Twins Minor League Report (5/17): Wells Tosses Complete Game
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Lachlan Wells, Jermaine Palacios in background)Find out everything and more that happened happened in the Twins system on Wednesday night, starting with the transactions of the day.
Check out the transactions through the minor league system on Wednesday:
- Chattanooga placed RHP Todd Van Steensel on the disabled list with a groin strain. Taking his place is RHP Alex Wimmers (who had been sent to extended spring training on Monday from Rochester).
- Because of the doubleheader Thursday, the Twins are able to call up a 26th man. That player will be RHP Drew Rucinski.
Rochester 8, Lehigh Valley 11 (11 innings)
In his first four starts this season, lefty David Hurlbut gave up a total of four runs in 22.1 innings. He had his first clunker of 2017 on Wednesday night. He was charged with seven runs on nine hits (two homers) and a walk in just 3.2 innings. Alan Busenitz came on and was terrific. The hard-throwing right-hander gave up just one hit over 3.1 scoreless innings. He struck out five without issuing a walk. Michael Tonkin came in for the 8th inning, protecting a one-run lead. He gave up a solo homer to tie the game, but he then worked scoreless innings in the ninth and 10th innings. Kevin Chapman came in for the 11th frame. He gave up three runs (two earned) on three hits in the inning to take the loss.
The offense provided plenty of support. Byungho Park went 3-4 with his fourth double. JB Shuck was 3-4 with a walk and his fifth double. John Ryan Murphy went 2-5 with his third homer, a three-run shot. Matt Hague and Daniel Palka each went 2-5 with a double. It was Palka’s fifth and Matt Hague’s third.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Red Wings got to go through the Pat Venditte Experience. Venditte is the ambidextrous pitcher who has moved up and down from AAA to the big leagues the last few seasons.
The bases were loaded, but John Ryan Murphy grounded into a double play to end the threat to end the game.
For Lehigh Valley, old friend Pedro Florimon went 5-5 with a double and is hitting .349 on the season.
Chattanooga 6 Birmingham 8
It was an early start on Wednesday for the Lookouts. Their fifth and final game of a home series against Birmingham began at 11:15 local time. Following the game, the Lookouts headed to Biloxi for their next five-game series.
Down 2-0 in the third inning, TJ White, Ryan Strausborger and Nick Gordon hit doubles to tie the score at two. Then in the bottom of the fourth inning, Levi Michael added a two-run homer to put the Lookouts on top. It was his first homer of the season. They added two more on an Edgar Corcino single. But that was it for the offense. In fact, after that fourth inning, they didn’t have another hit. The one base runner reached on a walk and was erased immediately by a double play.
Felix Jorge was strong through six innings. He gave up an early two-run homer, but that was it. Until the seventh inning. He started the inning with a strikeout, but then he loaded the bases with a walk, a single and another walk. That’s when Mason Melotakis came in. Melotakis gave up a pinch-hit, grand slam and the game was tied. After recording the inning’s second out, he gave up a single which was followed by another home run. That gave the Kernels their 8-6 deficit that ended up being the final score.
Melotakis worked a scoreless eighth frame. John Curtiss did pitch the ninth inning as well. He has now pitched 13 games this season, and in 14.2 innings, he is yet to allow a run. He has 19 strikeouts. However, he’s also given up nine walks to go with nine hits.
TJ White was the lone Lookouts hitter with more than one hit. He went 2-4 with his first double.
Ft. Myers 3, Clearwater 1
Complete games are a rarity in minor league baseball. Pitch counts are more tightly monitored, and especially in the lower levels, the pitchers are young and will be taken care of.
However, on Wednesday night, lefty Lachlan Wells delivered a complete game in a Miracle win. Wells gave up a double to lead off the game. After a sacrifice bunt, the run scored on a ground ball. After that, it was eight straight shutout innings. In fact, only one more runner the whole game reached second base. He gave up the one run on four hits and two walks. He struck out four. Most important, he needed just 92 pitches (67 strikes) to complete the game and win his second game of the season and reduce his ERA to 3.51. No surprise. It was the first complete game of his career.
Offensively, the Miracle offense waited an inning to do their scoring. In the bottom of the second inning, Daniel Kihle launched a three-run homer, his third of the season. That was it for the Miracle offense, at least in terms of runs scored. After hitting a walk-off home run the night before, Chris Paul added two hits on Wednesday. Rafael Valera walked twice.
Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 4
It looked as if Wednesday’s Kernels game had the potential to be a long one. Through two innings, a combined ten runs had already been scored. However, just one more run was scored the rest of the game.
The Kernels got a two-run homer from Lewin Diaz in the bottom of the first inning, his fifth of the season. Sean Poppen gave up three runs in the top of the second frame, but the Kernels put up a five-spot in the bottom of the second inning. Aaron Whitefield drove in a run with a single before Jermaine Palacios launched a three-run homer, his fourth of the year. Two batters later, Mitchell Kranson hit his third homer of the year, a solo shot.
Palacios had been in a bit of a slump, seeing his average drop from .398 to .326 over the past 13 games during which he hit .196. However, on this day, he went 3-5 with his eighth double, fourth homer and he stole his sixth base. Mitchell Kranson went 3-4 with his 12th double and third home run. That’s two guys who ended the day a triple shy of the cycle.
Brandon Lopez went 3-4 with his second double. Aaron Whitefield went 3-5. Ben Rortvedt went 2-4 in the game.
Sean Poppen made the start. The right-hander from Harvard gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out five. He has completed six innings in all seven of his starts this season. Zach Tillery came on for his first appearance of the year and in a year. He gave up a run on three walks in his inning. It was his first appearance since May 7, 2016, with the Kernels. He missed the year with a shoulder injury. Alex Robinson recorded his second save with two shutout innings. He struck out four.
TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Lachlan Wells, Ft. Myers Miracle
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios/Mitchell Kranson, Cedar Rapids Kernels
THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (12:35 CST) - LHP Jason Wheeler
Chattanooga @ Biloxi (6:35 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero
Clearwater @ Ft. Myers (5:35 CST) - RHP Brady Anderson
Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 CST) - LHP Domenic Carlini IV
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Wednesday’s games.