Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Twins Minor League Report (8/26): Turner Lifts Miracle

Byron Buxton is heading back to the Arizona Fall League. At least that is the hope of the Twins organization as rosters were announced for the AFL on Tuesday. Buxton will be looking to make up for lost time after a brutal outfield collision in his first Double-A game left him with a concussion. He will have to pass all MLB level concussion protocol before taking the field in the AFL.

Buxton is among a trio of prospects heading back to Arizona for a second year. Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler are set to rebound from various issues this year. Rosario was suspended for the first 50 games and Kepler struggled before coming on strong in recent weeks.

Four pitchers are expected to make the trip. Right-handed pitcher Jason Adam and left-handed pitchers Taylor Rogers and Mason Melotakis. Nick Burdi's name was listed on the AFL website for a brief time but it has sense been removed. A different arm will replace him in the coming days.

The Rochester Red Wings enjoyed their last official off day of the regular season. They will start a very much in the playoff race. The team has six games remaining on their schedule and they are 1.5 games out of a wild card spot. There are two games remaining with each of the team's ahead of them in the standings. This means the Red Wings fate is in their own hands over the next week. 

New Britain 5, Binghamton 1 (Game 1: 7 Innings)
Box Score
Jose Berrios was back to his strong pitching ways. He earned his third Double-A victory by throwing six innings of one-run ball. He struck out four and walked two while allowing four hits. Ryan O'Rourke finished off the game by only allowing one hit in an innings worth of work.

Tony Thomas provided all the offense New Britain would need. He smashed a three-run bomb in the second inning and the Rock Cats never looked back. For Thomas, it was his ninth long ball of the season. It was the only extra-base hit of the game. Nate Hanson and Reynaldo Rodriguez each drove in a run.

New Britain 2, Binghamton 3 (Game 2: 7 Innings)

The Rock Cats held two different leads but the team couldn't hold on. Adrian Salcedo made only his fifth start of the season but he took his ninth loss of the year. He allowed two earned runs off of five hits with three strikeouts and a walk. A catcher interference call on Matt Koch led to the unearned run scored against Salcedo. Daniel Turpen walked two and struck out two in his inning of work.

Nate Hanson was the only bright spot for the Rock Cat offense. He went 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. He's up to 22 doubles for the season. Tony Thomas reached base twice in three trips to the plate. Levi Michael and Jorge Polanco scored one run each. Polanco also started two different double plays. 

Fort Myers 7. Charlotte 4
Box Score
It took 17 hits and three runs in the final two innings but the Miracle were able to pound out a win. Stuart Turner must have been upset about not making the AFL roster as he went 4-for-4 with THREE DOUBLES (that's not a typo) and four RBI. Adam Brett Walker continues to add to his RBI total as he drove in one as part of a two hit night.

Steven Gruver started the game but he wouldn't factor into the decision. He allowed two earned runs on five hits over five innings. Nick Burdi collected his first professional win and he has still not allowed a run at High-A. Zack Jones made things interesting in the ninth as two batters reached base but he got out of the jam for his third save.

It was announced earlier in the day that Walker and Berrios were both part of the 2014 FSL Postseason All-Star team. Miracle manager Doug Mientkiewicz was also named a coach for the team. The club is one win away from 80 for the season.

Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 1
Box Score
Five runs in the first three innings paced the Kernels to an early lead. Three singles and a throwing error by the pitcher resulted in a three-run first inning. Mitch Garver got credit for two RBI as his diamond cutter capped the first innings scoring. Chad Christensen instigated the scoring in the third as he singled and then stole his 29th base of the season.

Lewis Thorpe saw his pitch count rise quickly in this one. He struck out eight batters in four innings but he also walked four batters. The only run that scored while he was on the mound was unearned. Chris Mazza kept things in check with two shutout innings. He had one strikeout and a walk.

Elizabethton 5, Bristol 6
Box Score
One big inning was all it took for the E-Twins to end up on the losing end of this one. Sam Gibbons couldn't get out of the fifth frame as he gave up six earned runs in one inning. Samuel Clay and Keaton Steel would shutout the Pirates the rest of the way but it wasn't enough.

Brian Navarreto went 2-for-4 with a double and a run batted in. Austin Diemer collected two hits after being hitless in his last three games. Pat Kelly reached base twice and knocked his seventh double. Trey Vavra added an RBI to his total as he tries to catch Tyler Kuresa for the team lead.

GCL Twins 4, GCL Rays 3
Some strong work by the Twins bullpen helped the team to their 23rd victory of the season. Eduardo Del Rosario earned his fourth win after pitching three shutout innings of relief. Trevor Hildenberger earned his tenth save by striking out two in the final frame.

The team's four-five-six hitters (Joel Polanco, Jarrad Poteete, and Gabriel Ojeda) all had multi-hit games. Not to be out done, Ariel Montesino added two hits including a double. Amaurys Minier went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and his 11th double. Over his last 12 games, he is hitting over .400 with seven extra-base hits. 

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jose Berrios, New Britain Rock Cats
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Stuart Turner, Fort Myers Miracle


Rochester @ Syracuse (6:00 CST) – Kris Johnson  (Listen)
New Britain @ Binghamton (5:35 CST) – TBA (Listen
Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (5:30 CST) – Matt Tomshaw (Listen)
Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - Ryan Eades (Listen)
Kingsport @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST)- TBA
GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00am CST) – TBD 

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