The final road trip of the season began for Triple-A Columbus last week as the Clippers began the first six of 12 road games in Toledo. The Clippers met the Mud Hens having lost six of their last seven games, but claimed a series victory Sunday behind shortstop Gabriel Arias’ 3-hit performance, falling a home run short of the cycle. Arias paced Columbus’ offense by smacking seven of his 12 hits for extra bases, including six doubles that were the most he’s recorded in a series in 2021. The Clippers mashed over 11 hits over their final three games against the Mud Hens, seeing multi-RBI showings from four different players. Cleveland’s rehabbing right-hander Shane Bieber allowed one run over 2 2/3 innings during his start Tuesday, striking out three and allowing as many hits. 24-year-old righty Cody Morris struck out 13 hitters across two games while surrendering a season-high three earned runs in his start Sunday. Flamethrower Juan Mota followed Morris for the team-lead with eight punchouts across two shutout appearances in Toledo. Columbus is now 56-62 this season and in fifth place within the Triple-A East Midwest Division.
9/14: W 2-1 (8) at Toledo W: Morris (2-1) L: Payano (4-6)
9/15: L 8-7 at Toledo W: Blackwood (4-0) L: Herget (7-4) S: De Jesus (4)
9/16: L 5-1 at Toledo W: Leiter (7-3) L: Scott (0-1)
9/17: W 6-5 at Toledo W: Hill (1-1) L: Vest (1-2) S: Gose (2)
9/18: W 8-4 at Toledo W: McCarty (8-5) L: Shore (7-3)
9/19: W 8-4 at Toledo W: Karinchak (1-0) L: Payano (4-7)
Player of the Week
INF Gabriel Arias: 12-for-26, .500 OBP, 8 RBI, 6 2B, 6 R, 3B
Arias found the gaps and found them often against the Mud Hens, recording three times as many doubles than the next-closest Clippers hitter. He allowed the tying run to score Friday while reaching on an error, and swiped his first bag Sunday since Aug. 7. Moreover, Arias had twice as many hits than his next-closest teammate and led Columbus in RBIs and runs scored. The Venezuelan is hitting .321 across 14 games in September, his best clip during any month this season so far.
OF Connor Marabell: 6-for-13, 3 R, 2 RBI, HR
While opportunities are a bit more few and far between for 27-year-old Connor Marabell, he sure made the most of them in Toledo. Playing in just three games, Marabell knocked all six of his hits in the last two. The outfielder went deep for a 2-run home run Sunday — his first since a two-homer day Aug. 17 — and tripled Friday. Marabell’s .846 slugging percentage led Columbus last week.
RHP James Karinchak: 3 G, W, 3 IP, 4 K, H, BB
Upon beginning the season with the big-league club in Cleveland, right-hander James Karinchak sputtered to ERAs of over six in both July and August. The Indians optioned the soon-to-be 26-year-old to Triple-A Columbus days before the start of September, but Karinchak made his first appearance Wednesday. The righty fired a scoreless seventh inning to keep the game knotted at seven runs apiece, and Karinchak continued with two more shutout outings. The former ninth round pick earned the win Sunday behind a perfect seventh inning.
OF Will Benson: 1-for-15, 9 K, 3 RBI, R
The bump to Triple-A hasn’t been kind to former first-round pick Will Benson, who’s hitting a lowly .137 since his promotion Aug. 20. He’s had only two hits over his last 30 at-bats, and struck out nine times over four games in Toledo. Benson’s lone hit in Toledo came on a 2-run double Tuesday, which was all Columbus needed to earn the close win.
LHP Kyle Dowdy: 2 G, 1 IP, 4 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 K
Kyle Dowdy has had a ho-hum 2021 campaign and entered the final full month of the season with an ERA below four. However, several rough appearances in September has now put Dowdy within striking distance of reaching five, and his ERA this month is a staggering 15.19. Allowing four runs and three hits while not recording an out Wednesday didn’t help, but the left-hander bounced back in a scoreless yet two-walk inning Sunday.
9/14 – RHP J.C. Mejia recalled by Cleveland from Triple-A Columbus
9/14 – RHP Shane Bieber assigned to Triple-A Columbus (rehab assignment)
9/14 – LHP Adam Scott assigned to Triple-A Columbus from Double-A Akron
9/14 – C Bryan Lavastida assigned to Double-A Akron from Triple-A Columbus
9/14 – LHP Juan Hillman placed on 7-day injured list
9/15 – INF Ernie Clement recalled by Cleveland from Triple-A Columbus
9/15 – RHP J.C. Mejia optioned to Triple-A Columbus from Cleveland
9/16 – C Ryan Lavarnway outrighted to Triple-A Columbus from Cleveland
9/17 – RHP J.C. Mejia recalled by Cleveland from Triple-A Columbus
9/17 – LHP Alex Young optioned to Triple-A Columbus from Cleveland
9/21 – ROAD at Omaha 8:05
9/22 – ROAD at Omaha 8:05
9/23 – ROAD at Omaha 8:05
9/24 – ROAD at Omaha 8:05
9/25 – ROAD at Omaha 8:05
9/26 – ROAD at Omaha 7:15
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