A solo home run by Erik Gonzalez in the sixth inning against top Nationals pitching prospect Lucas Giolito was the lone run of the game as the Clippers claimed a 1-0 win over the Syracuse Chiefs on Friday night.
The Clippers, finally with stability back to their pitching staff after the parent Indians stabilized their bullpen, have ripped off wins in eight of 12 games so far in August to push their lead in the International League West to eight games over the Indianapolis Indians. They will look to extend their third-best record in the International League this weekend against Syracuse before hosting Durham and Toledo for three games each to conclude a nine-game homestand.
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Giovanny Urshela might not have the longest active hitting streak in the Indians minor league system or even the second longest, but it did not stop him from getting the attention of the International League over the course of the last week, as the Columbus Clippers third baseman was named the league’s Batter of the Week.
It is the second time this season that Urshela has received the honor. He was recognized for his efforts from April 25 to May 1 earlier in the year.
The Columbus Clippers offense is alive and well after putting up 26 runs in the last two games, including a matchup at home with Indianapolis on Thursday and the series opener in Louisville on Friday.
Columbus is just 4-3 over their last seven games heading into action on Saturday night. After winning 11-2 last Saturday in Charlotte, they lost 3-2 on Sunday to miss out on a chance to sweep the Knights at home. The Clippers returned home to Columbus for a four-game set with the rival Indianapolis Indians and won a 1-0 contest on a combined six-hitter on Monday before dropping back-to-back 5-4 decisions on Tuesday and Wednesday. They earned the series split on Thursday with a 9-7 victory before a 17-4 shellacking of the Bats in Louisville on Friday.
The Clippers sit in the top spot in the International League’s West Division with a 63-51 record heading into Saturday’s games, leading Indianapolis by five games. The Bats are eight games back while the Toledo Mud Hens sit in the cellar a dozen games out of first. Columbus will finish its four-game series in Louisville before heading to Toledo for three during the week.
In other Clippers news and notes from the Ohio state capital:
A solid 11-2 win over the Charlotte Knights on Saturday gave the Columbus Clippers a series win with one more to play on Sunday evening. The Clippers put together a quality week, sweeping Pawtucket at home in four straight last weekend. A trip to Norfolk ended with a pair of losses, but the Clippers have guaranteed at least a 3-3 split on their six game road trip.
Columbus (60-48) is sitting in the top spot in the International League’s West Division with a four and a half game lead heading into Saturday’s late action. The Clippers will return home after Sunday’s game in Charlotte to host second place Indianapolis for four straight before bouncing back out on the road with four in Louisville and three more in Toledo.
In other ClipNotes…
The International League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. announced on Monday morning that Columbus utility man Yandy Diaz was named the league’s Batter of the Week for games played between July 18 and July 24.
The 24-year-old was joined by Lehigh Valley pitcher David Buchanan in receiving a weekly honor.
It is the second major accolade for the Indians third base and outfield prospect in the month of July. On the 10th, he participated in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Futures Game in San Diego, California, during the All-Star weekend festivities.
After weeks of rumors and speculation, the Cleveland Indians announced late Sunday night that the organization has moved its top two prospects, outfielders Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer, to Triple-A Columbus.
The simultaneous move came after both have been subject of rumors linked to ways the Indians front office can bolster the 25-man roster of its first place club in the American League Central Division. Cleveland, with a six-game lead after the completion of Sunday’s games, has the second-best record in the league after being swept by the Baltimore Orioles.
The decision to promote both to the top level of the farm system may not have any bearing on whether the two are still with the club when the calendar flips to August, but given the projected holes in the outfield over the coming seasons and the Indians’ tendencies to hold in high regard their own top prospects, the relocation of both Frazier and Zimmer may indicate that neither will be moving anywhere but closer to becoming contributors to Cleveland’s parent club.
The Columbus Clippers have continued to play good baseball in the second half of their season to hold on to a four-game lead in the International League’s West Division as teams enter the weekend. At 55-46, the Clippers hold that lead over the Indianapolis Indians and a four and a half game lead over the third place Louisville Bats.
With Friday’s win over the PawSox, the Clippers have taken the first two of their four-game set with Pawtucket this weekend. Since their All-Star break, the Clippers have taken three of four in Toledo from the Mud Hens before dropping two of three to Louisville earlier in the week. The Clippers’ seven-game homestand will come to an end after Sunday afternoon’s game before the club hits the road for six straight road games in Norfolk and Charlotte starting Tuesday to wrap up the month of July.
In other Clipnotes from the state capital:
Two very different All-Star games took place on Wednesday with two very distinctly different results as the Double-A Eastern League and Triple-A International League participated in their own midsummer classics.
The Double-A All-Star Game pitted the Eastern and Western Division clubs against one another from Akron’s own Canal Park. The Triple-A contest featured the International League versus the Pacific Coast League from BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Major League Baseball hosted some of its top minor league prospects on Sunday night for the annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, held at Petco Park in San Diego.
Three Cleveland Indians prospects were selected to the competing teams, including Akron’s Clint Frazier for the U.S. Team and both Lynchburg’s Francisco Mejia and Columbus’ Yandy Diaz for the World Team.
After concluding their series against the Pawtucket Red Sox over the weekend, the Columbus Clippers got back to work within the division with International League West Division matchups against Toledo and Louisville.
Columbus split their final two games in Pawtucket, winning 7-2 last Saturday before a 16-inning 5-4 loss on Sunday. They took their series against Toledo during the week, winning the first and last games of the three-game set, before hitting the road for Louisville. A 6-3 loss to the Bats in the opener was followed by another extra inning loss, a 4-3 defeat in 13 innings.
The loss on Friday dropped the Clippers record to 47-42 on the season and 4-4 to start July. Combined with an Indianapolis win, Columbus is tied for the top spot in the West Division. The Clippers will play two on Saturday in Columbus against Indianapolis before closing out the unofficial first half with a 1:05 PM game on Sunday. After Tuesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game, play will resume on Thursday with four in Toledo.
In other news and Clipnotes:
The 2016 season may not have started the way that Indians prospect Yandy Diaz would have wanted, but his perseverance and his solid numbers this season were rewarded on Wednesday when he was named to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
Diaz joins his former teammate in Akron, outfielder Clint Frazier, and Lynchburg Hillcats catcher Francisco Mejia in giving the Indians franchise three players in the prospect exhibition game and three Cleveland players in Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game. The 24-year-old Diaz will be teammates with Mejia on the World roster and replaced Chicago Cubs prospect Jeimer Candelario.
The game will be played as part of Major League Baseball’s All-Star weekend festivities at 7 PM ET on Sunday, July 10, from Petco Park in San Diego, California.
The Clippers have returned to their winning ways after some difficult times earlier in the month of June. They wrapped up the month strong, taking two of three in Columbus from the Norfolk Tides before sweeping the IronPigs on their home field in Lehigh Valley.
They opened a four-game weekend series in Pawtucket with a 6-4 loss on Thursday night, but bounced back with a 5-3 win on Friday night, despite rain delaying the game late. The win pushed the Clippers (44-38) into a one and a half game lead in the International League West Division over their rivals, the Indianapolis Indians, who were swept in a doubleheader in Toledo.
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