Sunday, August 31, 2014

Twins Minor League Report (8/31): Rochester Eliminated

The Rochester Red Wings are hanging on to every last shred of their playoff lives. They squeaked out a win on Saturday to remain within two games of the wild card lead. Entering play on Sunday, they have three games remaining but two of them are with the team ahead of them in the standings. This meant Sunday was a must win game.

Alex Meyer left Saturday's start early and this forced the Red Wings to have to do some shifting in their rotation. Jose Berrios was called up from New Britain to make his Triple-A debut in the middle of a hot pennant race. Rochester also called up Ryan O'Rouke to take the place of Aaron Thompson, who was called up to Minnesota.

One way or another there was bound to be drama on Sunday. Let's see what unfolded...

Rochester 4, Pawtucket 10
Box Score
After a season full of awards and honors, Jose Berrios struggled in his Triple-A debut. He allowed six earned runs on seven hits in three innings of work. He struck out three and walked three before being taken out. The last pitcher younger than Berrios to pitch for the Red Wings was back in 1997. Logan Darnell tried to relieve Berrios but he ended up giving up three unearned runs of his own. This left the Red Wings in a deep hole before the end of the fourth inning.

Rochester tried to stay in the game with a scoring spree in the third inning. A double from Aaron Hicks and Josmil Pinto helped to push three runs across the plate but this would be the only multiple run inning for the team. Eric Farris hit a home run for the second time in three days after going three months without one.

The loss eliminates the Red Wings from playoff contention as they were tried to earn a Wild Card birth for the second straight year.

New Britain 6, New Hampshire 3
Box Score
Eddie Rosario, Corey Wimberly, and Kyle Knudson all drove in two runs apiece to pace the Rock Cats offense. Rosario hit his eight home run of the season. Knudson had a double as part of a three hit effort. Mike Kvasnicka reached base three times and scored three runs. Even though the team left seven men on base, they went 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Adrian Salcedo picked up his third win of the season in only his sixth start. He lasted six innings and struck out six while allowing two earned runs. Madison Boer allowed a run on three hits but it was enough to keep the game in check. Cole Johnson earned his ninth save by striking out two in a little over an innings worth of work. 

Fort Myers 14, Jupiter 1
In their last tune-up before the playoffs, the Miracle exploded for 14 runs. This included three innings of scoring more than three runs. Max Kepler drove in three as part of a three hit day. Dalton Hicks went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Stuart Turner crushed his seventh home run of the year. Tyler Grimes hit his 14th double and plated three runs.

The Miracle used a variety of bullpen members to complete this game. Steven Gruver went two scoreless innings to start the game. Tyler Jones allowed a lead-off hit before retiring nine straight batters to earn his third win. Alex Muren allowed the only run of the game in a little under two innings of work. Todd Van Steensel closed out the last two plus innings without allowing a run.

The Miracle closed the regular season with an overall record of 82-57. The 82 wins is the second-most in team history since moving to Fort Myers in 1992. Fort Myers will travel to Bradenton to play the Marauders on Tuesday at 5:30 pm (CST) in game one of the FSL South Division Championship Series.

Cedar Rapids 0, Clinton 1
Box Score
There wasn't a lot of action in this game. The Kernels combined for five hits but it wasn't enough to keep the team from being shutout. Chad Christensen was the lone member of the team to have more than one hit. Engelb Vielma and J.D. Williams both went 1-for-4. The club didn't have a single extra-base hit and they left five men on base.

Lewis Thorpe started the game and pitched four shutout innings. He earned the no decision as he struck out four but he also walked four. Chris Mazza took his fourth loss of the year after allowing the only run of the game in his four innings on the mound. Dallas Gallant was perfect over the last two frames and struck out four. His ERA currently sits at 0.64 for the year with Cedar Rapids.

Elizabethton 7, Johnson City 6 (13 Innings)
Box Score
It took 13 innings but the E-Twins managed to win the first game of their playoff series. In a back and forth game that saw both teams have a four run inning, Elizabethton broke a four inning scoreless drought to push across the winning run.

Trey Vavra drove in four of the team's seven runs as part of a three hit day. Tanner English had three hits including a double and two runs scored. English set up the game winning run with a two-out double in the 13th inning. Vavra had the game winning single after Nick Gordon was intentionally walked. Tyler Kuresa and Tyler Mautner both went 3-for-6 with a double.

John Curtis pitched five strong innings of two-run ball to start the game. He struck out five and walked one. Dereck Rodriguez did a solid job in relief by striking out three in two shutout innings. Keaton Steele earned his first win with three hitless innings to end the game. 

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Adrian Salcedo, New Britain Rock Cats
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Trey Vavra, Elizabethton Twins

Rochester @ Pawtucket (12:05 CST) – Kris Johnson (Listen)
New Hampshire @ New Britain (12:35 CST) – Taylor Rogers (Listen
Ft. Myers- Start Playoffs on Wednesday night
Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (2:00 CST) - Ryan Eades (Listen)
Johnson City @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST)- TBA

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