting pitcher Tanner Tully was effective, striking out six and walking one while allowing two earned runs on four hits in 5.0 innings. Alex Young struck out the side in the sixth inning, which allowed Nick Mikolajchak to pick up his first save of the season in the seventh frame.

Akron RubberDucks 2, Erie SeaWolves 3

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 0-2

The story of this game was top Cleveland pitching prospect Daniel Espino’s Double-A debut. Espino was throwing gas, hitting 101 on the radar while striking out the side in the first inning. He only allowed three hits in his 4.0 innings of work, but two of them were solo shots and he wasn’t throwing his offspeed pitches much due to the cold, nasty weather.

Espino’s final line was 4.0 innings, three hits, two earned runs with no walks and a whopping nine strikeouts.

Fellow starting pitcher Xzavion Curry piggy-backed on Espino’s start, tossing 4.1 scoreless innings of long relief himself while striking out seven, walking one and allowing four hits.

Akron tied the game in the top of the ninth inning on an RBI single from Marcos Gonzalez, who made a brilliant double play to keep the RubberDucks in the game in the eighth inning.

Unfortunately, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, reliever Tim Herrin threw a wild pitch on a swinging third strike, which allowed the game-winning run to score from third base.

Offensively, Will Brennan and Brayan Rocchio both went 2-4, with Rocchio collecting a triple. Brennan also walked. Bo Naylor and George Valera both walked twice and Gonzalez went 1-1 with a walk.

Lake County 3, Lansing Lugnuts 0 (G1)
Lake County 7, Lansing Lugnuts 5 (G2)

Game 1 Box Score · Game 2 Box Score · Captains improve to 2-0

Speaking of electric arms, Cleveland’s 2021 first-round pick Gavin Williams made his pro debut for Lake County on Saturday. Williams was flat-out dominant over 4.0 no-hit innings, striking out six and walking two.

Jaime Arias-Bautista and Cade Smith completed the shutout with 3.0 innings of scoreless relief while allowing a pair of hits.

The Captains were paced by Johnathan Rodriguez, who had a monster game, going 3-3 with two triples and two runs scored. Johnkensy Noel went 1-2 with a walk and Joe Naranjo went 1-3 with a triple.

In game two, Lake County followed up the 2021 first-round pick with the 2021 second-round pick in Doug Nikhazy. Nikhazy wasn’t quite as dominant, but he still provided 3.0 scoreless innings with two hits allowed, six strikeouts, and three walks. If you watch the below video, you might get a few James Karinchak vibes from Nikhazy following big strikeouts.

Randy Lebaut struggled in relief, allowing five runs after Jordan Jones allowed all three inherited runners to score in the fifth inning, but Jones settled down and finished the final 2.2 innings to earn the save.

The Captains got to work early in game two, striking for six runs in the first inning. Petey Halpin went 2-4, stealing his second base of the day. Gabriel Rodriguez also went 2-4 with a double and Connor Kokx went 1-2 with a walk.

Lynchburg 8, Salem Red Sox 11 (G1)
Lynchburg 0, Salem Red Sox 2 (G2)

Game 1 Box Score · Game 2 Box Score · Hillcats fall to 0-2

Game one was the completion of a suspended game from Friday. Trailing 7-6, Lynchburg battled back to regain the lead with seven runs in the fifth inning before ultimately falling 11-8.

Milan Tolentino went 3-5 with two doubles and Jorge Burgos went 2-5. Luis Durango went 1-3 with three walks and Jake Fox went 1-4 with a walk and also stole a base.

Brauny Munoz was the only noteworthy pitcher for Lynchburg, tossing two scoreless innings of relief.

In game two, trailing 3-0, Lynchburg again rallied with three runs in the fourth inning to tie the game, but Salem responded to take and keep the lead in the bottom of the inning.

Jorge Burgos had the big hit for Lynchburg, a three-run home run. Yordys Valdes also walked twice.

Starting pitcher Will Dion was knocked around for three runs (two earned) on six hits in 2.2 innings. Davis Sharpe took the loss, allowing the go-ahead run to score in his 2.1 innings of work.