Twins Minor League Report (4/5): Opening Night Fever
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Ryan Walker)The three Twins affiliates opened their seasons by playing some competitive games. Two of the games were decided by one run and the other by two. We saw a little of everything. Some good hitting. Some good pitching. Some bad hitting and pitching too. Phil Hughes made a Miracle start. Continue on to find out more.
RED WINGS REPORT
The Red Wings open their 2018 season on Friday night with Aaron Slegers on the mound.
Chattanooga 4, Birmingham 5
The Lookouts made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Ryan Walker and Nick Gordon singled, but a game-ending double play hit into by Edgar Corcino ended the threat and the game.
When the pitching staff strikes out 14 batters, you expect to win. However, when the same pitching staff walks ten, well, that just doesn’t work well. Walks definitely came back to haunt the Lookouts.
Zack Littell got the Opening Day call. The right-hander left the game with one on and one out in the fifth inning with the Lookouts leading 3-1. Ryan Eades came on and finished out the inning but not before walking four batters and allowing the game to be tied. Littell ended the game having given up two runs on five hits and two walks in 4.1 innings. He struck out seven including three in the second inning. Eades did work a scoreless sixth inning.
Todd Van Steensel came on and gave up two runs on three hits and three walks. He struck out two, but the walks were followed by doubles which isn’t a good combination, I mean, if you’re rooting for the pitching team. Finally, Williams Ramirez got the final five outs. He walked one, but he struck out four.
Nick Gordon and Ryan Walker led the offense. Gordon got things going with a leadoff triple and a run scored in the bottom of the first. He added three more singles and went 4-5 in the game. Ryan Walker doubled in his first at-bat, and he hit his first home run of the season in his second at-bat. He went 3-4. Chris Paul was 2-4 with a double.
Ft. Myers 4, Charlotte 3
Phil Hughes made a rehab start for the Miracle as he prepares to make the April 11th start for the Minnesota Twins. The veteran right-hander worked the first five innings. He gave up three runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out five. Two of the three runs came in that fifth inning.
Hughes was replaced by the regularly-scheduled starter, lefty Anthony Marzi. He struck out four batters over three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and walked one. Sean Poppen, who will likely be the sixth starter for the Miracle, came on for the ninth inning and recorded the save. It was the first save of his pro career. He gave up one hit, but he struck out two.
The Miracle bats took a few innings to get going. Through three innings and ten batters, the team had just one hit. In the fourth, Mitchell Kranson and Caleb Hamilton singled. Lewin Diaz came on and knocked in both runners with a double. The next inning, Aaron Whitefield doubled Brandon Lopez to third base. Kranson followed with a two-run double of his own. That was it for the Miracle scoring.
Kranson and Caleb Hamilton each went 2-4 in the game. Travis Blankenhorn added a double later in the game.
Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 0
The Kernels headed south a few hours to take on the Quad Cities River Bandits and came away with a nice shutout.
Lefty Bryan Sammons was given the Opening Day start and came through. He gave up three hits over four shutout innings. He walked none and struck out six. Jovani Moran came on for the fifth inning and didn’t let anyone put the ball in play. The southpaw walked three but struck out three in a scoreless inning. Right-hander Jared Finkel came on and worked three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, walked one and didn’t record a strikeout. Ryan Mason came on for the ninth inning to record the save. He struck out one.
Unfortunately, with one out in the ninth inning, Ben Rortvedt had to leave the game. A foul tip struck his throwing hand, and he was clearly in pain. He tried to move his fingers and even played catch with first baseman Ben Rodriguez. After the second throw, which sailed over Rodriguez’s head, Rortvedt walked off the field, replaced by David Banuelos.
The Kernels didn’t have a lot of offense, but Shane Carrier carried the offense on this night. In the first inning, Akil Baddoo and Royce Lewis walked. After a fielder’s choice, Carrier knocked in Baddoo with a sacrifice fly. In the fourth inning, Carrier launched his first home run of the season. He went 2-3 in the game. Andrew Bechtold was 2-2 with two walks, a double and a stolen base. Trey Cabbage went 1-3 with a walk.
STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Ryan Walker/Nick Gordon, Chattanooga Lookouts
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Bryan Sammons, Cedar Rapids Kernels
TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
#1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 0-2, 2 BB, K, SB
#3 - Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) - 4-5, 3B, RBI, K
#5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4
#7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-4, K
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, 2 BB, 3 K, SB
#11 - Zack Littell (Chattanooga) - 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
#13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K
#14 - LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) - 1-4
#15 - Mitch Garver (Minnesota) - 1-4, first Major League home run
#16 - Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4
#17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B, 2 K
FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Buffalo @ Rochester (5;05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers
Birmingham @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves
Charlotte @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - RHP Tyler Wells
Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:35 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina
Please feel free to ask any questions about Thursday’s Opening Day games, or ask any questions you may have.
- Han Joelo, pbrezeasap, Cory Engelhardt and 7 others like this