Twins Minor League Report (5/17): We Have a Royce Lewis Liftoff
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Royce Lewis)TRANSACTIONS
-Luis Arraez was recalled by the Twins, filling a roster spot opened up when Nelson Cruz was placed on the IL.
-Kody Funderburk was activated from extended spring training and assigned to Fort Myers.
-Albee Weiss was activated from extended spring and assigned to Cedar Rapids. The Kernels placed Gabe Snyder on the temporary inactive list.
RED WINGS REPORT
Durham 9, Rochester 5
Devin Smeltzer: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 65.3% strikes (49 of 75 pitches)
HR: Drew Maggi (3), Jake Cave (1)
Multi-hit games: LaMonte Wade (2-for-4), Cave (2-for-4, 2B, HR), Wilin Rosario (2-for-4)
So Devin Smeltzer is human after all. He came into this start having given up just two earned runs over 45 innings between Pensacola and Rochester, but gave up four in this start. Trevor Hildenberger made his first minor league appearance since June 21, 2017. It did not go well. He gave up four runs on three hits, a walk and a wild pitch in his inning of work.
All the scoring for the Red Wings came via the long ball. Jake Cave hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and Drew Maggi hit a three-run shot in the seventh.
BLUE WAHOO BITES
Mobile 8, Pensacola 2
Sean Poppen: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 68.3% (56 of 82 pitches)
Multi-hit games: None
How often does a team get assists from all three of its outfielders? That was an oddity that occured in tonight’s game, as left fielder Travis Blankenhorn and center fielder Jaylin Davis both cut down runners at the plate and right fielder Alex Kirilloff nailed a runner at third.
The Pensacola lineup couldn’t make the most of their opportunities tonight. Despite drawing eight walks, the Blue Wahoos scored just two runs. They were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. Alex Kirilloff had the team’s lone extra-base hit, his second double of the season. He also drew two of those walks.
Sean Poppen held the BayBears to three runs over the first 5 2/3 innings, but things got a little sloppy in the final three innings. Three runs scored while Sam Clay was on the mound, though just one was earned, and Cody Stashak surrendered a pair of runs in his two innings of work.
St. Lucie 2, Fort Myers 1 (10 innings)
Tyler Watson: 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 63.2% strikes (55 of 87 pitches)
HR: Royce Lewis (1)
Multi-hit games: Lewin Diaz (2-for-4)
In his 38th game of the season, Royce Lewis finally has a home run. That has to be a relief. The Florida State League can very tough on hitters, and No. 1 overall picks are no exception. Lewis, who was the DH today, hit a 1-1 pitch grooved right over the middle of the plate over the left field wall to put Fort Myers up in the top of the first inning.
Unfortunately, that was the only run the Miracle scored all game. Tyler Watson pitched great, giving up just one run over 7 1/3 innings. Hector Lujan held on through the ninth, but he allowed the bonus runner to score on a double in the top of the 10th inning. The Fort Myers bats were retired in order in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
Speaking of how the FSL can be tough on a hitter, how about that Lewin Diaz!? He followed up a monster game in which he went 4-for-5 with three homers by collecting a couple of singles. He’s 18-for-50 so far in May (.360).
Cedar Rapids 6, Clinton 5 (11 innings)
Tyler Palm: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 64.9% strikes (61 of 94 pitches)
HR: Jared Akins (3)
The Kernels just wouldn’t go away in this one. Trailing 3-0 with two outs in the top of the eighth inning, Jared Akins hit a game-tying homer. He fell behind 1-2 in that at bat, battled back to work the count full and then unleashed on a pitch left over the plate.
Cedar Rapids managed to scratch across a run in the top of the 10th. Clinton answered, but they were unable to finish things off despite having the bases loaded with one out. Zach Neff got the second out on a strikeout and induced a grounder to end the threat.
Akins scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th on a wild pitch and Yeltsin Encarnacion plated what ended up being a massive insurance run with a single. Neff went back out for his third inning of work to try to secure a well-fought Kernels victory.
Neff struck out the first batter he faced but allowed the bonus runner to score on a double. With Cedar Rapids now clinging to a one-run lead, Neff struck out the next two batters he faced to finish things off. He had seven strikeouts in his three innings of about the highest-leverage work you could imagine.
STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Zach Neff, Cedar Rapids
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Jared Akins, Cedar Rapids
TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed
1. Royce Lewis (FM): 1-for-4, HR
2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 1-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, OF assist
4. Trevor Larnach (FM): 0-for-3, BB, 2 K
13. Ryan Jeffers (FM): 0-for-4, K
14. Ben Rortvedt (PNS): 1-for-4, R
16. Gilberto Celestino (CR): 1-for-6, 2 K
18. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 2-for-4, R
20. Jose Miranda (FM): 1-for-4, K
SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester at Durham, 5:35 pm CT (Lewis Thorpe)
Pensacola vs. Mobile, 6:05 pm CT (Jorge Alcala)
Fort Myers vs. St. Lucie, 5:00 pm CT (Melvi Acosta)
Cedar Rapids at Clinton, 6:30 pm CT (Cole Sands)
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
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