Sunday, July 13, 2014

Twins Minor League Report (7/13): Futures Game Impressions

The festivities are underway in the Twin Cities as Minnesota plays host to the MLB All-Star Game. The major league players still had games to play on Sunday but the some of the best and brightest minor league players were on hand to strut their stuff.

Twins pitching prospect Jose Berrios got the start for the World squad and Kennys Vargas was in the middle of the batting order to back him up. Berrios struck out the first batter he faced on a high fastball and both of the other batters flied out. Vargas played the entire game and he collected a double in four plate appearances. He also made a nice leaping catch at first and a couple of nice scoops.

Alex Meyer pitched the fifth inning for the US and earned a hold. The first two batters made decent contact against him but luckily one of those hits was right at a fielder. Meyer got a double play to end the inning and he only needed four pitches to get his job done.

While these three players were busy with a big event, their teams were busy still trying to win games. Here's a look at how their teams did on Sunday.

Rochester --, Scranton/Wilkes Barre -- (Postponed)
Rain put a damper on what was supposed to be the unofficial end of the first half for the Rochester Red Wings. Trevor May was scheduled to make his first start since coming off of the DL but that will have to wait another day. Rochester had also ended a four game losing streak on Saturday so it would have been nice to keep the momentum going in the right direction.

The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Saturday, August 23. Game one is scheduled for a 3:35 pm CST and both games will be seven innings long. 

New Britain 4, Reading 6
Box Score
New Britain staked themselves to an early two run lead but Reading connected on four home runs as part of a 12-hit barrage to win the game. Jason Wheeler started for the Rock Cats. He went five innings and allowed five earned runs on 10 hits including three of the above mentioned four home runs. It was his third loss in five starts since being moved up from Fort Myers.

Daniel Turpen relived Wheeler and pitched two innings. He gave up one hit but it happened to be a home run. Mason Melotakis pitched the last two frames and he kept the ball in the park. Over two shut-out frames he allowed one hit and struck out two.

Reynaldo Rodriguez collected two hits including his 30th double of the season. It was the third time in his last ten games that he has collected multiple hits. Eddie Rosario had a double and scored a run. Lance Ray also collected his second double in only eight games since getting promoted.

Fort Myers 3, Dunedin 1 (Game 1- 7 innings)
Box Score
DJ Baxendale put together his best outing of the year for the Miracle as he tossed a complete game. He scattered five hits over seven innings and struck out two. Baxendale induced three double plays and recorded 12 outs on ground balls. He hadn't made it through more than six innings in any other start.

Nate Roberts and Stuart Turner both knocked two hits and Roberts' triple was the lone extra-base hit. Byron Buxton went 1-for-2 with a run scored and his second stolen base of the season. His infield single was his first hit since coming off of the disabled list at the beginning of last week.

Fort Myers 8, Dunedin 4 (Game 2- 7 innings)
Box Score
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Miracle beat up on a familiar name, Dunedin starter Frank Viola Jr. He only lasted 2.1 innings and was charged with six earned runs as the Miracle pelted him with seven hits. Four Miracle hitters had at least two hits. Anderlin Mejia led the way going 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Adam Brett Walker had a couple of big hits as he knocked in two and hit his ninth double. 

Fort Myers patched together pitchers for the second half of the doubleheader. BJ Hermsen collected the win after tossing a scoreless second inning. Todd Van Steensel made his Miracle debut at Hammond Stadium and lasted 1.1 scoreless frames. Madison Boer shut the door by recording the last five outs without allowing a hit. 


Cedar Rapids 7, Clinton 4 (Rain Shortened- 6 innings) 
Box Score
One giant inning is all that it took for Cedar Rapids to earn the win. In the top of the sixth inning, the Kernels scored seven runs without recording an extra-base hit. Cedar Rapids has now won four games in a row including another rain shortened game on Saturday.

In that big sixth inning, the Kernels sent 11 men to the plate. The team recorded five singles and took advantage of one defensive error. The first four hitters all reached base. It matched the largest run-scoring inning for the Kernels on the season. Four Cedar Rapids hitters (Logan Wade, Chad Christensen, Jason Kanzler, and Alex Smith) had two hits. Swim hit the only Kernels extra-base hit, a double.

Lewis Thorpe pitched the first four innings by allowing three earned runs on four hits. He struck out five and didn't walk anyone. Brandon Bixler earned his sixth victory of the season with all of them coming out of the bullpen. He allowed one run over two innings with a strikeout. Hudson Boyd earned the save since he was on the mound when the game was called.

Elizabethton 10, Danville 6
Box Score
The E-Twins brought a consistent offensive approach to pound out 10 runs on 16 hits. Max Murphy reached base four times and scored three runs. He also hit his sixth home run of the season in the ninth inning. Tyler Kuresa went 2-for-4 with a home run. All of the hitters in the batting order from first to seventh had a minimum of two hits with the exception being Nick Gordon (1-for-6 with a run scored).

Michael Cederoth was credited with his second professional victory in as many appearances. He allowed three runs over five innings with four strikeouts and two walks. CK Irby got hit around a little in his second inning of work. He gave up two runs on four hits but it wasn't enough to get Danville back into the game. 


Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – DJ Baxendale, Fort Myers Miracle
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Max Murphy, Elizabethton Twins

Rochester- Scheduled Off Day
Reading @ New Britain (11:05 CST) – Tyler Duffey (Listen
Dunedin @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) – TBD (Listen)
Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:30 CST) - Ryan Eades (Listen)
Elizabethton @ Danville (6:00 CST)- Stephen Gonsalves
GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00am CST) – TBD

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