AKRON -- The RubberDucks finally got their first win of the season in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader with a 7-6 victory against the visiting Bowie Baysox, but they also got a chance to play with rehabbing Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, who was making his first minor league appearance on his road back from a shoulder strain, which has delayed the start of his 2017 campaign.
The former All-Star recorded three at-bats as the designated hitter for the RubberDucks before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. He went 1-for-3 with a single, a strikeout and a groundout to first in those three trips to the plate.
"It was fun," said Kipnis, "I had a little excitement mixed in with some nerves, but it's good to get back into a game, so I'm happy."
There was a bit of a progression over the course of the game for the 30-year-old as he began the game with a strikeout, grounded out to first in his second at-bat and then hit a sharp liner into right for a single in his last appearance.
"You'll see, it'll go from not being able to put it in play into a dribbler into a line drive, so it's right there in the progression," Kipnis explained, "But the speed of the game is what will take the most time to catch up with."
Kipnis will return to Akron on Monday to play second base against the Trenton Thunder. The next step in his rehab beyond that, however, is not yet determined.