Sunday, May 21, 2017

Twins Minor League Report (5/21): Blankenhorn Blasts, Gordon Keeps Rolling

Photo Credit: Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Travis Blankenhorn)
Losing games isn't any fun for anyone. Three out of four of the Twins affiliates held leads on Sunday but none of them were able to pull out the win. Even in the midst of all the losing there were some strong performances. Multiple big name prospects had good days at the plate and some relief arms were thrust into the spotlight.

While losing isn't fun for anyone, a lot of the minor leagues is about developing players. Who performed well in the middle of all the losing? You'll have to read on to find out.

Rochester 4, Scranton/WB 5 (11 Innings)
Box Score

After trailing 3-0 after two innings, Rochester plated four runs in the top of the third to take a 4-3 lead. All of the team's damage came with two outs in the frame. Daniel Palka singled and Zach Granite came all the way around for first to score. Back-to-back home runs from Byungho Park and Tommy Field capped a big Red Wings inning but the team would be shutout for the rest of the day. 
Every hitter in the line-up besides JR Murphy collected at least one hit. Field finished the day 3-for-5. 

Nik Turley saw three early runs score against him but he settled in nicely to make it through five inning. Overall, he allowed three earned runs on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Alan Busenitz pitched two scoreless frames with a pair of strikeouts. Kevin Chapman started the eighth by allowing a double which was followed by a passed ball. Drew Rucinski came in with a man on third and no outs. He would make it through 1.2 innings by only allowing the inherited runner to score. 

Both of the outs Buddy Boshers collected were by strikeout. Michael Tonkin collected the final out of the 10th and the first out of the 11th before he ran into trouble. Yankees top prospect Clint Frazier walked before a single moved him all the way to third. The game would end on an interesting play as Frazier scored on a sacrifice bunt. 

Chattanooga 4, Biloxi 5 (10 Innings)

Box Score
Much like Rochester, Chattanooga jumped out to an early lead before watching the opposition collect a walk-off win. Nick Gordon lead-off the game with a double and a wild pitch moved him to third. Ryan Strausborger brought in Gordon with a single as the Lookouts had an early 1-0 lead.

In the top of the fifth inning, things got a little wild for Biloxi. Jose Gonzalez and Ryan Walker started the inning with a single and a walk. While Gordon was batting, there were two wild pitches which allowed Gonzalez to score. Gordon eventually walked and than he stole second base. LaMonte Wade plated both runners with a two-out double as Chattanooga was staked to a 4-0 lead. Nick Gordon finished the game 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs, and and walk.

Matt Tracy had a no-hitter entering the fifth inning but he allowed a walk and a single to start the frame. He had a shutout into the sixth before back-to-back singles put a runner in scoring position with no outs. Biloxi only scored one in the inning to cut the lead to 4-1. Tracy ran out of steam in the seventh as he charged with three more hits and three runs to see the team's lead evaporate.

With two outs in the seventh, Nick Burdi allowed the big hit, a two-run single. Both of these runs were charged to Tracy. Burdi pitched a scoreless eighth inning but a timely double-play stopped more runs from being scored. Raul Fernandez took the loss as he allowed three singles and a hit by pitch in the 10th.

Fort Myers 5, Bradenton 6
Box Score 
Fort Myers looked to sweep the series with Bradenton on Sunday but the Marauders stormed back from an early 5-1 deficit. After Bradenton scored in the first, Fort Myers answered back with back-to-back homers in the bottom of the inning. It was the second homer of the year for Bradley Strong and the third for Chris Paul. Fort Myers went on a hit parade in the second as they used four singles and a walk to push across three runs.

Cody Stashak ran into some trouble in the third and fourth frames as he saw the Miracle lead evaporate. He pitched four innings by allowing five earned runs on eight hits. Anthony McIver pitched two scoreless innings with a strikeout. Williams Ramirez was perfect in his inning of work and struck out a pair. Alex Muren took the loss as a fielding error by Rafael Valera allowed a run to score in the eighth.

Strong and Paul each reached base three times. Zander Wiel had a multi-hit game including his 13th double. Max Murphy was the only Miracle batter to be held without a hit. Fort Myers had three leadoff doubles in inning four through seven but the runners never made it past third. The team went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base.

Cedar Rapids 7, Wisconsin 12
Box Score
Cedar Rapids found themselves in a 12-2 hole before trying to mount a comeback. Tyler Beardsley got knocked around for nine earned runs on 12 hits, a career high, including two home runs. Zach Tillery didn't stop the bleeding much as he was charged with three runs after allowing five walks and one hit. Hector Lujan, Alex Robinson, and Logan Lombana combined for 3.2 scoreless innings to end the game. Lujan struck out two and didn't allow a hit (1.2 IP).

Travis Blankenhorn crushed a two run blast in the fifth following a Jaylin Davis double. Lewin Diaz cranked his sixth home run, a solo shot, in the sixth. The Kernels used four straight hits and a sacrifice fly to pull within five runs but that's where the comeback ended.

Blankenhorn finished the day 2-for-4 with two extra-base hits, three RBI, and two runs scored. Davis had a multi-hit game and scored twice. Davis reached base three times with his homer and a pair of walks.

Pitcher of the Day – Nik Turley, Rochester Red Wings (5 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 3 K, 2 BB)
Hitter of the Day – 
Travis Blankenhorn, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R)

Rochester - Scheduled Off Day
Chattanooga @ Biloxi (6:35 CST) - TBD
Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30 CST) - RHP David Fischer (2-2, 3.58 ERA)

Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:35 CST)- RHP Sean Poppen (2-1, 2.38 ERA)

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

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