Twins Minor League Report (8/21): Wells, Lewis, Lujan Key Kernels Win
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Byungho Park)Let’s start with the transactions of the day:
- The Twins made a couple of moves official on Monday before their first game in Chicago. Miguel Sano was placed on the disabled list, and Kenny Vargas was called back up. Tim Melville was added to the 40- and 25-man rosters. Nik Turley was optioned. He pitched for the Twins on Monday as their 26th man before returning to the Red Wings following the game. .
- Yohan Pino was again transferred from Chattanooga to Rochester. Buddy Boshers arrived and is now on the Red Wings roster.
- It seemed strange when Kohl Stewart was demoted from Rochester to Ft. Myers after picking up a win in his one start for the Red Wings. The next day, Lewis Thorpe picked up a win in his first start in Chattanooga. On Monday, it all made much more sense as Stewart was promoted back to the Lookouts with Thorpe returning to the Miracle.
- Tyler Wells was called back up to the Cedar Rapids Kernels. To make room, Evan Sanders was placed on the DL.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 3, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 4
David Hurlbut started and gave up two runs over the first five innings. He gave up eight hits, walked four and struck out four. Yohan Pino came in and gave up two runs on four hits and a walk over the next three innings; both runs scored four batters into his outing before he settled in. John Curtiss walked one and struck out two over a scoreless inning.
Byungho Park provided much of the offense. He went 2-4 with his 12th home run. Daniel Palka went 1-3 with a walk, and Leonardo Reginnato walked twice.
Chattanooga 3, Mississippi 2
He didn’t pick up a win, but Zack Littell put together a quality start. The right-hander gave up one run on two hits over six innings. He walked four and struck out six. Ryan Eades got the win. He gave up one run on one hit and three walks in two innings. He struck out two. Nick Anderson recorded his eighth save. He gave up one hit in a scoreless inning and struck out two.
There wasn’t a ton of offense, but down 2-1 going into the bottom of the seventh, the Lookouts scored two. Singles by Edgar Corcino and LaMonte Wade set things up. Jonathan Rodriguez grounded into a fielder’s choice which scored Corcino to tie the game. TJ White then hit his second triple of the season to score Rodriguez with the go-ahead run. Corcino went 2-3. Wade added a sacrifice fly for the team’s first run
No game scheduled for the Miracle.
Cedar Rapids 5, Beloit 4
A nice start. A huge homer. A nerve-wracking ninth. But the Kernels found a way to keep the lead and get a win to give them a sweep of the Snappers.
Tyler Wells returned to the Kernels after spending time rehabbing and working in the GCL. The right-hander was in fine form. In 6.1 innings, he was charged with two runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Wells told Twins Daily following the game, “It was awesome to be back. I missed the fans and the atmosphere playing here! And everything felt great. No problems at all. Honestly, I had to take some pointers out of (Clark) Beeker’s book, and really spot up. Outside fastball was great for quick outs. The curveball got the guys frozen, and the slider was working really well. Stoked to come back and help try and get a ring here!”
Eduardo Del Rosario came on and got the next five outs, giving up just one hit. The Kernels went into the ninth with a three-run lead. Colton Davis came on for the save attempt, but it didn’t go well. He walked the leadoff batter which was followed by a single. After an error leaded the bases, Davis walked in a run.
With a 5-3 lead, the bases still loaded and nobody out, Tommy Watkins summoned Kernels closer Hector Lujan.
Lujan noted, “Well, once Tommy came out of the dugout to bring me in, I just kept telling myself… trust yourself, throw strikes and get a ground ball. Let your defense work and do whatever you can to help your team win and get out of this.”
A seeing-eye single made it a one-run game. Lujan then got a fly out to short left field, but the runner did not attempt to score. Bases still loaded. Next, Lujan got a grounder back to himself. He fielded, threw home, getting the runner from third and Ben Rortvedt completed the double play, throwing the batter out at first, to end the game. Just like the PFT (pitcher’s fielding practice) that they work on extensively in spring training and more throughout the year.
“I just felt that knowing the situation I was in, I knew I would just have to relax and let the ball come to me and execute a good throw to Ben at the plate to be able to get a double play out of it. You just never know when you're going to get a play like that you just always have to be ready for it or any sort of play.”
The Kernels got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the first inning. For the second time this season, Travis Blankenhorn stole home. This time, he stole on the back end of an Aaron Whitefield steal of second.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth, 18-year-old Royce Lewis stepped to the plate with two on and two out. He worked the count before hitting a line drive that cleared the wall in left-center field and gave the Kernels a 4-1 cushion that they were able to hold on to.
Blankenhorn went 2-4. Joe Cronin went 2-3 and scored two of the team’s runs.
Elizabethton 8, Johnson City 1
I don’t know if the E-Twins bats really showed up, but their batter’s eyes sure did. The Twins scored eight runs on just four hits, but they were helped out with 12 walks on their way to an easy win.
Nick Brown was the recipient of the run support, but he also put together his best start. He gave up one run on four hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out six. Jared Finkel picked up his second save with three shutout innings with just one hit allowed. He struck out two.
Andrew Bechtold went 2-2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly. Wander Javier had a single and walked three times. Colton Waltner walked three times, and Jose Miranda walked twice.
GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Twins 8, GCL Orioles 1
Down 1-0 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Twins scored four, then two and then two more to take a commanding lead and win in this game. Jean Carlos Arias went 2-3 with two walks. Alex Robles went 2-4. Shane Kennedy went 1-2 with a walk and a double. Emmanuel Morel was 1-3 with two walks. He added his 12th stolen base. Victor Tademo walked twice. He stole his fifth bag.
Lefty Matt Jones made the start and gave up on run over 3.1 innings. He gave up three hits, walked three and struck out two. Jose Rosenstein gave up two hits and walked three but did not give up a run in his three innings of work. Zach Featherstone got the final two outs of the seventh inning. Derek Molina struck out three over the final two innings.
TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Nick Brown, Elizabethton Twins
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Byungho Park, Rochester Red Wings
TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Scranton/Wilkes Barre @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers
Mississippi @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez
Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (6:00 CST) - LHP Anthony McIver
Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) - LHP Bryant Sammons
Johnson City @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina
GCL Twins @ GCL O’s (11:00 CST) - TBD
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games.