Photo credit: David Monseur/Accent Images/Courtesy Akron RubberDucks

Scoreboard

Triple-A – Columbus Clippers 17, Indianapolis Indians 1

HOME RUN PARADE

Bo Naylor (C): 3-6, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 K –  The story of last night’s blowout victory over the Circle City nine was Bo Naylor.  He may be Josh’s little brother, but there is NOTHING little about his game.  Naylor’s two-home run performance on Monday brought his season total to 21 (including six for Double-A Akron earlier in the season).  Pair that with his 20 stolen bases (11 Akron, 9 Columbus) and you get a 20/20 season, almost certain to be the only one by a minor league catcher this season.  Oh, and speaking of catching, Naylor delivered this offensive explosion in his first game back behind the dish in nearly a week.

Jose Tena (2B): 1-3, 3 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB – Tena provided the second homer of the night in the next frame.  It was also his first round-tripper at the Triple-A level (14th of the season overall and 32nd of his career) and extended his career-best season RBI total to 68.

Trenton Brooks (1B): 3-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K – Brooks followed with his eleventh of the season to make it back-to-back jacks (was nearly back-to-back-to-back, but Richie Palacios – you’ll be seeing his name a lot in this column – missed a homer just below the scoreboard by a foot-and-half).

Brayan Rocchio (SS): 2-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SF, 1 HBP – Rocchio got the Clippers’ six-homer game started on the fourth pitch thrown by Indianapolis starter Osvaldo Bido, driving in Palacios, who started the Clippers night at the plate with a single to start his own impressive evening (as I said, he shows up in this ATF a lot).  Even when he wasn’t reaching base (four of his six plate appearances last night), he was still productive, driving in Trenton Brooks for…can you even call it an insurance run when it makes the score 15-1?…on an eighth-inning sac fly.

David Fry (3B): 2-6, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K –  The pursuit of 75 RBI continues for Fry, who drove in number 74 on his 17th home run of the 2022 campaign in the fourth inning.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Richie Palacios (LF): 3-6, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 K – Now we get to Palacios.  While he may not have had any extra-base hits, but his three-hit night made it a trifecta of three-base games in as many days as he continues to make his case for a spot on the 2023 Big Club roster with about as Guardians-esque of a performance as you can get.

Seth Caddell (PH-backup DH): 1-1, 1 R, 1 2B – In a moment more common in college baseball with walk-ons, Caddell, who has spent much of the season in a weird roster limbo between Akron and Columbus, entered the game as a pinch hitter for DH George Valera (more about his evening later in the column) and proceeded to hit a double to left and subsequently score on an Oscar Mercado sac fly.

Oscar Mercado (CF): 2-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SF, 1 E – Speaking of Mercado, he continued a stellar September with a multi-hit effort that extended his on-base streak to 18 games.

Hunter Gaddis (SP): W (4-3 for Columbus, 8-6 in the minors, 8-8 overall including Cleveland), 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (earned), 6 K, 1 WP – While Gaddis struggled in his two major league starts this season, he has proven himself ready for the Triple-A level this month, allowing two or less earned runs in five or more innings in each of his four September starts for the Clippers, including this stellar finale to his season, which saw him match his 4-3 Akron record for the Clip Show.  Look for him to make some starts for Cleveland gain next season – and be much better prepared for big league hitting.

Adam Scott (RP): 1 IP, perfect, 3 K – Scott followed Gaddis on the mound and struck out the side in order to improve his September statline to a 1.93 ERA (2 ER in 9.1 IP), 1.07 WHIP (four hits and sx walks), 17 strikeouts (good for a 2.83 K:BB ratio), and .125 opponents’ batting average.

THE REST

George Valera (starting DH): 1-4, 1 2B, 1 K – Valera hit a double for the second day in a row as his adjustment to the minor leagues’ top flight continues.

Nolan Jones (RF): 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 E – Jones followed up his stellar Toledo series (read more about it in Stacy Hannan’s incredible recap of the final full week of the Clippers season) by extending his hitting streak to six games and making it twelve straight with at least one productive plate appearance.

Carlos Vargas (RP): 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K –  Vargas, who inexplicably didn’t see any playing time during his recent major league callup), improved his Triple-A ERA to 1.00 (1 ER in 9 IP) with this scoreless frame.

Eli Lingos (RP): 1 IP,  H, 1 K – Lingos followed up a rough Columbus debut (2 ER on 2 H and 2 BB in 0.1 IP) with this impressive eighth frame.

Nick Mikolajchak (RP): 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K – Mikolajchak closed out the evening’s festivities  with a ninth that included the Clippers’ 12th strikeout of the night.

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