Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Twins Minor League Report (5/1): Darnell Dominates

Joe Mauer sat out his first Twins game of the season on Wednesday. It might have been a good day for Mauer to rest since the team has another off day tomorrow. He has also been in a major slump at the plate. The Twins All-Star catcher has only hit .091/.211/.091 over the last nine games. This includes one hit over his last six games.

Even with Mauer out of the line-up, the Twins were still able to come away with a win and avoid being swept by the Detroit Tigers. Scott Diamond pitched six strong innings by giving up two earned runs and four hits for his second win of the year. Justin Morneau and Chris Parmelee each had a pair of hits and a couple of RBI.

On this week's episode of the Talk to Contact Podcast, we discussed a lot about the minor leagues so make sure to check it out. 

There were some other impressive performances down on the farm. Unfortunately, there were no Trevor May sightings on May Day but let's take a look at Wednesday's results from the Twins farm system.

Rochester Red Wings (Scheduled Off Day)

The Red Wings enjoyed a scheduled off day after finishing the month of April with a 10-16 record. The club sits eight games out of first place in the International League North Division. Rochester has turned it around a little in their last ten games by posting a 6-4 record.

As part of their off day, the club announced that Rafael Perez was activated from the disabled list. Perez, a former member of the Cleveland Indians, was a minor league free agent this past offseason before deciding to sign with the Twins organization. He had missed 26 games as he was recovering from left shoulder surgery he underwent last September.

To make room for Perez on the roster, the Red Wings sent Bobby Lanigan back to Double-A. Lanigan had only made one appearance since being called up last week. He earned the save of Friday while pitching 0.1 innings with a strikeout.

Rochester used today as travel day to get to Columbus before opening a four-game series versus the Clippers on Thursday.

New Britain Rock Cats 4, Harrisburg Senators 0
Box Score
Logan Darnell and Daniel Ortiz stole the show for the Rock Cats on Wednesday evening. Both players were at the center of New Britain's 14th win of the season.

Darnell threw seven shutout innings by scattering five singles. He struck out six batters and only allowed two walks. It was his third win of the season and he lowered his ERA to 2.16. It was the most impressive start of the year for Darnell and it looks like his second time through the Eastern League will come with some more positive results.

Aaron Thompson continued his very good season out of the bullpen. He recorded the last six outs of the game and only allowed one base runner. His 0.97 ERA is the best of any pitcher on New Britain's staff. In his six appearances this season, he has only allowed one run and one walk.

Ortiz was the big man on the offensive side of the ball. He went 3-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season, which ranks second on the team behind Josmil Pinto. In the last three games, Ortiz now has compiled a four hit game and a three hit game. Reynaldo Rodriguez and James Beresford added two hits of their own. Rodriguez had a triple and two RBI.

New Britain will look to notch their third straight series win with a victory on Thursday. The club sits in the middle of the pack in the Eastern League Eastern Division. Only five games separate the first and last place club so there could be a lot of movement in the coming weeks.

Fort Myers Miracle --, Clearwater Threshers -- (Cancelled)

Inclement weather interfered with the Miracle's game in Clearwater on Wednesday afternoon. The teams don't meet again in the first half so the game will not be made up.

The Miracle are currently riding a seven-game winning streak after they won the first three games of the series against Clearwater. Fort Myers currently has a 21-4 record and the club sits five games ahead of their closest competitor in the Florida State League's South Division.

The St. Lucie Mets are the team behind the Miracle in the standings and they just happen to be the next team on their schedule. The two clubs will open a series in Fort Myers on Thursday night. It is the start of a seven-game homestand at Hammond Stadium.

Cedar Rapids Kernels 2, West Michigan Whitecaps 7
Box Score
The Kernels jumped out to a two run lead but the Whitecaps pitching staff shut down the offense for the rest of the game. A big bottom of the fifth inning broke open the game and West Michigan walked away with the victory. The loss snapped a nine game winning streak for the Kernels.

In the first inning, Byron Buxton walked to start the scoring threat. Niko Goodrum followed with a single and an error on the play allowed both runners to advance a base. Back-to-back sacrifice flies by Jorge Polanco and Dalton Hicks put the Kernels up 2-0.

Brett Lee started made his third start of the year for Cedar Rapids and he was saddled with his first loss.  Through five innings, he kept the game close but the bottom of the seventh didn't start out the best. The first batter singled and this was followed by a long ball that signaled Lee's exit.

Tim Atherton didn't provide much relief as he would go on to allow three more runs in the seventh. He had a throwing error, gave up a home run, and allowed two stolen bases. Josh Burris pitched a hitless inning and only gave up one walk. It was only the second appearance for Burris since he joined the team earlier this week.

The Kernels will look to get back to their winning ways as the team continues their series with West Michigan over the next two days. Today's game was the first game in a 12-game road trip for Cedar Rapids. The team won't return home until May 14th so the team will have to continue to find ways to win road games.

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