Sunday, June 25, 2017

Twins Minor League Report (6/25): Romero Rocks, E-Twins Roll

Photo Credit: Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
This time of year can get very busy in the Twins farm system. The rookie league teams are starting to get up and running while the full-season affiliates have shifted into second-half mode. New playoff spots are on the line and players have a lot to prove in the months ahead.

After a plethora of roster moves over the last week, there are plenty of new faces in new places that are trying to make their mark. Whose Sunday performance got them closer to a call-up?

Rochester 7, Lehigh Valley 4
Box Score

Lehigh Valley has been the cream of the crop in the International League this season. In fact, the Red Wings were looking to avoid their 10th straight series loss to the IronPigs. Rochester pounced early as Zack Granite lead off the bottom of the first with his third home run of the season. Mitch Garver followed with a double and he moved to third on a JB Shuck single. Matt Hague grounded into a double play but Rochester still took a 2-0 lead. 

Red Wings' starter Tim Melville ran into a little bit of trouble in the third. The first two batters reached on a hit by pitch and a walk before a three-run bomb gave Lehigh Valley the lead. Melville would settle in from there and toss five frames by scattering four hits. He struck out six and walked two. Phil Hughes made his third rehab appearance and allowed his first earned run, a solo home run. Drew Rucinski tossed two perfect innings while striking out two. Michael Tonkin earned his second save as he struck out the side in the ninth. 

Rochester took the lead in the fourth inning. Matt Hague and ByungHo Park both doubled to start the frame. Niko Goodrum drove in Park with a single before coming around to score on a Leonardo Reginatto double. The Red Wings were up 5-3. In the seventh inning, Hague drove in two important runs with his sixth home run of the season to cap off the Rochester victory. 

Chattanooga 6, Pensacola 0 (Game 1- 7 Innings)

Box Score 
Dereck Rodriguez was rocking in this game as he picked up his first Double-A victory. In six innings of work, he allowed two hits while striking out six and walking two. There was only one time he faced a batter with a runner in scoring position.  Paul Clemens made things a little interesting in the seventh as he allowed a walk and a hit but he struck out the side to finish the game.

Travis Harrison put the Lookouts on the board with a solo home run to start the second inning. In the fourth inning, LaMonte Wade came up with a huge two-out single with the bases loaded to score a pair of runs. Andy Wilkins started the next inning with a double and Brain Navarreto had to use a two-out single to score Wilkins from third. Wilkins would drive in another run in the sixth. Edgar Corcino walked and Wade walked before Wilkins brought them both home. Corcino reached base in all four plate appearances. Wilkins finished with a three hit night.

Chattanooga 6, Pensacola 0 (Game 2- 7 Innings)
Box Score
After only needing one relief pitcher in the first game of the day, Fernando Romero made sure the Lookouts could avoid using the bullpen in this one. He was masterful over seven shutout innings as he struck out six and walked three. The Blue Wahoos only managed three hits and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Romero hasn't lost a game since the middle of May and he has pitched into the sixth inning in five straight appearances.

Nick Gordon got things going in the first as he lead off with a single. TJ White bring him home with a two-out hit. Travis Harrison created a run by himself in the second. He doubled, stole second, and then scored on a throwing error. In the third frame, Wade singled and Wilkins walked before Levi Michael cracked his eighth double. Gordon and Harrison each reached base three times in the winning effort. Alex Perez went 3-for-3.

Fort Myers 8, Florida 3
Box Score
The Miracle pounded out 13 hits including a four-hit night from Max Murphy on their way to an 8-3 victory. Jaylin Davis and Mitchell Kranson each had multi-hit games with Kranson recording his first double. Tanner English reached base three times including a triple. In the fourth, Jermaine Palacios recorded his first FSL RBI with a sac-fly to right. Nelson Monlina was the lone batter in the line-up that failed to record a hit.

Anthony McIver was credited with his second win after he allowed three runs on six hits with four strikeouts. Keaton Steele took over for McIver and tossed two scoreless frames. David Fischer and Andrew Vasquez combined for two more scoreless innings as Vasquez struck out all three batters in the final frame.

The Miracle have an off-day Monday before the start of a seven-game homestand. Mets farmhand Tim Tebow was recently promoted to St. Lucie and the Miracle have four-games against his squad starting next Friday. Stay tuned...

Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 2
Box Score
The Kernels used a strong start from Clark Beeker and some timely hitting to come out on top in this one. Beeker pitched into the sixth inning as he allowed one run on six hits. As part of his team-high seventh win, he struck out two and walked none. Max Cordy took over for Beeker and pitched 2.1 innings as he allowed one unearned run. He didn't surrender a hit but he walked three batters and struck out two. Hector Lujan pitched a scoreless ninth with a strikeout.

With two outs in the first, Travis Blankenhorn singled before a Amaurys Minier double to stake Cedar Rapids to an early 1-0 lead. Caleb Hamilton and Ben Rortvedt cracked back-to-back homers to start the fourth frame. In the seventh inning with two outs, Rortvedt would double in another run. Hank Morrison capped the scoring with a single to post a final score of 6-2.

Minier reached base three times in six plate appearances. Christian Cavaness, Rortvedt, and Morrison all had multi-hit games. The Kernels are now eight-games over .500 on the season.

Elizabethton 12, Pulaski 3
Box Score
The E-Twins compiled four three-run innings to blowout the Yankees. After trailing 1-0 early, Andrew Cosgrove singled to drive in a run and Jordan Gore doubled to plate two more. The fifth inning was the power inning as Matt Contreras and Brent Rooker both homered to extend the lead to 6-1.  Contreras drove in another run with a bases loaded single in the sixth. Carson Crites added a two-run double as the three-run inning streak continued. Six E-Twins batters had multi-hit nights lead by Gore as he went 3-for-4 with two doubles.

Melvi Acosta earned his first victory of the season. He scatted five hits over five innings while allowing three runs with five strikeouts. Jovani Moran was stellar in relief as he tossed three scoreless innings with six strikeouts and no walks. Juan Gamez finished with a scoreless ninth.

Pitcher of the Day – Fernando Romero, Chattanooga Lookouts (CG, 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 K, 3 BB, 3 H)
Hitter of the Day – Max Murphy, Fort Myers Miracle (4-for-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI)

Rochester @ Buffalo (4:35 CST) - LHP David Hurlbut (4-4, 3.36 ERA)
Rochester @ Buffalo (Game 2) - RHP Aaron Slegers (6-4, 4.11 ERA)
Chattanooga vs. Pensacola (6:15 CST) -  RHP Randy LeBlanc (2-2 5.35 ERA)
Fort Myers - Scheduled Off-Day

Cedar Rapids vs. Burlington (6:35 CST) - RHP Tyler Wells (4-1 1.89 ERA)
Elizabethton vs. Pulaski (6:00 CST) - RHP Griffen Jax (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
GCL Twins vs. GCL Orioles (11:00 am CST)- TBD

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

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