Twins Minor League Report (9/4): Kirilloff and Williams Help Power Game One Wins
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Andro Cutura)TRANSACTIONS
There was only one transaction on Tuesday leading into the first two of the Minnesota Twins three affiliates getting playoff action started, with the Elizabethton Twins receiving RHP Carlos Suniaga back from the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Palm Beach 1, Fort Myers 3
Fort Myers got a strong start from Andro Cutura and contributions from a couple of their stars to pull out a game one victory against Palm Beach.
Cutura scattered four hits and two walks in the first seven innings of this one, striking out nine in the process. He got one-two-three innings in each of the first, third, fifth, and seventh frames. His only run allowed came in the fourth when he got into a bases-loaded situation with one out. The run scored on a groundball where only the front end of a double-play was completed with a force at second. He retired the next hitter to limit the damage. That would be it for the Cardinals as they finished 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position on the game while leaving only six men on base.
The Miracle took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as Alex Kirilloff blasted a solo home run to right field.
Also in the clip above was Royce Lewis, who led off the third inning with a single, stole second base to get into scoring position, and would later score on a Ryan Costello single to make it 2-0. Jose Miranda followed Costello with a double and it was a 3-0 lead for the home team in game one.
After closing it to 3-1 against Cutura in the fourth, the Cardinals wouldn’t get any more good opportunities until the ninth inning. Righthander Ryan Mason replaced Cutura for the eighth and set the hitters down in order. Back out for the ninth, an error from Travis Blankenhorn and single from the next hitter put the tying runners on base, but Mason locked it down from there. He coaxed a double-play ball out of the next hitter, and then picked up a strikeout to punctuate the game one victory in Fort Myers.
The lineup for the Miracle managed just six hits but was enough where it counted, on the scoreboard. Kirilloff finished 2-for-4 and was the only batter with multiple hits. Costello was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. As a team they were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels and Beloit Snappers will start their Midwest League playoff series on Wednesday night in Beloit. Games two and three (if necessary) will be in Cedar Rapids. Right-hander Jhoan Duran takes the hill in game one, after finishing 7-5 with a 3.75 ERA in the Midwest League on the year. He went 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in six starts for the Kernels after coming over in the Eduardo Escobar trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Elizabethton 7, Princeton 4
A couple of big blasts from Elizabethton hitters were the difference in this one as they took game one of the Appalachian League Championship series.
The Twins got the scoring started in the top of the first as Gilberto Celestino drew a two-out walk that was followed by a Chris Williams home run for an early 2-0 lead.
Princeton stormed ahead 3-2 after two innings thanks to an RBI triple and home run off Elizabethton starter Austin Schulfer. For the next three innings however, Schulfer faced the minimum as his lineup took back the lead for him.
In the top of the fourth it was the second of those home runs that put them back out front, this one off the bat of Jean Carlos Arias to also score Alex Robles who had singled a batter earlier. That made the score 4-3 Elizabethton. They stretched that lead to 5-3 in the top of the sixth when Williams led off the inning with a single, and Robles delivered at two-out double to bring him in.
In the bottom half of the sixth the Rays got one more back against Schulfer as he hit the leadoff man with a pitch and then moved him to second on a wild-pitch. He later scored on a single to make it 5-4 in favor of the Twins.
In the top of the seventh Elizabethton added on a couple of insurance runs thanks to an RBI single off the bat of Yunior Severino, then a wild pitch after an intentional walk to Williams that loaded the bases.
Schulfer took his 7-4 lead in the seventh and delivered a one-two-three frame to end his night. Overall, he gave up four runs on eight hits in his seven innings to pick up the win. He struck out six.
Jacob Blank came on for the eighth inning and walked the two first hitters he faced, but from there he retired the next six hitters, including five strikeouts, to close out the game and pick up the save.
With thirteen hits as a team the Twins got multiple knocks from Severino (2-for-5, R, RBI, 2 K), Lean Marrero (2-for-5, 2B, K), Williams (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K), Robles (2-for-4, R, 2B, RBI), and Yeltsin Encarnacion (3-for-4, R).
Game two will start at 6:00PM CST time Wednesday night in Elizabethton.
STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Andro Cutura, Fort Myers Miracle (W, 7 IP, ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K)
Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Chris Williams, Elizabethton Twins (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K)
TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
#1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, R, SB
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Fort Myers) – 2-for-4, R, HR, RBI
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch
#5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Minnesota) – Did not pitch.
#6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off
#8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off
#10 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) – Did not pitch.
#11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off
#13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, 2 K
#15 - Ben Rortvedt (Fort Myers) – 0-for-3, 2 K
#16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) – 2-for-5, R, RBI, 2 K
#17 - Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – Out for the season.
#18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off
#19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off
WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30PM CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (5-7, 4.59 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (7:00PM CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (7-5, 3.75 ERA)
Princeton @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – TBD
Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
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