Twins Minor League Report (5/8): Slegers and a Slugfest
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Mark Contreras)To find out how all of your favorite Twins prospects fared on Tuesday night, keep reading and add to the discussion in the comments!
There were a couple of moves made in the Twins minor league system on Tuesday:
-In the Florida State League third baseman Carson Crites was transferred to the extended spring training roster from Fort Myers while catcher Robert Molina was brought up to the Miracle.
-More noteworthy was the placement of right-handed pitcher Brusdar Graterol on the seven-day disabled list for Cedar Rapids with lower back spasms. The move is retroactive to May 6th so the top prospect could be back to pitching as early as this coming Monday.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 2, Buffalo 1
In his last game against Lehigh Valley on May 3rd, Rochester starting pitcher Aaron Slegers had his streak of 17 minor league starts without a loss broken by the Iron Pigs. He did all he could in this game to start a new one.
Over seven innings, Slegers scattered four hits and one walk, while striking out five. His only earned run came in the fourth inning, as the leadoff man doubled and would come around to score after consecutive groundouts. He then retired ten in a row after that double and erased a single with a double-play ball in the seventh to finish his night. 54 of his 83 pitches on the game went for strikes and he killed worms to the tune of ten groundouts to one flyout.
The Red Wings offense took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning thanks to a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kennys Vargas to score Jermaine Curtis, who had led off the inning with a walk. Curtis also drew a walk to lead off the game and another in the fifth, marking his 17th straight game reaching base safely at least once.
Rochester added another run in the fifth thanks to doubles from Willians Astudillo and James Ramsey that put Slegers in line for the win when he exited.
Tyler Duffey was brought on for the eighth inning and worked around a leadoff walk to pitch a scoreless frame and pick up his first hold on the season. He struck out one.
With the score still 2-1, the Red Wings summoned right-hander John Curtiss for the ninth inning and his first save opportunity of the year. He delivered a one-two-three inning on just seven pitches, punching out the final hitter for the exclamation point.
The teams combined for just nine hits on the game, with Rochester edging Buffalo 5-to-4. The Bisons however were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position while the Red Wings were 2-for-5.
Jackson 8, Chattanooga 9 (10 innings)
The top two teams in the Southern League North Division got into a slugfest on Tuesday night and it didn’t seem like either of them wanted to hold on for the win as leads changed or became tied eight times on the game.
They traded jabs through the first four innings with the Jackson Generals plating single runs in the first, third, and fourth innings while Chattanooga pushed one across in the each of the first and third frames for a 3-2 score going into the bottom of the fifth. That is when the Lookouts landed the first haymaker of the bout in the form of a three-run homer off the bat of T.J. White. It was White’s fourth of the year and gave them their first lead of the game at 5-3.
With the score 5-4 in the seventh, Chattanooga landed a good combo as a single, walk, and hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, before another walk scored one and a single from Edgar Corcino brought in two more for an 8-4 lead.
Jackson finally landed an uppercut in the top of the ninth, as a two-run triple was followed by a sac fly to tie the game at eight and leave the decision up to the scorecards of the judges (err… extra innings).
Fortunately for the Lookouts, they’d still get the chance to tally a knockout in this one as a they kept the Generals from scoring with a runner starting on second base in the top of the tenth. In their half of the frame and with two outs, Jackson decided to intentionally walk Zander Wiel, and after he took second base on defensive indifference, also put Chris Paul on base. That brought up second baseman Alex Perez, and his grounder toward first base finally put the Generals on the canvas thanks to a fielding error.
The teams combined for twenty-nine hits, went 9-for-39 (39!) with runners in scoring position, and left twenty-five men on base for the game. Despite the seventeen combined runs, there were still a lot punches that didn’t land.
Lookouts starter Kohl Stewart also actually delivered a quality start. In six innings he allowed three runs (two earned) by scattering ten hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out six. Of his 100 pitches, 62 went for strikes including eight swings and misses. He struck out his final two hitters to finish strong.
Anthony McIver picked up his third hold of the season by pitching two innings with his team out front. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out four. Zack Jones blew his first save of the year, but also picked up his first win in extras. He allowed three runs on two hits and struck out three in his two innings.
Chattanooga’s lineup got multi-hit efforts from Nick Gordon, Paul, Brian Navarreto, and White. Paul scored three runs, White drove in three, and Perez drew three walks to lead the offense.
Charlotte 3, Fort Myers 6
Early season standout Tyler Wells got the start for the Miracle, and despite allowing only two runs, was able to make it only through four innings before his pitch count rose too high. That was not thanks to walks as he allowed only one on the game, but the Charlotte lineup was able to work good at-bats and chipped away with five hits against the right-hander.
