Sunday, May 7, 2017

Twins Minor League Report (5/7): Berrios On The Brink

Photo Credit: Betsy Bissen, Bitzy Betsy Photography
The try-out period is over. Minnesota's new front office has busy in the last few days. Buddy Boshers and Kyle Gibson were both optioned to Rochester. Danny Santana and Michael Tonkin were both designated for assignment which means they could end up in different uniforms before the end of the week.

With new faces heading to Rochester, a few names had to be added back to the big league squad. Infielder Ehire Adrianza and relief pitcher Justin Haley were both reinstated from the 10-day disabled list. Haley pitched one scoreless inning in Rochester while striking out two. Adrianza was hitting .310/.383/.357 in 42 minor league at-bats this season.

Even with all the roster moving and shaking. There were still games to be played. Spoiler alert: There were some great performances on Sunday afternoon.

Rochester 3, Pawtucket 1
Box Score

For the second straight Sunday, Jose Berrios was on the mound as he continued his masterful start to the season. The only trouble he faced in the game came with two outs in the top of the first. He allowed back-to-back doubles that pushed across the lone Pawtucket run of the game. Berrios pitched 6.2 innings while allowing one earned run on six hits. He struck out four and walked none. Minnesota could call him up to make his next start at the big league level. 

Rochester responded quickly in the bottom of the first. Zack Granite and JB Shuck lead-off the inning with singles. Tommy Field drove in both runners with his eighth double of the season. Rochester wouldn't trail for the rest of the game. Granite created the next run for the Red Wings as well. He started the third with a single, stole second, and Field drove him him with a single. 

With little margin for error, the bullpen played an important role in this game. Buddy Boshers relieved Berrios in the seventh. He was able to strand a runner at second while keeping Rochester up two. Trevor Hildenberger allowed one hit during his inning of work but a big strikeout helped him leave a runner in scorning position. Alex Wimmers struck out the first two batters of the ninth before a walk and a single put the tying run on base. A ground out ended the threat and Wimmers earned his third save. 

Chattanooga 4, Pensacola 2 (Game 1- 7 Innings)

Box Score
Nick Gordon started this game with a bang for the Lookouts. His first inning triple put Chattanooga in position to tie this game in the early going. Engelb Vielma drove him in with a single. From there, the team's bats went cold until a big sixth inning.

In that sixth frame, all the damage was done with two outs. Jonathan Rodriguez singled and was followed by a LaMonte Wade double. Travis Harrison plated two runs with a single. He wasn't on base very long as the next batter, Ryan Walker, tripled to score Harrison. Gordon ended the game 2-for-3 with two extra-base hits and a run scored.

Kohl Stewart started for Chattanooga but couldn't make it out of the fifth inning. In 4.2 innings, he allowed two earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks. He has a 5.63 ERA for the season. Todd Van Steensel earned his third victory out of the bullpen. He didn't allow a base runner over the last 2.1 innings while striking out two.

Chattanooga 3, Pensacola 2 (Game 2- 8 Innings)
Box Score
For the second straight game, Nick Gordon helped the Lookouts get off to a fast start. He lead-off the first inning with a walk. Levi Michael and Edgar Corcino followed with singles put Chattanooga out to an early 1-0 lead.

Ryan Eades got the start and didn't run into any trouble until the top of the fifth inning. A pair of singles and a triple pushed across a pair of runs as Pensacola took a 2-1 lead. That lead would be short lived as Chattanooga used a Jonathan Rodriguez double and a fielding error to tie up the game in the bottom of the frame.

After Eades exited, the bullpen put up zeros the rest of the way. John Curtiss pitched two scoreless innings as he has yet to allow a run this year. Nick Burdi saw two base runners reach against him but put the team in position to win.

This game headed to extra-innings as it was scheduled to be two seven inning contests. In the bottom of the eighth, Corcino lead-off with a walk. Jonathan Rodriguez followed with a single that moved Corcino all the way to third. LaMonte Wade got to play the hero with a walk-off single over an outfield that was playing in.

Fort Myers 6, St. Lucie 0
Box Score 
Fort Myers and starting pitcher Dereck Rodriguez found themselves in the middle of quite the pitchers duel. Rodriguez had limited the Mets to two hits in seven innings of work but the offense didn't decide to show up until the late innings. Rodriguez didn't allow a run and struck out three on the way to his second victory.

St. Lucie removed their starter in the eighth and Fort Myers was able to break through. With one out, Max Murphy was hit by a pitch. Nelson Molina cracked a two-run shot. Two batters latter Zander Wiel knocked his third home run of the season, a two-run shot that pushed the lead to 4-0.

In the top of the ninth, Fort Myers was able to add some insurance runs. Max Murphy started it again with a single to center. Nelson Molina doubled and Murphy came all the way around to score. Chris Paul followed Molina's double with a single to add one more run.

Williams Ramirez replaced Rodriguez and allowed one runner in both of his innings of work. In the eighth, a batter reached with a one out walk. In the ninth, a batter reached with a one-out single. Over two shutout innings, he struck out three.

Cedar Rapids 4, Fort Wayne 1
Box Score
Clark Beeker won his fourth consecutive start on Sunday after tossing six strong innings. It was his fourth quality start as he limited the TinCaps to one earned run. He retired eight straight batters at one point in the contest and he only allowed runner runner to get into scoring position. Beeker struck out six and walked one.

The first big hit of the game came off the bat of Christian Cavaness. Travis Blankenhorn and Ariel Montesino reached base with walks before Cavaness pelted a two-run double. In the fifth frame, Aaron Whitfield lead off the inning with a single and scored on a Lewin Diaz one-out double. Blankenhorn brought in Diaz with a two-out single to push the lead to 4-0.

Max Cordy took over for Beeker and pitched three scoreless innings. He struck out three and walked one. It was his longest outing of the season and he leads the team with three saves.

Pitcher of the Day – Dereck Rodriguez, Fort Myers Miracle (7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 K)
Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Chattanooga Lookouts (2-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2R, 2 BB)

Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST)- TBD
Chattanooga @ Montgomery (7:05 CST) - TBD
Fort Myers vs. Palm Beach (5:35 CST) - RHP Cody Stashak (0-3, 4.00 ERA)

Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (6:00 CST)- RHP Eduardo Del Rosario (2-1, 3.04 ERA)

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

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