Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Twins Minor League Report (7/24): Vargas Saves the Day

Since the Twins were playing on the West Coast, their afternoon game with the Angels went into the early evening in the Central time zone. Minnesota won the first two games of the series before things got a little dicey on Wednesday. Jared Weaver looked excellent on the mound but a bad infield fly call might have cost the Twins a chance to sweep the Angels.

With Joe Mauer on paternity leave for three days, Drew Butera was called up from Rochester. He has spent the entire season at Rochester where he is hitting .215/.247/.316 in 86 plate appearances. For a 29-year old with close to 500 MLB at-bats, these totals aren't very good. To take the place of Butera on Rochester's roster, Jario Rodriguez was moved up from Cedar Rapids.

There were plenty of sights and sounds on Wednesday so let's go down on the pond for all of the action.

Rochester Red Wings 6, Lehigh Valley IronPigs 2
Box Score
A wild bottom of the eighth inning helped Rochester to separate themselves from the IronPigs. Three passed balls and one wild pitch resulted in five runs. July has been a very good month for the Red Wings as they are 14-7 since the calendar turned from June. The club is also a season high four games over the .500 mark.

One of the hottest relief pitchers in the Twins system has been Edgar Ibarra. In his last 22 innings between New Britain and Rochester, he has not allowed an earned run. The last earned run he allowed was back on May 21st at the Double-A level. He was credited with his first Triple-A victory in this game after recording the last five outs. PJ Walters went 7.1 innings and allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts.

Chris Parmelee hit his first home run since being sent back to Rochester. Oswaldo Arcia also helped the offense by going 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. The Red Wings only managed four hits but all of the wild pitching from the IronPigs bullpen helped the team to come out on the right side of this game.

New Britain Rock Cats 1, Portland Sea Dogs 3
Box Score
For the first time in three days, Miguel Sano didn't hit a home run for the Rock Cats. He didn't really get the opportunity to hit as he was out of the line-up for the first time since he left the team for the MLB Futures Game. With their power hitting third baseman out of the line-up, New Britain had a tough time getting the offense off the ground.

Josmil Pinto continued his tremendous season with another multi-hit game. He provided the most offensive punch in the line-up by going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Daniel Ortiz and Pinto are tied for the team lead with 23 doubles. Danny Santana went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk.

On the mound, New Britain only needed one pitcher for the entire game. Virgil Vasquez threw all nine innings while giving up three runs on seven hits. He struck out eight and only walked one. It was his second complete game since joining the Rock Cats and both of them have come against the Sea Dogs.

Fort Myers Miracle 3, Brevard County Manatees 2 (11 innings)
Box Score
It took a couple of big hits from Kennys Vargas and Mike Kvasnicka to help the Miracle to stage a late inning comeback. In the ninth inning with the Miracle down a run, Vargas launched his 15th home run of the season to tie the game. Kvasnicka would rope an RBI single in the top of the 11th inning to plate the winning run. It was his third hit of the night.

Adrian Salcedo picked up his fifth win of the season in relief. He had to pitch around an error in the 11th inning. Overall, he threw both extra innings without allowing a hit or a run. Matt Tomshaw had a good start for the Miracle as he tossed seven innings of two-run ball. He struck out six and walked one but he wouldn't figure into the decision.

Byron Buxton went 2-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts. Buxton was matched in the hits department by Aderlin Mejia. He finished the night 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored. Dalton Hicks had his first double at the High-A level and his 32nd double for the season.

Cedar Rapids Kernels 7, Peoria Chiefs 8 (10 Innings)
Box Score
Christian Powell ran into some rough moments in the early going of this game. All nine Chiefs batters came to the plate in the first inning but he was able to limit the damage to three runs. He wouldn't make it too deep into the game on the mound. He was pulled after 4.2 innings and giving up five runs on eight hits. His five walks really hurt him.

Adam Walker continued his hot hitting as he had three hits for the second consecutive night. He is in the midst of a six game hitting streak and he is batting .340 in his last 10 games. Mike Gonzales hit his first home run for the Kernels and he is 5-for-12 since joining the team. Jorge Polanco had multiple hits for the third straight game including his 25th double.

Elizabethton Twins 2, Kingsport Mets 3
Box Score
The E-Twins did their best to come back and tie the game in the top of the ninth inning but the Mets found a way to push across a walk-off run in the bottom half of the frame. Mitch Garver had two hits including his 2nd home run of the season. It was the only extra-base hit for the Twins. Stuart Turner and Carlos Avila each had two hits.

Josh Burris pitched 2.2 innings as the starter but there were some control issues. He allowed six walks while he did limit the Mets to three hits and one earned run. Brandon Bixler threw the most frames as he went 3.1 innings and didn't allow a run. Ethan Mildren got into trouble in the bottom of the ninth and he given his first professional loss.

GCL Twins 3, GCL Orioles 1
Box Score
The GCL Twins used a balanced offensive approach to win a close game with the GCL Orioles. Six of the nine starters for the Twins ended the game with a hit. Joel Polanco knocked in a run with his third double of the year. Jorge Fernandez hit a solo home run in the 7th inning. Overall, the team went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position so there were some opportunities that were missed.

The pitching staff for the GCL Twins didn't allow an earned run. Sam Gibbons started the game and pitched four strong innings. He limited the Orioles to two hits and one unearned run. There were some control problems as he walked four men and had a wild pitch. Lewis Thorpe earned his first professional win by throwing two shutout innings and striking out three men.

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