The first of those hits allowed came courtesy of the game’s first hitter, as Lucius Fox greeted Wells with a solo home run on his first pitch.
The home team got that run back just as quickly, as Mark Contreras led off the game for Fort Myers by clubbing his first home run in the Florida State League to tie it at one.
In the second inning Charlotte strung together the lone walk and a couple of singles to go up 2-1 and the score remained that way when Wells exited the game.
Reliever Tom Hackimer returned from the disabled list to make his 2018 debut in the fifth inning and he pitched into the sixth. He recorded five outs, but also allowed a run on three hits and two walks. He struck out one.
With two outs in the sixth, Ryan Mason came on and intentionally walked his first batter to load the bases and bring force outs all around the bases into play. It paid off, as he got a grounder to third base to end the threat and keep the Miracle within two.
In the bottom of the inning Contreras added his second FSL home run, a solo shot to left-center field and Jaylin Davis later added his second of the season as well, a two-run shot to put Fort Myers out front 4-3.
They would add two more runs in the eighth courtesy of a Joe Cronin double, Lewin Diaz RBI single, and an RBI ground-rule double from Taylor Grzelakowski. It was Grzelakowski’s second double of the game and sixth on the season. He finished 3-for-4 and the multi-hit night was his sixth such effort in his last twelve games.
Mason finished the game for the Miracle to pick up his second win of the season. In his 3 1/3 innings he allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out three to lower his ERA on the season to 1.53.
Cedar Rapids 6, Dayton 8
The Kernels struck early and often in this one, building up a 6-0 lead before the Dragons were able to fire back. And unfortunately for Cedar Rapids, they did so with some Khaleesi level “dracarys.”
Akil Baddoo got it started for the Kernels from the words “play ball,” as he led off the game by drawing a walk. Royce Lewis followed with a slow-roller single to third base, and the throw sailed on the first baseman allowing Baddoo to make it all the way home. Lewis later scored on a Ben Rortvedt single with the bases loaded, but another run was cut down at home on the same play to end the inning.
In the third Alex Kirilloff clubbed his twelfth double of the year (ranking second in the MWL) and scored on another error from the Dayton defense to make it 3-0 in Cedar Rapids favor.
In the fourth it was again the top of the order that came through to break the game open. With two outs, number nine hitter Jordan Gore got the hitting started with his first double of the season. Baddoo and Lewis then followed suit, notching their first and second doubles of the year respectively, to score two. Kirilloff made it 6-0 Kernels with an RBI single before the Dragons could get out of the inning.
The bottom of the fourth is when the Dayton lineup finally broke through against starter Tyler Watson. A single and a double put them on the scoreboard, and they pulled within two after a three-run homer off the bat of John Sansone.
Watson came back out for the fifth and worked a scoreless inning. On the game, he allowed the four earned runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out four.
Nick Brown was the first reliever summoned and pitched a scoreless sixth frame. Back out for the seventh however, it unraveled a bit for the righty out of the College of William and Mary. A hit batter and four hits, including a bases-clearing double, led to four runs on the scoreboard and an 8-6 lead for the Dragons. Moises Gomez would finish the game for Cedar Rapids with a scoreless inning.
The Kernels offense put a runner in scoring position in each of their final three at-bats, but were unable to get the big hit they had gotten earlier in the game and fall to 14-12 on the season.
The top three hitters in the lineup (Baddoo, Lewis, and Kirilloff) combined to go 6-for-12 with five runs scored, three walks, three doubles, and three runs batted in, but the rest of the offense finished just 4-26. They were 5-for-15 overall with runners in scoring position, leaving ten men on base. Baddoo stole his eighth base of the year, while Gore added his third and fourth.
STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers (W, 7 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 5 K)
Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Mark Contreras, Fort Myers Miracle (2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI)
TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – 2-5, 2 R, 2B (2), RBI, K
3. Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 2-6, R, 2 K
5. Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4, R, 2B (12), RBI, BB
7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 0-5, BB, K
10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 2-3, 2 R, 2B (1), RBI, 2 BB
13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 2-4, RBI
15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – 1-3
16. Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) – 1-5, RBI, 2 K
WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Buffalo (12:05PM CST) – LHP Dietrich Enns (1-3, 4.50 ERA)
Jackson @ Chattanooga (6:15PM CST) – RHP Omar Bencomo (1-0, 2.01 ERA)
Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (0-3, 5.14 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (6:00PM CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (0-1, 19.29 ERA)
Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
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