Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Twins Minor League Report (7/23): Sano, Buxton homer

The second half of the minor league season is well under way. Some of the Twins affiliates are trying to find their way into the playoff race. A few of the farm teams are trying to fight through some injuries and keep players on the field. It will be an interesting couple of months leading up to the playoffs.

Earlier on Tuesday, a roster move had to be made to fit Nick Blackburn into the rotation for Rochester. His promotion from Double-A meant another pitcher had to go the opposite direction. LHP Blake Martin made the trek from the International League back to the Eastern League. In 12 games, he had a 4.02 ERA and 25 strikeouts.

Let's see how Blackburn did in his first start back at Triple-A. Plus there were some fireworks from Sano and Buxton on this night.

Rochester Red Wings 1, Lehigh Valley IronPigs 8
Box Score
Nick Blackburn made his 2013 debut at Triple-A and things went rocky to say the least. He gave up six earned runs off of 10 hits and he barely made it through five innings. It was the most runs he has ever allowed in his 32 starts for the Red Wings. It was the first time the IronPigs had won at Frontier Field since August of last season.

An eighth inning double by Chris Parmelee scored the lone run of the game. On the night, Parmelee went 2-for-3 with that double and an RBI. Oswaldo Arcia had been ripping the cover off the ball since being demoted before the All-Star break. He had gone 7-for-11 with two home runs but he was pulled in the second inning tonight after going 0-1 with a strike out.

New Britain Rock Cats 7, Portland Sea Dogs 8
Box Score
The Rock Cats got out to an early 5-0 lead after multiple run innings in the first and second. Portland came back with a big five-run top of the fourth to tie the game. This would turn into a battle of the bullpens and the Sea Dogs had a little more bark in them.

Miguel Sano continued to be hot as he hit a home run for the second consecutive night. He also has homered in four of his last six games. He smacked a double in the earlier innings to help him finish 2-for-4 with two RBI. Josmil Pinto added his 14th home run of the season, a two-run shot.

Former MLB pitcher Kyle Davies made his Rock Cats debut on the mound. He got knocked around for nine hits and five earned runs in 3.1 innings. On a more positive note, he did strikeout six batters and he didn't give up any walks.

Fort Myers Miracle 4, Brevard County Manatees 10
Box Score
Byron Buxton hit a home run, legged out a triple, and scored three runs but it still wasn't enough. It was the first over-the-wall home run for Buxton at this level. Overall, Buxton went 3-for-4 and he added his fourth stolen base at this level. Dalton Hicks, Matt Koch, and Stephen Wickens all had two-hit games but none were for extra-bases.

Miracle starter Taylor Rogers had a tough time getting out of the middle innings. The Manatees plated six runs in the fourth and fifth frames including one inning where eight batters made it to the plate. He went five innings and gave up six runs on eight hits with three strikeouts. Chad Rodgers got pounded for four runs in his one inning of relief work.

Elizabethton Twins 4, Kingsport Mets 5
Box Score
The E-Twins did their best to come back in this game by scoring four runs in the eighth inning to take a one run lead. Unfortunately, the Mets had different plans as they would storm back to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth and come out victorious.

Romy Jimenez and Javier Pimentel both went 2-for-4 with a double. It was the seventh double of the year for Pimentel. Zach Granite also had two hits and an RBI. Starter Felix Jorge went five innings and gave up three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts. Brandon Peterson was saddled with the loss after giving up both runs in the bottom of the ninth.

GCL Twins 1, GCL Rays 3
Box Score
Four defensive errors didn't help the GCL Twins on this day. Only one earned run was scored by the GCL Rays and that made the difference in the final score. Jonatan Hinojosa had two fielding errors at shortstop, second baseman Will Hurt had a throwing error, and first baseman Chad Christensen added an error on a pickoff. Defensive mistakes will haunt a team.

Hurt tried to make up for his throwing error with a good day at the plate. He went 3-for-4 with a run scored. Amaurys Minier had the only extra-base hit, his fourth double of the season. Damian Defrank started the game and scattered three hits over four shut-out innings. He struck out four and walked one. Stephen Gonsalves also pitched 3.1 scoreless innings in relief.

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