Monday, August 24, 2015

Twins Minor League Report (8/24): Darnell Deals, Kernels Explode

Credit: Linwood Ferguson, Captive Photons
Rochester left-handed pitcher Pat Dean was awarded the International League Pitcher of the Week on Monday. On Wednesday night, he tossed his league-leading third shutout and fourth complete game. He became the franchises first pitcher with three shutouts in a season since Rick Krivda in 1997.

Dean wasn't the only Twins pitcher to be honored this week. Sam Gibbons of the Cedar Rapids Kernels took home top honors in the Midwest League. In his lone start this week, Gibbons allowed one hit in eight shutout innings with twelve strikeouts and and no walks. He had been perfect through 5 2/3 innings before an infield single broke up the no-hitter and perfect game.

Did any other players make their case to win next week's Player of the Week award? You'll have to read on to find out.

Rochester 9, Syracuse 0
Box Score
Behind a massive offensive outburst and some superb pitching by Logan Darnell, the Red Wings were able to shutout the Chiefs for the team's 67th win. Darnell pitched a complete game shutout while limiting the opposition to five hits and striking out nine. It was his first victory since July 3rd but it was only his third start since joining the rotation.

Five players in the Rochester line-up had three hits apiece and the team collected 20 hits overall. Danny Ortiz was part of the three hit parade and two of his three hits were for extra-bases. The line for Ortiz could have looked even better but he was thrown out at home twice in the game. Argenis Diaz had the team's other extra-base hit, a double, and he drove in a pair of runs. Kennys Vargas was the lone hitter in the Red Wings batting order that failed to get a hit (0-for-6). 

Chattanooga 4, Tennessee 2 (7 Innings)
Box Score
With the game tied in the bottom of the sixth frame, Adam Brett Walker stepped to the plate with the chance to play the hero. Max Kepler had just tied the game with a single that scored Jorge Polanco. Walker put the Lookouts in the lead with a two-run home run, his 28th long ball of the season. After being held without a home run for seven games, Walker homered in two straight contests.

David Hurlbut picked up his ninth victory after allowing two earned runs across six innings. He struck out four and walked three. It was his third straight start where he's gone at least six innings and allowed two runs or less. J.T. Chargois earned his tenth save with a perfect seventh inning including a strikeout.

Chattanooga 1, Tennessee 4 (7 Innings)
Box Score
Greg Peavey had the Lookouts locked into a 1-1 tie after four innings but he gave up three runs over the next pair of innings to see that tie disappear. Peavey finished by allowing three earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in 5.1 innings. Corey Williams finished off the game with 1.2 scoreless innings in his second appearance since being promoted from Fort Myers.

Niko Goodrum was the only hitter with multiple hits as he finished the night 2-for-3 with a run scored. Levi Michael smacked his 11th double of the season while DJ Hicks had the team's lone RBI. After homering in two straight games, Adam Brett Walker went 0-for-2 with a walk.

Fort Myers 3, Jupiter 10
Box Score
Fort Myers sent former first round pick Kohl Stewart to the mound on Monday but he couldn't do enough to help his team to victory. The defense behind Stewart did him little help as the Miracle committed a whopping five defensive errors. Stewart finished the night allowing seven runs (four earned) on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks across 5.2 innings.

In his first appearance since being sent back from Chattanooga, Alex Muren had a rough night on the mound by allowing three earned runs in one inning. Brian Gilbert and Tyler Jay stopped some of the bleeding in the late innings. Jay struck out two in his inning of work.

There wasn't a single batter with more than one hit for the Miracle and none of the team's hits were for extra-bases. Mitch Garver drove in all three runs and Zach Granite scored two of the team's three runs. Engelb Vielma reached base twice and scored a run.

Cedar Rapids 23, Peoria 3
Box Score
Cedar Rapids didn't want to be outdone by their counterparts in Rochester so the club put on their own offensive clinic down in the Midwest League. The team jumped out to an early 5-0 in the first and added another 11 runs in the bottom of the fourth. Overall, the team pushed across 23 runs and clubbed an eye-popping 27 hits. It got so bad that the Chiefs used multiple position players as pitchers in the game.

When a team collects this many hits it's hard to know where to start with summarizing the night. Sean Miller lead the team with five hits and he scored four runs. TJ White went 4-for-7 with a double and a triple. He tied with Edgar Corcino with five runs driven in. All but two batters in the line-up had three hits or more and every batter had a hit and scored a run.

Keaton Steel was the beneficiary of the massive offensive backing. He settled into a nice rhythm on the mound and finished the night by allowing two earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts across six innings. Zach Tillery allowed one run in two innings of work.

Elizabethton 2, Greeneville 3
Box Score
The E-Twins held two different leads in this contest but weren't able to come up with the big hit to push their lead far enough ahead. Andro Cutura pitched into the sixth inning and allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits. He struck out five and walked two while lowering his season ERA to 1.13. Nate Gercken took the loss, his third, as he allowed the game winning run to be scored in his two plus innings of work.

All of the E-Twins offense came from the top of the line-up. Outside the top three hitters, no one else was able to collect a hit. Alex Perez went 2-for-4 with a run scored but he committed two defensive errors. Jermaine Palacios had the team's only extra-base hit, his 11th double, and LaMonte Wade reached base twice. Zander Wiel didn't have a hit but he was credited with the team's only RBI.

GCL Twins Takes
GCL Twins 0, GCL Rays 2
Box Score
The Twins offense struggled to find any offense punch in this contest. Only two members of the line-up managed hits and the team went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Ruar Verkerk went 2-for-3 before being lifted for a pinch runner in the late innings. Bryan Haar picked up one hit in three trips and he's hitting .300 for the season.

Jose Martinez was charged with his sixth loss but he didn't allow an earned run in four innings of work. He struck out four and walked one but the offense didn't do him any favors. Williams Ramirez and Hector Lujan combined to finish off the last two innings with Lujan allowing a run in the Rays last trip to the plate.

GCL Twins 1, GCL Rays 1 (Suspended)
Box Score
This game was supposed to be a make-up of a game played in the middle of July but rain interfered with its completion. The two teams will try and finish the contest on Tuesday. Look for a full report at Twins Daily when this game is completed.

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Logan Darnell, Rochester Red Wings
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – TJ White, Cedar Rapids Kernels

Rochester @ Syracuse (6:05 CST) – LHP Pat Dean
Chattanooga vs. Tennessee  (6:15 CST) – LHP Brett Lee
Fort Myers vs. Jupiter (6:05 CST) – LHP Luke Westphal
Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria (6:35 CST) – RHP Felix Jorge
Elizabethton @ Greeneville (6:00 CST) – TBA
GCL Twins vs. GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) – TBA
GCL Twins vs. GCL Rays (Completion of Today's 2nd Game)

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