Sunday, June 7, 2015

Twins Minor League Report (6/7): Rochester Thriller

After the stellar Sunday pitching performance of Mike Pelfrey, the Twins announced a roster move that seemed to be coming for sometime. Danny Santana was sent down to Triple-A Rochester and Kennys Vargas was recalled.

Santana had struggled to start this season and pitchers were taking advantage of him at the plate. Since being demoted, Kennys Vargas hit .308/.403/.519 with three home runs and two doubles in 16 games. With Oswaldo Arcia's demotion earlier in the week, the return of Vargas means the Twins have a viable option at designated hitter.

Besides the roster shake-up there were some other thrilling moments in Rochester.

Rochester 4, Scranton/WB 3
Box Score
In a battle between the top two team's in the International League North, the Red Wings used some late inning heroics to win in an unconventional way. Lester Oliveros made a spot start and he had found himself in trouble early as the RailRiders scored a run and had the bases loaded in the first before a huge strikeout. His final line was four innings pitched with six hits, an earned run and a walk, with three strikeouts.

Alex Meyer made the longest relief appearance of his career lasting three innings in relief of Oliveros. Meyer didn't allow a run and tallied one strikeout and a walk. Of his 45 pitches, 25 were for strikes.  Since moving to the bullpen, he has yet to allow a run.

The Red Wings found themselves trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth and that's when things started going a little crazy. Eric Fryer started the inning with a ground rule double. Pinch-hitter James Beresford followed with a strikeout but he reached first safely and Fryer advanced to third. Doug Bernier grounded into a double play but Fryer scored and the Wings were within one run.

The ninth inning got even crazier. Danny Ortiz and Reynaldo Rodriguez started the inning with singles. Josmil Pinto flew out to right before Kennys Vargas walked to load the bases. Oswaldo Arcia hit a fly ball to the warning track to score Ortiz from third. On the play, both Rodriguez and Vargas tagged up. The shortstop tried to catch Rodriguez at third but a wild throw allowed the winning run to score.

Chattanooga 13 Tennessee 0
Adam Brett Walker keeps mashing the ball and the rest of his Chattanooga teammates joined the hit parade on Sunday evening. Walker collected a couple hits including his team-high 15th home run. Jorge Polanco collected three hits, all doubles, along with scoring three runs. Miguel Sano finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a walk. Carlos Paulino drove in two runs and got his first triple.

Alex Wimmers was electric on the mound. That's not a typo. Over seven shutout innings, he scattered three hits, walked three, and struck out three for his third win. Madison Boer and D.J. Johnson completed the shutout as each pitched an inning to finish the game.

With the win, the Lookouts improved to nine games over .500 and the club leads the Southern League North by two games. Jose Berrios looks to keep Chattanooga on the winning track as he's scheduled to start on Monday.

Fort Myers (Scheduled Off Day)
Since the calendar flipped to June, the Miracle have posted a 2-4 record and they find themselves 12 games out of first place in the Florida State League South. However, the Charlotte Stone Crabs lead the divison by 10 games so there are a lot of clubs in chase mode at this point.

Stephen Gonsalves has been masterful this season for the Cedar Rapids Kernels and he is scheduled to debut with the Miracle on Monday night. The Florida State League can be very good to pitchers so hopefully his strong season can continue in Fort Myers.

Cedar Rapids 2, West Michigan 6 
Cedar Rapids was only able to string together three hits in this contest and none of the hits were for extra-bases. Brett Doe went 2-for-4 and was the lone Kernel with multiple hits. Edgar Corcino collected the team's lone RBI. Max Murphy, Tanner English, and Nick Gordon all collected stolen bases. The team was 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and they left eight runners on base.

Sam Gibbons took the loss after pitching four innings and allowing three earned runs. He struck out three and didn't walk any in his second Midwest League start. Luke Bard was strong in relief as he limited the Whitecaps to one hit over three innings.

The Kernels dropped their four straight, the first time all season the club has lost four consecutive games. Cedar Rapids looks to avoid the sweep tomorrow night before returning home for a nine-game home stand on Wednesday.

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jorge Polanco, Chattanooga Lookouts
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Alex Wimmers, Chattanooga Lookouts

Rochester vs. Indianapolis (6:05 CST) – LHP Jason Wheeler
Chattanooga @ Jackson (7:05 CST)- RHP Jose Berrios
Ft. Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) – LHP Stephen Gonsalves (High-A Debut)
Cedar Rapids @ West Michigan (6:00 CST) - TBA

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

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