Friday, July 14, 2017

Twins Minor League Report (7/14): Murphy, Stewart Lead Lookouts

Photo Credit: Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Max Murphy)
Defense has been key for the Twins turnaround this season. Fans saw a key error from Jorge Polanco on Friday night caused Jose Berrios to throw 30 extra pitches. This meant he was pulled after only collecting five outs. Pitchers rely on the defense behind them and it can be tough when defenders can't make the play.

Errors ran rampant for multiple Twins affiliates on Friday. Which clubs would be able to avoid these defensive woes? Read on to find out...

Rochester 4, Lehigh Valley 1
Box Score

Rochester's pitching staff hurled a gem in this one as a final inning run was the only thing stopping them from collecting a shutout. Justin Haley earned his first victory of the season after limiting the Iron Pigs to three hits. He didn't allow an earned run and he struck out two. Craig Breslow, Alex Wimmers, and Michael Tonkin all pitched scoreless innings with Wimmers and Tonkin each collecting two strikeouts. Jake Reed allowed three hits and a walk in the final frame but limited the damage to one run. 

Bengie Gonzalez singled with one out in the third and moved into scoring position on a Engelb Vielma walk. A couple batters later, Gonzalez would come around to score on a wild pitch. In the fifth inning, Edgar Corcino tripled before Gonzalez brought him home with a sacrifice fly. Rochester was up 2-0.

The Red Wings added some critical insurance runs in the seventh inning. Matt Hague started the frame with a double. After a ByungHo Park hit by pitch and a JB Shuck single, the bases were loaded. With Corcino batting, an error by the first baseman allowed two runs to come around and score to push the lead to 4-0.

Rochester is now 10 games over .500 for the season (50-40). Since the calendar turned to July, the club has gone 8-4.

Chattanooga 9, Jacksonville 3

Box Score
These two clubs found themselves in a back and forth battle before the Lookouts went on a strong run to end the game. Kohl Stewart started and allowed three runs on six hits with a season-high seven strikeouts. Randy Rosario struggled with some control issues as he walked four batters in two inning but he escaped without allowing a run. Luke Bard struck out one and walked on in the final frame.

Max Murphy fell a home run shy of the cycle as part of a four hit night. TJ White drove in three runs including a two-run home run. Jonathan Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs. Dan Rohlfing was the lone batter to be held without a hit.

It was the third straight win for the Lookouts as the club has gone 11-4 so far in July.

Fort Myers 3, Charlotte 4
Box Score 
Fort Myers entered play on Friday night with an eight game win streak and things were looking good for the club as they jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. Tanner English lead-off double put the Miracle in position to score their first run on a Jermaine Palacios sacrifice fly. Mitchell Kranson added to the lead with a solo-home run. In the third inning, Sean Miller launched his first Florida State League home run in over 333 at-bats. He was greeted with the silent treatment in the dugout.

David Fischer kept the Stone Crabs at bay before allowing a three-run homer in the fourth. He ended the night after four innings with three strikeouts and four walks. Williams Ramirez and Michael Theofanopoulos each pitched two scoreless innings with Theofanopoulos striking out two and walking two. Alex Muren entered in the ninth and allowed a walk-off home run to the first batter of the inning. It was only the second pitch of the inning for Muren.

Cedar Rapids 0, West Michigan 3
Box Score
The Kernels were limited to three hits while committing four errors, a season high, which is a tough recipe for winning a game. Clark Beeker took the loss but he only allowed one earned run over five frames. He struck out five and walked two. Ryan Mason and Colton Davis combined for three shutout innings to end the game. Mason struck out two and Davis struck out one.

Lewin Diaz had the lone extra-base hit, a double, but he also had one of the team's defensive errors. Trey Cabbage and Ben Rortvedt each went 1-for-3. Cedar Rapids combined for 14 strikeouts and the team only had one opportunity to bat with runners in scoring position.

After winning four straight games through last weekend, the Kernels have dropped four straight including being swept by West Michigan. Friday's shutout was the club's third shutout loss in their last four contests. It was the team's first three-game sweep since June 12, 2016.

Elizabethton 3, Burlington 5
Box Score
After trailing 1-0 in the third inning, the E-Twins plated two in fourth to take back the lead. With two outs, Brent Rooker was hit by a pitch and Kolton Kendrick moved him to second with a walk. Colton Waltner, making his E-Twins debut, drove in both runs with a double. In the sixth, the E-Twins added to their lead as Kendrick and Waltner walked before a Mark Contreras single drove in a run to make it 3-1.

Charlie Barnes got the start and cruised through five innings. He didn't allow an earned run on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks. Blair Lakso ran into some late inning trouble as he surrendered four earned runs including three in the eighth inning. He struck out two and walked two in 2.1 innings. Jose Martinez finished off the game by recording the final two outs and allowing one inherited runner to score.

It was the second straight loss for the E-Twins but the club has won six of their last nine games.

GCL Twins 2, GCL Red Sox 9
Box Score
GCL Twins pitchers only allowed two earned runs but five defensive errors lead to seven unearned runs. Number one overall pick Royce Lewis had yet to commit an error but he was charged with a throwing error and a fielding error. He also struggled at the plate by going 0-for-4. Humberto Maldonado went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Pertru Balan was charged with the loss even though he didn't allow an earned run. He scattered four hits and struck out five with two walks. Vadim Balan didn't make it through an inning on the mound as five unearned runs crossed the plate. He has yet to allow an earned run in six appearances. Matt Jones allowed the only two earned runs of the game in 3.1 innings. Zach Featherstone collected the final six outs by only allowing hit hit with a pair of strikeouts. 

Pitcher of the Day – Kohl Stewart, Chattanooga Lookouts (6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 K, 1 BB)
Hitter of the Day – Max Murphy, Chattanooga Lookouts (4-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI)

Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (5:35 CST) - RHP Dillion Gee (1-0, 0.00 ERA_
Chattanooga vs. Jacksonville (6:15 CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez (3-1, 3.77 ERA)
Fort Myers vs. St. Lucie (5:05 CST) - RHP Cody Stashak (3-3, 3.76 ERA)

Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05 CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (1-0, 2.84 ERA)
Elizabethton @ Greenville (5:00 CST) - TBD
GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox (9:00 am CST)- TBD

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

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