Monday, May 18, 2015

Twins Minor League Report (5/18): Masterful Milone

Another Monday means that each minor league level announces their player of the week honors. Twins affiliated players have been littering the awards so far this season and that trend continued on Monday.

Left-handed pitcher Tommy Milone was named the International League Pitcher of the Week. He only made one start over the last week but he tossed eight shutout innings while allowing three hits, all singles, striking out 12 without issuing a walk. To start the game, he struck out five straight batters. No batters reached scoring position against him and he faced the minimum in six of his eight innings of work.

Top prospect Jose Berrios was also honored on Monday. The right-handed pitcher was honored as the Southern League's Pitcher of the Week. He tossed a nine innings complete game shutout for his fourth win of the season. He struck out eight and walked two while limiting the opposition to two hits, both singles.

Both pitchers were scheduled to be on the mound today so let's see how the fared.

Rochester 3, Durham 0
Tommy Milone is sick of being in the minor leagues and he is making that pretty clear with his performance since being demoted. On 115 pitches, Milone tossed a complete game shutout. He scattered six hits but used 13 strikeouts to get out of any jams. In three starts since being demoted, he has yet to allow a run and he has struck out 33 batters in 23.1 innings.

Josmil Pinto provided the most important hit when he cranked a two-run home run with two outs in the sixth inning. Eric Farris reached base three times, scored a pair of runs, and stole a base. James Beresford drove in a run and collected a double. Wilkin Ramirez hit his second double of the season.

With the win, Rochester improved to 21-16 ahead of their double header with Durham tomorrow. The team has won three of their last four games and they haven't lost a series since May 8-9 against Louisville.

Chattanooga 2, Montgomery 4
Jose Berrios couldn't follow up his memorable performance from last week. He was limited to five innings in this game as he allowed three runs on five hits while striking out five and walking one. Some of the outs he gave up were long fly ball outs so the results look better than they could have looked. Even with the rough day, Berrios still has an ERA under 2.90 for the season.

The bullpen trio of Nick Burdi, Zack Jones, and DJ Johnson combined to pitch four perfect innings. Burdi struck out three in two innings of work and Jones struck out the side in the eighth. Dallas Gallant gave up a run on a couple hits without recording an out.

The Lookouts didn't have many opportunities on the offensive side of the ball as the team went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Jorge Polanco picked up a couple hits to raise his average to .314. Max Kepler had the only other hit in the game, a 2-run home run. It was his first home run of the season.

With the loss, Chattanooga drops to 23-15 on the season. It was their second consecutive loss after winning five games in a row. The Lookouts had yet to lose two game in a row this month until today.

Fort Myers 11, Bradenton 5
The fireworks were out in Fort Myers on Monday evening as the club pounded out 12 hits and 11 runs including two three-run innings. Chad Christensen went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and a run. Jason Kanzler scored three times, drove in three runs, and both his hits were for extra-bases. Engelb Vielma hit his second double, scored two runs, and stole his tenth base. Niko Goodrum also crossed the plate twice.

The offensive explosion meant the Miracle were able to dance around three fielding errors. Vielma had a throwing error, his sixth of the season. Goodrum was charged with a fielding error, his eight of the season. Logan Wade was the only starter not to reach base and he had his sixth error.

Aaron Slegers started and didn't allow an earned run over five innings of work. He struck out two and walked two. Alex Muren pitched two perfect innings while striking out one. Todd Van Steensel got beat up a little in his two innings of work as he allowed three runs on five hits but he did strikeout three.

Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 3 
Box Score Completion from 5/14
In a game started last Thursday, Cedar Rapids found themselves in an early hole after Stephen Gonsalves surrendered two runs in the top of the first inning but the Kernels offense came pouring back. Over the next two innings, Cedar Rapids plated six runs to take the lead for good. The only thing that slowed the offense down was rain and a wet playing surface that suspended play.

Trey Vavra had a good game at the plate with two hits including his fourth home run and his eighth double. He knocked in three of the teams runs and all of his RBI came with two outs. Tanner English reached base three times including a triple as he was on the way to scoring two runs. Nick Gordon drove in a run and scored two runs.

After the rough top of the first, Gonsalves calmed down before the rain started to fall. He pitched four innings while allowing two earned runs on four hits with four strike outs and no walks. Keaton Steele started the game today in his Kernels debut and earned his first victory. He pitched five innings and allowed one earned run.

Cedar Rapids 0, Peoria 1 (7 innings)
Box Score Regularly Scheduled Game
The Kernels bats cooled off for the second game of the night. In fact, the team was one Zack Larson single away from being part of a seven inning no-hitter. Nick Gordon had the only opportunity to bat with a runner in scoring position after Tanner English had stolen second base with two outs. This is the closest the Kernels came to scoring a run.

Matt Batts took the loss after pitching all six inning but he put together some impressive numbers. He only allowed one earned run and he struck out 12 including multiple strikeouts in five of his six frames. It was the first time all season where he had struck out more than seven and it was his first loss of the month.

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tommy Milone, Rochester Red Wings
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Chad Christensen, Fort Myers Miracle

Rochester vs. Durham (10:05 am CST) – RHP Chih-Wei Hu (Triple-A Debut)
Rochester vs. Durham (6:05 CST) – RHP Alex Meyer
Chattanooga vs. Montgomery (6:15 CST)- RHP Greg Peavey
Ft. Myers vs. Bradenton (6:05 CST) – TBA
Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (11:00 am CST) - RHP John Curtiss

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games.

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