Monday, August 31, 2015

Twins Minor League Report (8/31): Tremendous Pitching Trio

Logan Darnell became the ninth Rochester Red Wings player to honored with a weekly award from the International League. Pat Dean (2x), Tommy Milone (2x), Tyler Duffey, Oswaldo Arcia, Reynaldo Rodriguez, and Byron Buxton have all been honored this year.

Darnell won two times this week and led the league with 17.0 innings pitched and 17 strikeouts. On Monday night, he took a no-hitter into the 7th inning as part of a Rochester shutout. Saturday was much of the same story as he allowed just one run on five hits over 8.0 innings. Since joining the starting rotation on August 13, Darnell has allowed just two earned runs on 14 hits in 28.0 innings of work.

Did anyone for Rochester get this week off to a good start? Read on to find out.

Rochester 4, Pawtucket 2
Box Score
UPDATE: Reports out of Rochester have Michael Tonkin, Eric Fryer, Danny Santana, and Kennys Vargas being called up with the possibility of others joining them once the MiLB season finishes.

In what could be his last start at Triple-A, Jose Berrios continued his recent hot streak. Over six innings, he allowed one earned run, a solo home run, on four hits with five strike outs and no walks. In his last ten starts with Rochester, Berrios has a 2.30 ERA with 73 strikeouts  and 12 walks in 62.2 innings.

Another potential September call-up, Danny Santana, had a big night at the plate and a poor night in the field. He was the only Red Wings player with multiple hits as he finished 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, and three RBI. On the defensive side, he committed two throwing errors. Aaron Hicks cracked a double in four trips to the plate for the team's only other extra-base hit.

Aaron Thompson allowed a run on one hit in 1.1 innings of work. He was credited with his fifth hold. Mark Hamburger collected his first save after getting the last five outs of the game. He allowed two hits and struck out one.

Chattanooga 4, Birmingham 5 (10 Innings)
Box Score
Aaron Slegers walked off the mound in his last start after being beat around for six runs in four innings of work. That version of Slegers didn't show-up versus Birmingham. In his fifth start at the Double-A level, he went seven strong innings by allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and two walks. In four of his five appearances since being promoted, he's gone at least six innings and allowed three earned runs or less.

Alex Wimmers was able to get two outs in the bottom of the ninth but a clutch double plated a pair of runs and Slegers masterful start wouldn't figure into the final decision. Brandon Peterson replaced Wimmers for the tenth and allowed a lead-off triple as Shannon Wilkerson was removed after crashing into the wall trying to make a game saving catch.

Before being injured, Wilkerson scored two runs out of the lead-off spot and was helped out by a 2-for-4 night from Jorge Polanco as the number two hitter. Adam Brett Walker smacked his 30th double and drove in his 101st RBI during the team's big three run sixth inning.

Cedar Rapids 0, Peoria 1
Box Score
While a lot of fans might have been focused on the start by Jose Berrios, Felix Jorge was on the mound for Cedar Rapids and he's in the midst of a strong season.  He pitched into the seventh inning and the only run scored against him was unearned. He struck out six and walked one but the Kernels didn't give him any run support. It was his fourth straight quality start.

Michael Theofanopoulos was asked to get the final four outs of the game. He didn't allow a batter to reach base and he struck out three. It was his fourth consecutive appearance without allowing a run after allowing runs in four out of his five appearances prior to starting his current streak.

The Kernels offense was lacking after scoring an eye-popping 23 runs last Monday against the same squad. Austin Diemer went 2-for-3 and TJ White reached base twice but the team didn't put themselves in a lot of scoring opportunities. Cedar Rapids left seven men on base and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

Elizabethton 6, Greeneville 5 (10 Innings)
Box Score
The E-Twins used the committee approach on the mound on Monday night. Cody Stashak pitched the first three innings by allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out five and walked one. Logan Lombana tossed the next three frames and he put up three zeros while striking out a pair of batters. Tyler Stirewalt struck out four in his three innings but he allowed two runs to score in the ninth to see the E-Twins lead disappear.

It looked like the game was over as the E-Twins trailed by one in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. AJ Murray pinch-hit for Lewin Diaz and he was able to get into scoring position with his 10th double. A wild pitch and a fielding error allowed the tying run to score before heading to extra-innings.

Jermaine Palacios doubled with one out in the 10th. Manuel Guzamn grounded out to second base but Palacios was able to advance to third on the play. LaMonte Wade could have played the hero but a wild pitch allowed Palacios to score from third and end the game.

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Felix Jorge, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Danny Santana, Rochester Red Wings

Rochester vs. Scranton/WB (6:05 CST) – RHP Michael Bowden
Chattanooga @ Birmingham (7:05 CST) – TBA
Fort Myers @ Jupiter (4:05 CST) – TBA
Fort Myers @ Jupiter (Game 2) – TBA
Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (7:00 CST) – TBA
Elizabethton vs. Bristol (6:00 CST) – TBA

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