Sunday, June 4, 2017

Twins Minor League Report (6/4): Blankenhorn Blasts, Romero Romps

Photo Credit: Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
It's hard to believe the calendar has already turned to June. Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers need to make runs at first half playoff spots in the weeks to come. Rochester and Chattanooga need to continue to fight for their own playoff positions even though their leagues don't handout first half playoff spots.

Would any teams be able to gain some separation on Sunday? Which players would shine? Read on to find out.

Rochester 2, Norfolk 1
Box Score

It took awhile for Rochester's offense to wake up in this contest. With the team trailing 1-0 late in the game, Tommy Field finally got things rolling. He started the seventh with a single and than moved to third on a JR Murphy single. Zack Granite came up with the go-ahead hit in the innings, a triple, to put Rochester on top by one. 

Adam Wilk started and allowed one earned run, a home run, on six hits over four innings. He struck out one and didn't walk a batter. Ryan Eades improved to 2-0 on the season as he tossed three shutout innings with four strikeouts and one walk. His season ERA dropped to 1.13. Ryan Pressly picked up his first save a two inning affair as he only allowed two base runners. 

Chattanooga 6, Jackson 5

Box Score
Chattanooga jumped out to any early 3-0 lead in the first inning. Three of the first four batters reached without recording a hit as Jackson committed an error, walked a batter, and hit a batter. Dan Gamache took advantage with a one-out single to plate a pair of runs. Levi Michael capped the inning with a run-scoring single as things were looking good for the Lookouts.

Top pitching prospect Fernando Romero pitched seven innings and saw five runs scored while he was on the mound. Lucky for him, only two of the runs were earned as he struck out eight and didn't have a walk. Nick Gordon and Gamache each had an error in the fourth which allowed three unearned runs to score. Luke Bard and Mason Melotakis combined to allow on base runner over the final two frames. Bard struck out the side in the eighth.

Trailing by one in the bottom of the ninth, LaMonte Wade and Travis Harrison started the inning with doubles. Gamache was intentionally walked before Levi Michael advanced the runners with a bunt. Ryan Walker played the hero as he doubled in the winning run.

Fort Myers 0, Palm Beach 5
Box Score
It's tough to win many games when a team is limited to three hits. Fort Myers was shutout on Sunday. Zander Wiel, Tanner English, and Trey Vavra all went 1-for-3 as English and Vavra both collected doubles. The Miracle didn't collect a walk in the game and only one batter stepped into the plate with a runner in scoring position.

Lachlan Wells lost two full count battles in the bottom of the first before giving up a three-run home run. He went five innings by allowing four earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Tom Hackimer pitched two scoreless innings with a couple of strikeouts. Sam Clay finished the game with a scoreless eighth.

Cedar Rapids 11, Burlington 6
Box Score 
The Kernels exploded for five runs in the second inning and they still needed a four-run eighth frame to separate themselves from the Bees. All of the Kernels second inning damage came with two outs. Caleb Hamilton and Christian Cavaness walked before a Brandon Lopez triple brought them home. Aaron Whitefield walked and stole second in front of a two-run single from Travis Blankenhorn. Jarmaine Palacios capped the inning with a run-scoring double.

Hamilton played a key role later in the game as his two-run homer helped to separate Cedar Rapids. A couple of batters later, Travis Blankenhorm popped his sixth home run of the season to bust open the game. Blankenhorn finished with three hits and four RBI. On the defensive side of the ball, Cavaness threw out a runner at home in the seventh to keep the Kernels up one.

Eduardo Del Rosario didn't have his best stuff but he was able to earn his fifth win. He struck out one and walked two while allowing four earned runs over five innings. Zack Tillery struggled a little as well. He walked three batters and saw a run scored without giving up a hit. Logan Lombana pitched 1.1 innings and gave up one earned run on three hits. Ryan Mason pitched two shutout innings to close out the game.

Pitcher of the Day – Fernando Romero, Chattanooga Lookouts (7 IP, 2 ER, 8 K, 0 BB)
Hitter of the Day – Travis Blankenhorn, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-for-5, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)

Rochester vs. Scanton/WB (6:05 CST) - TBD
Chattanooga vs. Jackson (6:15 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves (0-2, 3.18 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (0-2, 1.38 ERA)

Cedar Rapids - Scheduled Off-Day

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

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