Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Twins Minor League Report (8/9): Steele Shines, Kernels Implode

Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson, Captive Photons
With less than a month left in the minor league season, teams need to make their move for any potential playoff run. For Minnesota's affiliates, Tuesday's action came with a ton of roster moves throughout the system.

Infielders Travis Blankenhorn and Brandon Lopez moved up from Elizabethton to Cedar Rapids. In a corresponding move, Christian Ibarra was promoted to Fort Myers and Manuel Guzman was moved down to Elizabethton.

Rochester sent out quite the updated list of roster moves. Three players were added to the roster. Byron Buxton was optioned from Minnesota and Mitch Garver and Leonardo Reginatto were transferred from Double-A Chattanooga. Infielder Heiker Meneses came off the disabled list and was sent to Double-A while RHP Marcus Walden was added to the DL with a right shoulder strain. TJ White was also moved from Fort Myers up to Chattanooga.

Baseball can be a cruel game too for players trying to find a spot on a roster. After all the other moves of the day, outfielder Darin Mastroianni and infielder Buck Britton were released from their contracts.

Rochester 4, Syracuse 6
Box Score

Pat Dean ran into a little bit of a buzzsaw in the third inning of this contest. After making it through the first two innings, Dean was knocked around for six runs in the third while only collecting one out. He wouldn't make it out of the frame after allowing 10 hits. The Rochester bullpen trio of DJ Baxendale, Ryan O'Rourke, and Pat Light didn't allow a run the rest of the way as the Red Wings attempted their comeback.

Daniel Palka had gotten Rochester out to an early lead with a solo home run to lead off the top of the sixth. Tommy Field doubled to start the sixth but was left at second with two outs. Adam Brett Walker wouldn't leave him hanging as he cracked his third triple of the season. James Beresford joined Walker with a triple of his own in the seventh inning before a Wilfredo Tovar single brought him home. 

Rochester got the tying run on base in the ninth inning but the comeback stopped there. Walker and Field both collected three hits while Beresford crossed the plate twice. Byron Buxton wasn't in the starting line-up but made an appearance as a pinch runner in the final inning. 

Chattanooga 0, Jacksonville 3

Box Score
Before tonight's action, the Lookouts reset their rotation for the rest of the season. LHP Stephen Gonsalves was given an extra day of rest before reentering the rotation. RHP Felix Jorge starts tonight's contest followed by Gonsalves, RHP Aaron Slegers, RHP Kohl Stewart, and LHP David Hurlbut. 

Jorge and the Lookouts were locked up in a pitchers duel in this one. Jorge put up zeros through five innings before allowing a solo home run in the sixth. He came out for the seventh and collected first two outs quickly before three straight hits pushed across two runs and he exited the game. Jorge struck out two and walked one. Zack Jones finished off the seventh inning and worked a perfect eighth frame while collecting three strikeouts. Jake Reed pitched a shutout ninth inning with a strikeout. 

The Lookouts were limited to five hits in the game with no batters collecting multiple hits. The team only had one opportunity to bat with runners in scoring position and it came with two outs in the inning. Every batter besides Shannon Wilkerson reached base at least once. 

Fort Myers 0, St. Lucie 1 (7 Innings- Game 1)
Box Score

After being rained out on Monday night, the Miracle found themselves in a pitcher's duel in the first game of their double header. Keaton Steele pitched all seven innings for Fort Myers but ended up taking the tough luck loss.

After allowing a lead-off double in the fourth frame, he almost wriggled out of the inning unscathed. Unfortunately, a two-out double would push across the only run of the game. Steele dropped to 5-10 with the loss but it was his third straight start where he pitched at least six innings and gave up two earned runs or fewer. He struck out three and walked one.

Only three Miracle batters were able to record hits. AJ Murray reached base twice in his three plate appearances before being lifted for a pinch runner. Joe Maloney and Chris Paul both went 1-for-3. Fort Myers never had a runner reach second base.

Fort Myers --, St. Lucie -- (PPD- Game 2)
Tuesday's second game was washed out and has been rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday night. The Miracle will try and play two seven-inning games on Wednesday if the weather will finally cooperate. 

Cedar Rapids 6, Peoria 8
Box Score

Cedar Rapids looked to be sailing to their 62nd victory as they took a 5-2 lead into the final inning. Brady Anderson pitched six solid innings as the only run scored against him was unearned. He found his way out of four walks and five hits but the Kernels were in position to win when he left the mound.

Zander Wiel got the scoring started with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first. It was his 14th home run of the season. Cedar Rapids would push another run across in the fourth. Casey Scoggins would walk in front of a Sean Miller single to put two runners on base. Luis Arraes doubled to score Scoggins from second but the Kernels left two runners on base in the frame. JJ Fernandez started the seventh with a triple before being knocked in by a Rainis Silva single. Silva would later score on a fielding error to make the lead 5-2.

The ninth inning got ugly in a hurry for the bullpen. Andrew Vasquez pitched the seventh and eighth without any issues but he allowed the first two batters to reach in the ninth. Max Cordy didn't fare much better as the first two batters he faced collected singles before a Jaylin Davis fielding error allowed another run to score. After coaxing two outs, Cordy hurled a wild pitch that was followed by a single and a double as the game slipped out of hand.

Elizabethton 6, Danville 3
Box Score
The E-Twins took advantage of six (yeah, count'em... six) fielding errors by Danville on their way to their 23rd victory of the season.  Elizabethton didn't record an extra-base hit but the team went 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Ben Rortvedt was the lone batter with multiple hits including an RBI. Shane Carrier scored two runs and first round pick Alex Kirilloff was 1-for-4.

Tyler Wells put together his best start of the season for his second win. He went six strong innings while scattering five hit and two earned runs. Wells struck out four and walked two. Domenick Carlini earned his first save in unconventional fashion by tossing three frames. He allowed one unearned run and struck out four. 

Pitcher of the Day – Keaton Steele, Fort Myers Miracle
Hitter of the Day – Adam Brett Walker, Rochester Red Wings

Rochester at Syracuse (5:35 CST) - LHP Adalberto Mejia (0-1, 2.57 ERA)
Chattanooga- Scheduled Off Day
Fort Myers vs St. Lucie (4:00 CST) -RHP Randy LeBlanc (4-5, 4.25 ERA)

Fort Myers vs St. Lucie (Game 2- Makeup of 8/9 PPD)- LHP Sam Clay (1-1, 4.15 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez (2-11, 5.73 ERA)
Elizabethton at Kingsport (6:00 CST) - TBD
GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00AM CST) - TBD

GCL Twins vs. GCL Orioles (Game 2- Makeup of 8/9 PPD)- TBD

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

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