Friday, June 17, 2016

Twins Minor League Report (6/17): Red Hot Rosario

Photo Credit: Seth Stohs (Eduardo Del Rosario, Daniel Palka)
Bullpens can be fickle creatures. These pitchers can't really have a set routine because each player doesn't know when they will be used in a game. It takes a special type of player to be ready at the tip of a hat to jump into the middle of a game that could have playoff implications for a club.

Minor league players aren't playing for big money. They are playing for the team, they are playing for themselves, and they are playing to move up the ladder. The dream is to make it to the big leagues but that won't come true for all of the players mentioned below.

One team's bullpen was vital for a Friday night victory. Who was able to shine under the Friday night lights? Read on to find out.

Rochester 0, Toledo 2
The Red Wings couldn't get anything going on the offensive side of the ball against Mud Hens pitcher Daniel Norris. Only four Rochester players had hits and three of the team's six hits were off the bat of Eddie Rosario. Jorge Polanco and John Ryan Murphy managed both hit doubles and they stood up as the team's only extra-base knocks. Logan Schafer and Adam Brett Walker both struck out three times.

Jose Berrios did his best to keep the game close. The first run scored against Berrios came after a two-out error by shortstop Wilfredo Tovar. Toledo used a pinch hitter in the sixth, Tyler Bortnick, who hit his first home run of the season to put the team up 2-0. Berrios ended up pitching six innings and allowed one earned run on two hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. Dan Runzler, David Martinez, and Ryan O'Rourke put up zeros the rest of the way but it still wasn't enough to spur a Rochester comeback.

The loss drops Rochester to 40-28 on the season as they sit a game and a half up in the International League North. Over their last 10 games, the club is 7-3 and this was their first loss since last Friday. The Red Wings continue their three-game series with Toledo tomorrow night.

Chattanooga 8, Montgomery 5
Even though the Lookouts were out hit in this game, the club used some clutch hitting (4-for-8 with RISP) to come out on top. Daniel Palka helped lead the charge for the Lookouts with a 2-for-3 night along with scoring a pair of runs. Zach Granite continues to be a threat on the bases as he stole his 30th base and scored twice. Mitch Garver drove in four runs and went 2-for-3 with his 12th double. 

David Hurlbut started the the Lookouts and put together a solid effort. He scattered seven hits over six innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Mike Strong allowed two runs in his inning of work. Luke Westphal struggled with control as he walked three and allowed a run while only collecting one out. Omar Bencomo allowed a pair of runs to score in the bottom of the ninth but he still was able to strikeout the side to preserve the victory.

With the win, the Lookouts have won nine of their last 12 games and are currently two games over .500.

Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 (14 Innings)
Box Score
This game would stretch long into the night as both team's bullpens continued to put zeros on the board. Cedar Rapids finally broke through in the 14th frame. Brad Hartong started the two out rally by being hit by a pitch. Luis Arraez followed with a double and an errant allowed Hartong to come all away around to score the winning run.

Eduardo Del Rosario hadn't made it out of the fifth inning in either of his starts in Cedar Rapids before this night. After tossing six innings and only allowing one earned run, he lowered his season ERA from 8.64 to 5.65. He gave up three hits (one home run) while striking out five and walking two.

The bullpen deserves a lot of the credit for this victory as they didn't allow a run in seven innings of work. Michael Cederoth didn't allow a hit and all five of the outs he collected were by strikeout but he walked three. William Ramirez struck out three over 2.1 innings. Michael Theofanopoulos improved to 3-0 after he pitched three innings and struck out four. Anthony McIver earned his second save with a perfect final frame.

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day- Cedar Rapids Bullpen
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day- Mitch Garver, Chattanooga Lookouts

Rochester @ Toledo (6:05 CST)- LHP Logan Darnell (7-5, 3.25 ERA)
Chattanooga @ Montgomery (6:35 CST)- TBD
Cedar Rapids@ Quad Cities (6:00 CST)- RHP Dereck Rodriguez  (1-8, 7.33 ERA)

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

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