Mulhern hit .545 (12-for-22) with five homers, nine runs, eight RBI, a .600 on-base percentage and a 1.273 slugging percentage last week . Not bad for a guy wearing a titanium plate in his mouth after being beaned in May.
Mulhern, 24, raised his average to .292 with nine homers and 24 RBI in 33 games since being promoted from Class A Kinston on June 21. Before that, he hit .321 with 17 homers and 48 RBI in only 45 games in the Carolina League -- despite missing three weeks with a broken jaw.
He was hit in the face with a thrown ball during batting practice on May 10 and didn't play again until June 2 -- but came back with a vengeance, hitting.383 with 10 homers and 21 RBI in his first 14 games after returning to the lineup.
Mulhern said he didn't experience the prolonged dizzy spells that troubled Hafner after the Indians' DH was hit in the face by a pitch in mid-July. "I guess I was lucky," said Mulhern, who wore a projective bar on his batting helmet for the first couple of weeks after he returned.
It took him awhile to adjust at Akron, however.
"It happens to most players when they get moved up," said Aeros manager Torey Lovullo
. "Double-A ball is the great divider. A lot of careers end here because this is where pitchers start to think out there on the mound, where they start utilizing all their pitches and start putting them all over the plate.
"There was an adjustment period for Ryan, but he never hung his head. He worked his way out of it, pretty much on his own. It was up to him to figure it out and he has."
In another organizational matter, infielder Brandon Phillips was optioned back to Buffalo by the Indians. Infielder Ramon Vasquez could possibly be called up to from Buffalo to take his place before the Indians open a three-game series at Jacobs Field against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
CLASS AAA BUFFALO (62-49)
lost at home in 11 innings to Indianapolis, 9-8. Jose Morban
(.333) went 3-for-3 with two RBI, Ryan Garko
(.296) was 3-for-6 with a run and an RBI, Jason Cooper
(.270) was 3-for-4 and scored twice while Andy Abad
(.291) pinch-hit a three-run double for the Bisons. But Jake Robbins
(2.50 ERA) yielded a ninth-inning run to suffer his third blown save and Francisco Cruceta
(5-4, 5.42 ERA) worked a scoreless 10th before yielded the game-winning run in the 12th. Starter Steve Watkins
(3.90 ERA) allowed two earned runs and two unearned runs over 4 2/3 innings and Jose Diaz
(5.40 ERA) gave up one unearned run and two more unearned runs over 1 1/3 innings for Buffalo.
CLASS AA AKRON (62-45)
defeated visiting Reading, 5-1. Jeremy Sowers
(3-1, 2.20 ERA) gave up one run on eight hits over seven innings, striking out six without a walk. Rafael Perez
(1.08 ERA) worked two scoreless innings. Brad Snyder
(.268) hit a two-run homer, his eighth, and Franklin Gutierrez
(.253) had two hits and one RBI for the Aeros. Indians DH Travis Hafner
grounded out in his only time at bat in an injury rehab appearance. He reportedly still felt the effects of his concussion from July 17 and will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
CLASS A KINSTON (15-22)
snapped a five-game losing streak by rallying to win in 12 innings over visiting Myrtle Beach. Starter Scott Roehl
(1.79 ERA) allowed one run over six innings, striking out six. Chris Niesel
(4.76 ERA) worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings, but Todd Pennington
(3.21 ERA) allowed two runs in the top of the ninth that tied the score 3-3. Kyle Collins
(6-7, 3.91 ERA) then pitched 3 1/3 innings for the win. He gave up a run in the top of the 12th, before Kinston scored twice in the bottom half to win it. Mike Conroy
(.250) opened the 12th with a single and scored on a double by Rodney Choy Foo (.266), who went 2-for-6. Stephen Head
(.328) singled Choy Foo to third with his third hit of the game and Brian Barton
(.335), who already had three hits, was intentionally walked to load the bases. Choy Foo was out at home as Ryan Goleski
(.206) grounded into a force play, but Mike Butia
(.240) lofted a sacrifice fly to center to score Head and win it.
CLASS A LAKE COUNTY (15-21)
was not scheduled, but will return to South Atlantic League play on Tuesday night, opening a four-game series in Hagerstown.
CLASS A MAHONING VALLEY (20-21)
lost at Vermont, 5-1. Omar Casillas
(.272) had three of the Scrappers' seven hits. Jim Deters
(2-3, 1.83 ERA) allowed three runs over five innings and Tom Cowley
(5.48 ERA) gave up two runs over three innings.
ROOKIE LEAGUE BURLINGTON (16-23)
lost at Pulaski, 6-3. Nick Petrucci
(.252) had two hits including a solo homer, his eighth. John Drennen
(.184) and Alfred Ard
(.250) also had two hits apiece. Carlton Smith
(0-2, 4.57 ERA) gave up five runs over three innings. Paul Lubrano
(1.06 ERA) worked two scoreless innings. Gerson Mercedes
(4.30 ERA) then gave up two runs over two innings before Mike Finocchi (1.72 ERA pitched one perfect inning.
Akron Aeros first baseman Ryan Mulhern has been named the Eastern League's Player of the Week after an incredible six-game stretch through Sunday. Meanwhile, Indians DH Travis Hafner joined the Aeros on a rehab assignment Monday night, but made only one at-bat before leaving.
Ryan Mulhern ... on a roll.