Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Twins Minor League Report (8/16): Blankenhorn Blast Powers Kernels Win

Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson, Captive Photons (Joe Maloney)
How many double headers can be played in one day? The Twins farm system tried their best to answer this question on Tuesday

There were a trio of double headers up and down the Twins system on Tuesday. The Miracle, Kernels, and DSL Twins all had to make-up from some weather issues in the last month. This lead to a jam pack Monday schedule with plenty of chances for players to shine.

Chattanooga had a scheduled off day and the GCL Twins were postponed but all the other teams were in action. What players would stand out above the crowd? Read on to find out.

Rochester 0, Buffalo 3
Box Score

For the third straight start, Nick Greenwood pitched at least seven innings and allowed three runs or fewer. On Monday night, he tossed seven innings while scattering seven hits. He struck out three and walked three but left the mound trailing 2-0. Neil Ramirez came on in relief and allowed a solo home run during his inning of work. 

Unfortunately, the Rochester offense couldn't get going in this one. The team combined for five hits, went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, and left six men on base. Adam Brett Walker collected two of the team's six hits but he also struck out twice. Daniel Palka added his 12th double, the team's lone extra-base knock. Mitch Garver reached base twice and is hitting .375 since being promoted. Byron Buxton was 0-for-4 out of the lead off spot. 

The loss drops the Red Wings to 68-56 on the season as they sit nine games out of first place in the International League North. Luckily, Rochester finds themselves 4.5 games behind Lehigh Valley the wild card spot with 19 games to play. This includes what could be a pivotal four game home and home series to end the regular season against Lehigh Valley. 

Fort Myers 1, St. Lucie 0 (Game 1- 8 Innings)
Box Score

In what was scheduled to be a seven inning contest, the pitching staffs for both teams combined to put up zeros until the eighth frame. Christian Ibarra singled to lead-off the inning and was immediately replaced with pinch runner Sean Miller. With Nick Gordon batting, Miller advanced to second on a wild pitch. Gordon was able advance Miller to third on a deep fly to left. Joe Maloney brought home Miller on a ground ball single.

Maloney finished the game 2-for-4 with the only RBI for either team. Alex Perez picked up a pair of hits in three trips to the plate. Nick Gordon and Christian Ibarra both finished 1-for-4. Overall, the team went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Sam Clay had orginally started this resumed game and made it through one inning. He walked two and didn't allow an earned run. Luke Westphal and Michael Theofanopoulos each pitched 3.1 scoreless innings while combining to strike out seven. Todd Van Steensel picked up his third win after recording the final out of the eighth inning.

Fort Myers 6, St. Lucie 8 (Game 2)
Box Score

Game two started off worse for Fort Myers as they saw St. Lucie jump out to an 8-1 lead by the end of the third. Joe Maloney had spotted the Miracle an early 1-0 lead on his third home run. In the fifth inning, Fort Myers tried to crawl back into the contest. Alex Perez walked in front of a Trey Vavra single. Following a double-play, Tanner English slashed a triple to score Perez. Sean Miller drove in English with a double.

Things got even more interesting in the final frame. After back-to-back singles from Brad Hartong and Daniel Kihle, Christian Ibarra hit a three-run blast to cut the lead to 8-6. The comeback attempt ended there as the next two batters failed to reach base.

Randy LeBlanc started and was charged with eight earned runs on 10 hits. He struck out one and walked two. Cam Booser tossed three shutout frames while striking out six. It was the first time all season where Booser pitched more than two innings and the six strike outs tied a career high.

Cedar Rapids 1, Peoria 10 (Game 1- 7 Innings)
Box Score

Sam Gibbons was roughed up in this one for seven earned run in less than five inning of work. The Chiefs pounded out four first inning runs on the way to the blowout win. Gibbons walked two and struck out two as he was charged with his first loss since May 5. Max Cordy allowed two runs on four hits with three strikeouts in relief.

Luis Arraez was the lone batter to record multiple hits as he finished 2-for-3. Travis Blakenhorn picked up his third double since being promoted and he scored the team's only run. J.J. Fernandez finished 1-for-3 with an RBI. On the defensive side of the ball, Zander Wiel was charged with his 15th error at first base.

Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 2 (Game 2- 7 Innings)
Box Score

Cedar Rapids didn't want a nail biter in game two as they pounded out seven runs on ten hits. Travis Blankenhorn hit his first Low-A home run, a two-run shot to give the Kernels a 2-1 lead. In the fifth inning, Cedar Rapids pushed across four runs with the biggest hit being a two-run triple by Zander Wiel. He would finish the game 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, and two runs scored. Blankenhorn and Jaylin Davis both picked up two hits and combined for four RBI.

Brady Anderson pitched six strong innings by allowing one run on four hits. He struck out four and walked one. In four of his last five starts, he has pitched six innings and allowed one run or fewer. Williams Ramirez ran into a little trouble in the final frame as he walked a couple batters with two outs but it wasn't nearly enough

Elizabethton 7, Johnson City 17
Box Score
The E-Twins found themselves in the middle of quite the slugfest but they didn't have nearly enough firepower on this night. Johnson City pounded out 17 runs on 21 hits with all but one batter in their line-up reaching base multiple times. Ryan Mason started and was charged with seven earned runs on nine hits. He struck out two and walked one. Quin Grogan allowed five runs in his three innings with a pair of strikeouts. Austin Tribby closed things out as he allowed five runs in the final two frames. 

Lewin Diaz collected his eighth home run, a three-run shot in the third inning. This kept the game closer at the time. Ariel Montesino scored a pair of runs out of the lead-off spot and hit his third double. Caleb Hamilton drove in two runs as part of a multi-hit night. Alex Kirilloff went 0-for-5 but managed to score a run.

The E-Twins might have been looking forward to Wednesday's off day a little early as the club will have to recover from this lopsided affair. 

Pitcher of the Day – Brady Anderson, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Hitter of the Day – Joe Maloney, Fort Myers Miracle

Rochester at Buffalo (12:05 CST) - LHP Andrew Albers (9-5, 3.51 ERA)
Chattanooga vs. Montgomery (6:05 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves (5-1, 2.01 ERA)
Fort Myers @ St. Lucie (5:30 CST) - TBD

Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (7:00 CST) - RHP Eduardo Del Rosario (4-2, 4.38 ERA)
Elizabethton- Scheduled Off Day
GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00AM CST) - TBD

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

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