Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Twins Minor League Report (4/12): Rosario Rolls

Minnesota's minor league affiliates are starting to hit their stride as the season is underway and players are starting to settle into their roles with the club. The weather is still chilly in many parts of the country and this can impact both pitchers and hitters at this early junction of the season.

Over the last two weeks, I've tried to pick out some breakout minor league players on both sides of the ball. Some of the hitters I selected are off to decent starts and I expect their bats to heat up as the weather improves. Pitchers can be up and down but one of the players I picked had a tremendous start on Tuesday night.

Let's dive into the action.

Rochester 1, Lehigh Valley 6
Box Score (Game 1- 7 Innings)
Lehigh Valley wasted little time jumping on Logan Darnell as the IronPigs used a two-run home run in the first inning to take the lead and never looked back. Darnell allowed six earned runs on seven hits in five innings of work. Buddy Boshers and Dan Runzler put up zeros the rest of the way but there wasn't enough offensive firepower in Game 1.

Rochester was held with out an extra-base hit and Reynaldo Rodriguez was the only batter to record multiple hits. Jorge Polanco knocked in the team's only run with a sacrifice fly and he ended the game hitting .462 so far this season.

Rochester 0, Lehigh Valley 4
Box Score (Game 2- 7 Innings)
Mark Appel showed Rochester why he was the first overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft. He pitched into the sixth inning while scattering five hits and striking out five. David Martinez started opposite Appel and was pulled after 6.1 innings as he allowed three earned runs on seven hits. Ryan O'Rourke recorded the last two outs but not before allowing the final run to score. Both Rochester pitchers failed to strike out a batter.

Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with a couple singles to complete a four hit day. Juan Centeno had the team's only extra-base hit, a double, and it was his first double of the season. The team saw very limited action with runners in scoring position (0-for-3 with RISP) and left seven men on base.

Chattanooga 3, Jackson 4
Box Score
A day after the Twins competed in their home opener the Lookouts returned to Chattanooga for a home opener of their own. The Lookouts have struggled out of the gate this season (1-5 record) and that trend continued on Monday as the club lost a back and forth battle with Jackson.

Jason Wheeler started the night on the mound and he wouldn't allow an earned run in six frames. However, an Engelb Vielma error at shortstop lead to three unearned runs in the top of the fourth inning. One inning later, Travis Harrison would collect a two-out RBI single after Zach Granite had started the inning with a double. Granite went 2-for-5 while scoring twice. Leonardo Reginatto, Stuart Turner, and Joe Maloney all had doubles but the team left 10 runners on base and was 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

Alex Wimmers pitched a perfect seventh inning with a strikeout and no walks. Mason Melotakis was charged with his first loss of the season as he gave up the go-ahead run in the eighth frame. J.T. Chargois struck out a pair of batters to close out the ninth.

Ft. Myers 2, Brevard County 1
Box Score
Randy Rosario was the story of this game as he took a perfect game into the sixth inning and the Miracle were able to survive with a 2-1 victory. Rosario retired the first 16 batters and struck out four total batters in the first two frames. By the time he was removed, he had eight strikeouts across six innings with no walks and two hits. Luke Bard got into some trouble by allowing a single and a double before inducing a double-play and a ground out. Yorman Landa earned a hold even though he allowed the Manatees one run. Todd Van Steensel earned his first save with one strike out and a walk in the ninth.

The scoring got started early for the Miracle as Chad Christensen blasted a two-run home run in the first inning. Tanner English started the game with a walk and stole second before the home run. Nick Gordon reached base two times in four trips and T.J. White ended the game 2-for-4, his third multi-hit game. Trey Vavra extended his hitting streak to five games. Every batter in the line-up recorded at least one hit with the exception of Brian Navarreto.

With the win, the Miracle improved to 3-3 and send Stephen Gonsalves, one of the organization's top pitching prospects, to the mound on Wednesday night.

Cedar Rapids 7, Kane County 2
Box Score
In his first start in the Midwest League, Miles Nordgren took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before back-to-back batters reached base. He ended the day with five innings pitched and one earned run on one hit with two strikeouts and two walks. Cody Stashak was nearly as impressive in relief. He allowed one earned run on two hits in four innings of work for his first professional save.

Cedar Rapids got their scoring started in the third inning. A pair of walks and an infield hit left the bases loaded. Sean Miller hit a foul ball that was deep enough to score the game's first run. LaMonte Wade followed this up with a sacrifice fly of his own to push the lead to 2-0. Chris Paul was the only Kernel with multiple hits as he went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored. Jermain Palacios plated a pair of runs and Wade cracked his third double of the young season.

The Kernels improved to 5-1 with the win and sit atop the Midwest League Western division. Cedar Rapids will look to take the series from Kane County in tomorrow morning's (11:00 am CST) rubber match with Randy LeBlanc on the mound.

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day- Randy Rosario, Fort Myers Miracle
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day- Chad Christensen, Fort Myers Miracle

Rochester vs. Lehigh Valley (12:35 CST)- RHP Tyler Duffey (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Chattanooga vs. Jackson (10:15 am CST)- RHP DJ Baxendale (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
Fort Myers vs. Brevard County (6:05 CST)- LHP Stephen Gonsalves (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (11:00 am CST)- RHP Randy LeBlanc (1-0, 1.80 ERA)

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

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