Saturday, April 30, 2016

Twins Minor League Report (4/30): Plouffe Rehabs, Jorge Delivers

The first month of the minor league season wrapped up on Saturday with plenty of positive signs from the Twins system.

Strong pitching has been the key throughout most of the organization but there have also been some hitters that have gotten off to hot starts. As the weather continues to warm-up, it will be interesting to see the direction that will be followed by the Twins' affiliates.

So what was the story on Saturday? Strong pitching? Hot hitting? Read on to find out.
Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson, Captive Photons (Felix Jorge)
Rochester 7, Scranton/WB 5
Andrew Albers made his return to the Twins organization with his first start for the Red Wings since 2013. The first inning was a little rough as he allowed back-to-back home runs to start the game. He would settle down a little from there and finish the game by allowing five earned runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings. Of his 80 pitches, 50 were for strikes and he had one walk.

Marcus Walden took over in the sixth and allowed a couple of inherited runners to score. Brandon Kintzler earned his fourth win out of the bullpen after throwing two scoreless frames. Buddy Boshers earned his first save by striking out the side in the ninth.

Despite being outhit 12 to 9, Rochester used a pair of three-run innings to separate themselves from the RailRiders. Wilfredo Tovar and Darin Mastroianni both had a two hits including a double for each. Tovar had two of the biggest hits for the Red Wings including the game tying hit in the bottom of the eighth. Kennys Vargas plated the game-winning runs with a single to left.

Chattanooga 0, Montgomery 12
Box Score
One hit... that's all the Lookouts could muster up in this one. Like a few other team's in the organization on Saturday, the Lookouts offense was almost nonexistent. Mitch Garver was the lone player to save the team from being no-hit. He went 1-for-2 with a walk. Three batters reached in the bottom of the ninth to load the bases but the Lookouts couldn't push across a run and were shutout for only the third time this season. 

Omar Bencomo made his first Southern League start and gave up eight runs, four earned, on seven hits with a strikeout and three walks. Mike Strong and Corey Williams didn't fare much better as each of them allowed a pair of runs in their combined four innings of work. All three pitchers allowed a home run and Strong was the only one to strike out more than one batter. 

Chattanooga finished 3-4 in the last week after Montgomery has taken two of the first three in this series. At this point, the Lookouts are at the bottom of the Southern League North standings but there is plenty of baseball left to play. 

Ft. Myers 1, Charlotte 2
Felix Jorge continues to pitch well for the Miracle even though the offense hasn't really supported him in many of his starts. Today, the right-handed hurler pitched six strong innings while allowing two-earned runs. He struck three and walked one. In both of his losses this season, he has made it through six frames and allowed a total of four runs. John Curtiss and Yorman Landa kept the team in the game as each pitched a shutout inning but the offense didn't show up.

Fort Myers squeaked out four total hits and struck out 12 times. The club was limited to one at-bat with a runner in scoring position. Alex Real plated the only run for the team with a solo home run in the fourth inning. Trevor Plouffe is on rehab assignment with the club and he went 1-for-4 with a strikeout. Ryan Walker and Nick Gordon had the team's other hits.

The Miracle pitching staff had recorded 32 straight scoreless innings against Charlotte and that streak extended to 33 tonight before a run pushed across the plate. With the loss, the Miracle dropped to three games over .500 at 13-10. Over the last week, the club has gone 5-2 as they sit near the top of the standings in the Florida State League South.

Cedar Rapids 1, South Bend 5
As has been the trend for most of this season, the Kernels offense had a tough time getting moving on Saturday night. Only three players managed hits in the game and the team left six men on base (1-for-4 with RISP). LaMonte Wade reached base in three of his four at-bats. Christian Cavaness went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk. Sean Miller scored the team's only run after he singled and stole second in the fifth frame.

South Bend jumped out to an early lead after some wild plays in the first inning. The first three batters reached after a pair of singles and a throwing error by Miller. Starting pitcher Dereck Rodriguez struck out a batter before a couple of doubles and a wild pitch allowed the inning to continue. The Kernels have only lost 10 games and Rodriguez has been charged with four of those losses even though he only gave up one earned run in this game. He struck out four and walked one in four innings.

Mile Nordgren did well in relief by pitching three scoreless frames. He had to dance round five hits and a walk but he continued to put zeros on the board. Michael Theofanopoulos struck out four and walked three in two scoreless innings. It was his fifth straight appearance without allowing an earned run.

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day- Felix Jorge, Fort Myers Miracle 
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day- Wilfredo Tovar, Rochester Red Wings

Rochester vs. Scranton/WB (12:35 CST)- RHP David Martinez (0-1 4.00 ERA)
Chattanooga vs. Montgomery (1:15 CST)- RHP Aaron Slegers (1-1, 3.91 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Charlotte (11:35 am CST)- LHP Randy Rosario (2-1, 1.02 ERA)
Cedar Rapids vs. West Michigan (2:05 CST)- RHP Cody Stashak (2-0, 1.13 ERA)

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

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