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Twins Minor League Report (5/25): Vargas and Berrios Continue Their Strong Months

The Minnesota Twins finished their five game road trip vs. the National League on Sunday, with a defeat at the hands of Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants to finish off a sweep. The Twins return home tomorrow to face the Texas Rangers on Memorial Day, looking to get their record on the season back to .500.

Down on the farm, the Twins affiliates received some strong pitching performances, including another one from a top prospect, on their way to a 3-1 day at the ballpark.

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 6, Sranton/Wilkes-Barre 2
Box Score

Kris Johnson took the mound for the Red Wings, and put in his best effort of the year, in which he has had many. On the season Johnson now sports a 4-2 record with a 2.11 ERA. In this game the lefty worked eight innings, allowing a single run in both the first and second innings, before settling in to face the minimum over the next six frames. He retired eighteen in a row at one point, before issuing a walk in the eighth inning, which he followed up by inducing an inning ending double play. Overall on the night Johnson allowed four hits and three walks with the two earned runs, and five strikeouts. A.J. Achter came in for the ninth inning and allowed only a walk.

The offense struck for three runs in the fifth inning to take the lead, and added two insurance runs in the sixth. Almost all of the offense came from the number 5, 6, and 7 hitters in the Red Wings lineup: Wilkin Ramirez, Dan Rohlfing, and Doug Bernier, respectively. Ramirez was 2-4 with a double and 2 runs scored; Rohlfing was 2-3 with two doubles, a walk, RBI, and two runs scored and Bernier was 3-5 with a run scored, two RBI and a stolen base.

ROCK CATS REVIEW
New Britain 1, Binghamton 3
Box Score

New Britain got the scoring started early, courtesy of an RBI double in the first inning off the bat of the red hot slugger Kennys Vargas. Unfortunately for them, this would be the only non-goose egg they would put up on the scoreboard all night. They left six runners on-base, and were 0-6 with RISP in the game. Vargas would add two more hits to finish 3-4, and increased his batting average on the year to .331. Danny Ortiz and A.J. Petterson each added a double.

On the mound, the Rock Cats got a quality start from Sean Gilmartin, but it was not enough to overcome the lack of offense. Gilmartin went six innings, allowing seven hits, two walks and a hit batter, while striking out five. Jim Fuller came on for the seventh inning and loaded the bases with two walks and a single, before escaping with no damage after a flyout to centerfield. He also struck out two in between the baserunners. Matthew Summers finished the game, allowing only one walk.

The switch-hitting Vargas deserves further mention. After starting the year (relatively) slowly, with a .278/.363/.443 line in April, he has taken off in the month of May. In his last ten games, Vargas' batting line is .412/.500/.588, and over the entire month he has hit .381/.454/.643 with seven doubles, five home runs and 20 RBI. He has also walked just as often as he has struck out (12 times). We were all disappointed when Miguel Sano went down for the year with an elbow injury, but Vargas is more than filling in the organizational power void that many envisioned.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 6, Jupiter 1
Box Score

Starter Jose Berrios was looking to build off his ten strikeout performance his last time out and he didn’t disappoint. On this night, the righty threw six fantastic innings, allowing only one earned on seven hits and a walk, while striking out seven. In his last four turns through the rotation, Twins Daily’s number six prospect has pitched 24.1 innings, allowing 17 hits and 10 walks, with 32 strikeouts and only 3 earned runs (1.11 ERA).

Mason Melotakis and Tyler Jones finished off the win for the Miracle, combining for three shutout innings. Jones picked up his fourth save.

Dalton Hicks, Max Kepler, and Stuart Turner all collected two hits. Travis Harrison and Kepler each had a double, with Kepler’s being of the bases-clearing variety to add three runs to scoreboard in the eighth inning. While Harrison’s current home run total on the season doesn’t reflect his power potential, his double was his fifteenth on the season and he now ranks third in the FSL in that category. This also extended Harrison’s hitting streak to fifteen games, a period during which he is batting .385 with seven doubles. Niko Goodrum was the only hitter in the Miracle lineup who did not record a hit, but he did draw a walk and scored a run.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 6, Beloit 5
Box Score

The leadoff man for the Kernels, J.D. Williams, started the team off on the right foot, by doubling to start the game and coming around to score on a Chad Christensen single. Williams wasn’t done after that either, as he finished the game 3-5 with an RBI, the double and two runs scored. Tanner Vavra and Jason Kanzler each had two hits on the night, with Kanzler slugging a solo home run in the second inning, his fifth of the year. The Kernels were forced to make a comeback late in the game, and the final tally would come off the bat of Bryan Haar, who hit his seventh home run in the top of the eighth to put the Kernels out front.

Josue Montanez got the start, and went five innings. He left the game down 5-4, before the Kernels were able to make their comeback and leave him with a no-decision. All five of the runs were earned, and were courtesy of six hits and four walks. Jared Wilson came in to pitch the sixth and seventh innings, allowing only one walk and striking out two. Todd Van Steensel would finish the game with two shutout innings, and picked up his third save.

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher – Jose Berrios, Fort Myers Miracle (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 H’s, 1 BB, 7 K’s)
Hitter – Kennys Vargas, New Britain Rock Cats (3-4, 2B, RBI)

MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Syracuse @ Rochester – Trevor May (3-3, 3.35 ERA), 12:05PM CST
New Britain @ Binghamton – TBD, 12:05PM CST
Fort Myers – Scheduled off day
Cedar Rapids @ Beloit – Kohl Stewart (1-1, 2.21 ERA), 2:00PM CST


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