Twins Minor League Report (4/9): Opening Day!
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs (photos of Tyler Duffey, Brock Peterson)Remember also that there are plenty of Twins minor leaguers available in this year’s Adopt-A-Prospect. As of Friday morning at 9:00 central time, you can adopt a second prospect, if you haven’t already adopted a first prospect.
Let’s get to today’s report.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 6, Buffalo 3
The Rochester Red Wings began their 2015 season by heading west to Buffalo. They saw some familiar faces and came away with a win.
The starter for the Bisons was former Twins pitcher Andrew Albers. The Wings touched up Albers for four runs on eight hits and two walks in 4.2 innings. Bobby Korecky pitched the ninth inning for Buffalo and gave up two runs on two hits and a walk. At the plate, Chris Colabello batted fourth and went 0-3 with a walk.
Much of the offense came from the bats of Aaron Hicks and Brock Peterson. Hicks led off and went 2 for 3 with two walks and a home run. He also made a sprawled-out, diving catch early in the game. Brock Peterson batted cleanup. He went 3 for 4 with a walk, a home run and three RBI. Reynaldo Rodriguez also added two hits. Josmil Pinto added a double.
Alex Meyer got the win for the Red Wings on Opening Day, though he would likely tell you it wasn’t his finest outing. The right-hander went five innings and gave up three earned runs on four hits and six walks. He struck out three batters, but clearly, his control was not where it needs to be. Just 44 of his 87 pitches were strikes. He left the game after the first two batters of the 6th inning reached against him. Logan Darnell came on and allowed both runs to score, but he maintained a 4-3 lead. AJ Achter was perfect for the seventh and eighth innings. Michael Tonkin got the save. He struck out two and walked one in the ninth inning.
LOOKOUTS LOOK-INS or CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 3, Montgomery 4
This was a solid performance for the Lookouts right up until the bottom of the ninth inning. They entered the inning with a 3-0 lead thanks to an insurance, solo home run by Miguel Sano. Nick Burdi came on for the save opportunity. Unfortunately, that’s when things got weird. Burdi walked the first two batters before giving up a single to load the bases. There was hope when Burdi struck out the next two batters. However, he walked the next two men and the lead was cut to 3-2. Cole Johnson was summoned from the bullpen. He gave up a bloop single to center field. Byron Buxton came up throwing, but the winning run scored just ahead of his throw. A 3-0 lead became a 4-3 loss in a hurry.
Pitching wins, right? Well, usually, and if that’s true, then Tyler Duffey did a great job of giving his team a good chance to win on Thursday night. The right-hander, who ended the 2014 season with three starts in Rochester, went the first 6.2 innings for the Lookouts. He gave up no runs on four hits. He walked just one and struck out ten batters. Duffey left the game with a runner on third base and two outs. Lefty Ryan O’Rourke was brought into the game to face a lefty, and as he did time and again in 2014, he struck out that batter. O’Rourke got one out in the 8th inning as well, also on a strikeout. That’s when Jake Reed came on. Stuart Turner threw out a would-be base stealer for the second out, and Reed got the third out himself, a strikeout on a nasty slider. That got the team to the ninth inning, and I don’t need to go through that again, do I?
Of course, people want to talk about the potential of the Lookouts offense, too. Though it wasn’t a great offensive night for the team, Miguel Sano did hit his first home run of the season, a long blast over the wall. It was his first hit of the game. He had three strikeouts coming into that at-bat. There were a lot of strikeouts. Byron Buxton and Adam Brett Walker each struck out three times, and Mike Gonzales took the golden sombrero, with four strikeouts. On the positive side, Jorge Polanco and Dalton Hicks both had two hits. Hicks had a double and an RBI. Polanco had the other RBI.
Ft. Myers 0, Charlotte 2
The Miracle made the trek north to Charlotte to open their season against the Stone Crabs. The team faced Rays starter Drew Smyly who is on a rehab assignment. Smyly set down the six Miracle batters he faced, and yet, he wasn’t even the best pitcher for the Stone Crabs in this one. Lefty Blake Snell was the Rays’ supplemental first-round pick in 2011 out of high school. He came on and struck out ten Miracle batters in six shutout, three-hit innings. Brad Schreiber (a one-time Twins draft pick – who didn’t sign) made things interesting in the ninth inning, but held the Miracle scoreless for the save.
Kohl Stewart was awarded the Opening Day start for the Miracle. He came through with a quality start. The strong-armed right-hander worked six innings and gave up just two runs. He gave up five hits, walked four and struck out five. He had just one perfect inning. He was consistently hitting 94 and 95 mph. Luke Westphal made his affiliated baseball debut. The left-hander from LaCrosse who played independent ball the last two seasons before going to Australia to play this winter worked a perfect seventh inning, striking out one. Minnesotan Madison Boer also worked a perfect inning with a strikeout.
Unfortunately, due to some impressive pitching, the Miracle bats were unable to put much together. Niko Goodrum led off. He had two hits in four at-bats. The rest of the lineup added just three more hits.
Cedar Rapids 7, Kane County 2
It may be hard to believe when you see that final score, but this was a pitcher’s duel for much of the game. Through four innings, the two teams combined for just one hit. The Kernels took the lead with three runs in the sixth inning and then broke things open with three more in the ninth. Mat Batts was tremendous on the mound, and Nick Gordon had an impressive Midwest League debut.
Batts, the left-hander from UNC-Wilmington, gave up just one run on two hits and two walks in 5.2 innings. He struck out seven. At one point, he went 14 batters between base runners. Jared Wilson came on and got four outs without any further damage. Wilson is scheduled to start on Tuesday. Cameron Booser came on and threw two innings. He walked one and struck out one in the 8th inning. In the ninth, he gave up a run, though he also had to get four outs when a strikeout went to the backstop and the runner got on base. It is his first save. He struck out three in two innings.
Nick Gordon made his Midwest League debut. He got on base his first two plate appearances, a walk and reached on an error. Soon after, he hit a triple down the right field line, and in the ninth, he singled in a run. He was 2-4 with a walk on the day. Zach Larson was 2-4, but he also got hit by a pitch. He stole two bases. Trey Vavra, Jhonatan Hinojosa and Brian Navarreto all went 2-4 as well.
TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Duffey, Chattanooga Lookouts
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Brock Peterson, Rochester Red Wings
FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Buffalo (1:05 CST) – LHP Taylor Rogers
Chattanooga @ Montgomery (7:05 CST) – RHP JO Berrios
Charlotte @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) – RHP Aaron Slegers
Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) – RHP John Curtiss
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games.
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