Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Twins Minor League Report (5/10): Kepler, Buxton Rock Rochester

Byron Buxton and Max Kepler were demoted to Rochester while the organization hoped for them to play everyday and start to build some confidence on the offensive side of the ball. Buxton has been on quite the offensive stretch as he entered play on Tuesday hitting .352/.421/.676 so far in the month of May. This includes three home runs and a pair of doubles.

Kepler's time in Rochester hadn't been as bold as Buxton. Since leaving Minnesota, he has hit .196/.300/.333 with four extra-base hits and six strikeouts. He has coaxed eight walks but his other offensive numbers are a little lower than most would like to see.

Would Buxton continue his hot hitting? Could Kepler break out of his cold streak? Keep reading to find out.
Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson- USA Today Sports
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 9, Gwinnett 3
Byron Buxton had multiple hits for the second consecutive game. It was his sixth time in the last nine game that he has more than one hit. Max Kepler had a three hit night and reached base in four of his five at-bats. Kennys Vargas walked four time including twice in the team's huge seven-run fourth inning. Stephen Wickens was the only Red Wings player that didn't reach base and he struck out three times.

Tommy Milone made his first appearance in Rochester after starting the season in the Twins rotation. He pitched into the sixth before running into a little bit of a jam and turning things over to the bullpen. Milone struck out five, walked none, and was charged with one earned run. J.T. Chargois made his Triple-A debut by striking out two and allowing a two-run double. Marcus Walden and Ryan O'Rourke didn't allow a base runner in the last 2.2 innings.

It was the fourth straight win for the Red Wings. James Beresford extended his on-base streak to 13 games. Rochester is now a game over .500 (17-16) and three games out of first in the International League North.
CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 9, Pensacola 10 (11 Innings)
Box Score
In a crazy, back-and-forth game, the Lookouts had to score seven runs in the final three frames to comeback and force extra-innings. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Walker singled to center. During the next at-bat, he stole second and the catcher threw the ball away. This allowed Walker to scamper all the way home and score the tying run. Walker had already scored an important run in the eighth inning after leading off the frame with a single.

Chattanooga outhit the Blue Wahoos 18-14 but Pensacola cracked five home runs. Travis Harrison went 4-for-5 with a walk but he failed to collect an extra-base hit. DJ Hick drove in two as part of a three hit night. Leonardo Reginatto went 3-for-6 with his seventh double.

Nick Greenwood started and allowed five earned runs on nine hits including two home runs. Corey Williams relieved Greenwood and didn't fare much better as he was charged with three earned runs. Jake Reed had a roller coaster ride as he struck out three and walked three in two inning of work but only allowed one hit and one run.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Ft. Myers 2, Bradenton 6
The score might make the game look closer than it was as the Miracle were outhit 13 to 3 in this one. Kohl Stewart surrendered seven of the 13 hits as he collected an out in the seventh inning for the first time this year. He was charged with three runs, two earned, while striking out four and walking none across 6.1 inning but he left the game with his team up 2-1. Raul Fernandez finished the seventh and eighth as he allowed a solo home run. Yorman Landa struck out one and walked one as he gave up multiple earned runs for the first time this season.

Trey Vavra picked up his sixth double of the season and scored a run. Alex Real doubled and was one of two Miracle players to reach base twice. Max Murphy was the other player to reach twice and he drove in one of the team's two runs. Overall, the club went 1-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base.

With the loss, the Miracle drop to four games over .500 at 18-14. Over the club's last seven games, they are 5-2. Tomorrow night's game will be the third in this back-and-forth home-and-home series with Bradenton. Fort Myers is tied with Charlotte at the top of the Florida State League South.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 0, Kane County 2 (7 Innings)
Box Score
Because of rain, the Kernels were forced to push back Monday's game and play it as part of a double-header on Tuesday evening. Cody Stashak pitched into the sixth inning for the fourth consecutive start and he hasn't allowed more than two earned runs at any point during that stretch. In this game, he pitched six innings and allowed two earned runs on three hits with three strikeouts. His ERA dropped to 1.95 on the season but he still took the loss. Michael Cederoth allowed one one hit and struck out a pair during his inning of work.

Offensively, there wasn't much to talk about. The Kernels reached base three times in the entire game. Luis Arraez went 1-for-3 out of the lead-off spot. LaMonte Wade is hitting .352 for the season after a 1-for-3 game. Catcher Rafael Valera drew the team's only walk. It's hard for any team to score runs when they only get two chances to bat with runners in scoring position.

Cedar Rapids 3, Kane County 2 (7 Innings)
Box Score
Miles Nordgren hadn't allowed an earned run in almost a month (April 17) but that streak came to an end on Tuesday. He still compiled quite the effort as he struck out nine and didn't walk any in five innings pitched. Two runs were scored against him but only one was earned. Michael Theofanopoulos was outstanding in relief as he struck out the side in the sixth.

After struggling for any hits in the first game of the night, the Kernels had double-digit hits. A.J. Murray was 3-for-3 with a double and his first triple of the season. With two hits in this game, Luis Arraez finished the night 3-for-7 with a double and an RBI. Brian Olson scored a pair of runs and reached base twice.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day- Miles Nordgren, Cedar Rapids Kernels 
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day- Max Kepler, Rochester Red Wings

WEDNESDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester vs. Gwinnett (6:05 CST)- LHP Andrew Albers (0-0, 5.56 ERA)
Chattanooga vs. Pensacola (6:15 CST)- LHP David Hurlbut (2-1, 6.59 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:30 CST)- LHP Tyler Jay (2-2, 3.86 ERA)
Cedar Rapids vs. Kane County (12:05 CST)- RHP Randy LeBlanc (3-2, 1.16 ERA)

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

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