Logan Allen (Lake County, SP): 6 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 R – The Captains had an incredibly hard to fathom loss last night when a runner started on second in extra innings, went to second on a fly ball out then scored on a balk, but Allen put them in fantastic position for the win early on. He allowed a walk in the first, but quickly used a double play to get out of the inning. He gave up another runner with a single in the second and a double in the fourth, but was otherwise perfect. While the Captains couldn’t score to back up his effort, that should take nothing away from one of the Indians top new starting pitchers. To begin his career, Allen now has allowed two runs (both earned) over 21.2 innings across four starts. He has struck out 27 and walked 4 for a bunch of insane ratios you should feel free to compute yourself.
BEST OF THE REST
Bradley Zimmer (Columbus, RF): 2-4, 4 RBI, HR – Yes children, he does (still) exist. Zimmer had the best game of his 2021 season last night against the Sounds with two hits in four at bats including his first home run. The homer was a two out, two run shot in the fourth while his second hit was an RBI single in the eighth that scored Oscar Mercado (he also still exists). While Zimmer started out 2021 extremely rough (1 for 17 in his first five games), he has picked things up completely of late and is 15 for his last 44 with three doubles and eight walks in addition to last night’s homer. Andres Gimenez and Tyler Krieger also had two hits for the Clippers as Columbus took a tough loss to Nashville.
Will Benson (Akron, DH): 2-2, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR – Don’t look now, but much like Zimmer, Benson is heating up right now. His home run last night was his third in four games and he added a second inning RBI double and a seventh inning walk. Considering this was only a seven inning game, that was quite the night’s work.
Francisco Perez (Akron, RP): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 8 K, 0 BB – While it was Alex Royalty who was tabbed with the start, it was former starter Perez who saved the day (even though technically he earned the win). Perez came into the game in the third with a 2-1 lead and pitched four more shut out innings (to add to his 11 to start the year) with a very impressive eight strike outs and no walks. His only runner allowed was a single in the fifth, his only inning that featured three strike outs. He now has 15 scoreless innings, 26 strike outs, eight walks and three hits allowed on the season.
Daniel Espino (Lynchburg, SP): 4 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 R, 7 K – Things got a little wild in Lynchburg in the end (well, the eight run sixth more specifically), but Espino put the Hillcats on the right path initially. He was gifted a one run lead before he took the mound and immediately gave that up with a single, double and single allowed, but calmed quickly with a strike out to end the first without further damage. He eliminated a runner after a single in the second with a double play then struck out three in the third to skirt around a Christian Cairo error and a walk. He struck out two in the fourth for his first perfect and final inning of the night. Espino has now allowed five earned runs in 17.1 innings in 2021 with 25 strike outs and seven walks.
Angel Martinez (Lynchburg, SS): 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, BB – Rewinding a bit, it was Martinez who gifted that run to Espino with a home run to lead off the game. This was Martinez’s first home run of 2021 and the second in his professional career, the first in the US. He added an RBI single in the fourth and a walk in the seventh and now has 12 walks with 13 strike outs in his first 14 games. This is perfectly in line with his 2019 DSL numbers, an impressive feat given that he skipped two minor league levels and is still just 19 years old.
Christian Cairo (Lynchburg, 2B): 1-3, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2 SB – While Cairo did commit the error noted before, he also had a two steal, two run game and deserves credit for his part in keeping the Hillcats in this game. He initially walked to lead off the third, then stole second and third. After a Micah Pries walk and steal, Yainer Diaz and John Rodriguez both walked to bring home Cairo. Coming up in the next inning, Cairo singled home Gabriel Rodriguez, moved up on a balk (sorry Lake County fans) and scored on the previously mentioned Martinez single. While Cairo has taken his bumps this year (and in his rookie season of 2019), this was his second best game of the season and best since opening day.
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