Saturday, June 13, 2015

Twins Minor League Report (6/12): Buxton Stays Hot

Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa have already made their big league debuts this season so it's pretty easy to call Byron Buxton the best prospect left in the minor leagues. Buxton seems eager to join the other top prospects at baseball's highest level with his hot hitting over the last couple weeks.

One has to wonder if the Twins will be tempted to call-up their prized prospect to add a little punch to their lifeless offense in recent weeks. Buxton might still have some raw parts to his game but his speed might be enough to get him on base and let him wreak havoc.

The action on the farm included some crazy games so checkout all the results below.

Rochester 3, Scranton/WB 13 (Completed Early Rain)
Box Score
Things did not go well for Mr. Lester Oliveros in his fourth start of the season. He was lit up for five runs including two home runs without recording an out. The Red Wings were forced to turn to the bullpen in the first inning. Alex Meyer tossed three scoreless frames while striking out five and walking two.

While Meyer stopped the bleeding, Mark Hamburger reopened the wound by allowing seven runs on eight hits while only recording four outs. Caleb Thielbar and Ryan Wheeler allowed one run over the last 2.2 innings of work.

The Red Wings offense was going to need to show up in a big way and it just wasn't in the cards on this night. Eric Fryer collected a trio of hits and an RBI. Reynaldo Rodriguez scored two runs while Jose Martinez reached base three times. However, the team was limited to two hits with runners in scoring position and that makes it tough to recover from a double digit deficit.

Chattanooga 1, Birmingham 0
The Lookouts found themselves in the midst of quite the pitcher's duel on Friday evening. David Hurlbut pitched seven innings for the second consecutive game as he didn't allow a run or a walk. He struck out five and scattered four hits to lower his ERA to 5.14 on the season. Nick Burdi earned his fourth hold following a scoreless inning of work and J.T. Chargois earned his second save.

Byron Buxton continues his hot hitting ways by going 2-for-4 including a walk. He has now hit safely in eight straight contests. Jorge Polanco also picked up a pair of hits  and his 12th stolen base. Mike Gonzles had the lone extra-base hit and RBI while Max Kelper raised his average to .305 with a pair of hits.

With the win, the Lookouts are 12 games over .500 and tied for the league lead in wins. They have a 4.5 game advantage over the Tennessee Smokies in the Southern League North.

Fort Myers 4, Bradenton 3
Box Score
Fort Myers pulled one game over .500 after their sixth consecutive victory. The Miracle never trailed in the game but they found themselves tied with the Marauders after the fourth and eighth inning before finally taking the lead for good in the top of the ninth.

Chih-Wei Hu made his third start since his spot start in Rochester. He pitched five frames and allowed two earned runs on four hits while striking out two and walking three. Hu was closing in on 90 pitches so the Miracle turned things over to Alex Murnen who earned his second victory. He pitched three innings and only allowing one unearned run on one hit. Todd Van Steensel picked up his seventh save with a perfect ninth.

Chad Christensen had a big night at the plate. He reached base four times including a double and three RBI. He also stole his ninth base of the season. Mitch Garver and Alex Swin each collected a double and Garver plated his 20 run of the year. The team left 14 runners on base but they scored enough for the win.

Cedar Rapids 3, Great Lakes 4 (Game 1- 13 Innings)
The Kernels were planning on playing a couple of seven inning games on Friday evening but that plan quickly went to the wayside. Their first contest versus the Great Lake Loons stretched to 13 frames and the clubs combined to use nine pitchers.

Dereck Rodriguez made the start for Cedar Rapids and allowed three earned runs in four innings of work. He struck out a pair and walked two. Luke Bard and Randy LeBlanc pitched seven scoreless frames to keep the Kernels in the game. Jose Velez took the loss after a bad Max Murphy throw allowed a run to get into scoring position in extra innings.

Brett Doe was the lone Kernels hitter with multiple hits. He went 2-for-4 and walked twice. Murphy drove in a couple runs with a triple in the second inning but Cedar Rapids wouldn't score again.

Cedar Rapids 1, Great Lakes 2 (Game 2- 8 Innings)
Box Score
Game two went well into the night with both teams shying away from scoring runs. Keaton Steele ran off quite the impressive streak on the mound in this one as he retired 11 straight and yielded just one run on three hits while striking out a season high eight batters.

There wasn't much offense to write home about. Rafael Valera made his first start of the season and collected a double. Zack Larson went 1-for-3 and scored a run. Pat Kelly had the lone RBI heading into the seventh but this game was also destined for extra-innings and a Kernels loss.

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – David Hurlbut, Chattanooga Lookouts
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Chad Christensen, Fort Myers Miracle

Rochester @ Scranton/WB (6:05 CST) – LHP Jason Wheeler
Chattanooga @ Birmingham (6:30 CST)- RHP Alex Wimmers
Ft. Myers vs. Bradenton (5:05 CST) – RHP Aaron Slegers
Cedar Rapids vs. Lansing (6:35 CST) - RHP Zach Tillery

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

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