Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Twins Minor League Report (6/7): Hurlbut Hurls Gem

The Lookouts are under .500 this season but that hasn't stopped the club from having some strong individual performances. The Southern League announced the 2016 All-Star Team and the initial roster features five Lookouts players including starting pitcher DJ Baxendale, relief pitcher Trevor Hildenberger, catcher Mitch Garver, outfielder Travis Harrison, and designated hitter Daniel Palka.

Cedar Rapids is hosting the Midwest League All-Star Game and both squad's initial rosters were also released on Tuesday. The Kernels have three players on the roster including starting pitcher Sam Clay, second baseman Luis Arraez, and outfielder LaMonte Wade.

Would any of these newly named All-Stars play a role in Tuesday night's contests? Read on to find out.

Rochester 5, Buffalo 2
The Red Wings were out hit 12 to 8 but two big home runs put Rochester on top. Both of the team's home runs came from the bottom of the order. Adam Brett Walker smacked his 12th home run of the season and scored two of the team's runs. John Ryan Murphy went 1-for-3 with his first home run since being demoted to Rochester. Eddie Rosario collected his ninth double and Jorge Polanco went 2-for-4. 

Rochester faced a familiar foe on Tuesday as Scott Diamond started for Buffalo and allowed five runs including two home runs mentioned above. Logan Darnell matched Diamond with 6.1 innings but he was able to get out of multiple jams. He allowed 10 hits but held the Bison to two runs. Marcus Walden and Sean Burnett put up zeros across the last 2.2 innings. It was the first save for Burnett since joining Rochester. 

With the win, the Red Wings improved to 9 games over .500 at 34-25. That record is good enough for first place in the International League North by two games over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. This marked the fifth win in the team's last six games.

Chattanooga 6, Jacksonville 1
Box Score
The Lookouts found themselves 1-1 barn-burner before plating multiple runs in two of the team's last three trips to the plate. Four players had multi-hit efforts including recently named All-Stars Daniel Palka and Mitch Garver as both went 2-for-4 with each batter scoring a pair of runs. Palka hustled around for his second triple of the year. DJ Hicks had three hits including a double and Engelb Vielma drove in a run to join the multi-hit parade. 

David Hurlbut improved to 4-3 after pitching seven strong innings. He allowed one earned run on six hits while striking out five with no walks. It was the first time he made it through seven frames since the middle of last month (5/16/2016). Omar Bencomo earned an unconventional save as he tossed two frames but walked three and struck out four.

Chattanooga is now two games under .500 with a 28-30 record. This puts them 9.5 games behind the Jackson Generals for first place in the Southern League North. Their first half elimination number is now four so they might need to focus on making a playoff push in the second half.

Cedar Rapids 11, Kane County 5
Box Score
On the day he was named to the Midwest League All-Star Game, Sam Clay took the mound for the Kernels. He wouldn't need to be perfect on this night to pick up the win. He tossed five innings and allowed three runs on five hits while striking out three and walking three. It was his first win since 5/13/2016 but it was only he second start all season where he allowed more than one earned run.

The Kernels offense provided plenty of support of Clay. Sean Miller went 4-for-5 with his eighth double while driving in a pair of runs. Jermaine Palacios scored two runs and collected two RBI as part of a multi-hit night. Every batter in the Kernels' line-up reached base at least once as the team had 17 chances to bat with runners in scoring position. The team was pretty successful as only five runners were left on base.

Williams Ramirez did great in relief as he pitched two scoreless frames and struck out four. Michael Theofanopoulos struck out the side in the eighth but gave up a solo home run. Sam Gibbons pitched a perfect ninth while striking out two. Out of the 13 pitches thrown by Gibbons, nine were for strikes.

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day- David Hurlbut, Chattanooga Lookouts
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day- Sean Miller, Cedar Rapids Kernels

Rochester @ Buffalo (6:05 CST)- LHP Tommy Milone (3-0, 2.08 ERA)
Chattanooga vs. Jacksonville (6:15 CST)- RHP Aaron Slegers (2-4, 3.84 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Brevard County (5:35 CST)- LHP Tyler Jay (4-4, 2.44 ERA)
Cedar Rapids vs. Kane County (6:35 CST)- RHP Fernando Romero (3-0, 1.69 ERA)

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

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