Twins Minor League Report (6/16): Kernels Clinch Wild Card
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Jared Akins)To find out how all of that went down and what happened in the rest of the action in the minors on Sunday, keep reading!
The following transactions were made after the Kernels doubleheader (and subsequent celebration):
The Twins on Sunday also announced their minor league player of the week awards:
- Willians Astudillo was named the hitter of the week after demolishing triple-A after being optioned from the bigs. He went 15-25 in six games on the week with three home runs, nine RBI, six runs scored and a 1.553 OPS.
- For the second week in a row, Sean Poppen was named the pitcher of the week after striking out nine and allowing just one earned run on five hits in six innings on Thursday against the Columbus Clippers.
RED WINGS REPORT
Charlotte 5, Rochester 11 (completion of game suspended 6/15)
The bats for both teams got going early in this one before it was suspended in the bottom of the third inning yesterday.
The Knights knocked around Red Wings Starter Chase De Jong for five runs on five hits in his three innings, including a solo home run. De Jong struck out four. On the flip side Rochester’s lineup responded with a six-run bottom of the inning before the rains took over with two outs and a runner still on base. Four singles were followed by consecutive doubles from Winston Sawyer and Jordany Valdespin that led to the outburst and 7-5 lead for the home team.
When play resumed on Sunday Ryan Eades was the pitcher and it was his first action since being optioned back to Triple-A. He was perfect in two innings, striking out three along the way and as he completed the fifth inning he was in line for the win. Fernando Romero then went three innings to get his team through the eighth, and he allowed two hits and walked two, but no runs along with striking out one. He threw 46 pitches with 29 of them going for strikes (63%). Preston Guilmet finished the game with a one-two-three ninth, including a strikeout to punctuate the victory.
The Red Wings offense added plenty of insurance in the bottom of the seventh as LaMonte Wade and Tomas Telis each clubbed a two-run homer, leading to the final score of 11-5.
Valdespin (3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI) and Willians Astudillo (3-for-5, 2 R) paced the offense with three hits apiece. Every hitter in the lineup collected a base hit and they struck out only four times.
Charlotte 2, Rochester 3 (regularly scheduled game, 7 innings)
With the extra game being played on the day, this one went only seven innings, and it was just the right amount for the home team.
Down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Red Wings put together a rally capped off by RBI single from Luis Arraez that walked it off.
Jake Cave got the rally started by leading off the inning with his fifth home run. LaMonte Wade later tied the game at two with a sacrifice fly before Arraez stepped in with two outs and a runner on third. Arraez (2-for-4, RBI) and Drew Maggi (2-for-3, 2B) each had multiple hits while the team finished 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position to capitalize on their chances when it counted as they left only five men on base for the game.
Making the start for Rochester was lefthander Devin Smeltzer, and he finished one out shy of another quality outing. In 5 2/3 he allowed two runs on five hits while cutting down 10 Knights hitters. He gave up a leadoff home run in the sixth that was followed by a double but buckled down to strike the next two men out (including #OldFriend Daniel Palka) before his day was done.
Jake Reed came on for the final out of the sixth and finished the seventh to pick up his third win of the year. He allowed no hits, walked one, and struck out one.
BLUE WAHOOS BITES
Tennessee 3, Pensacola 2
Griffin Jax took the mound for the Blue Wahoos on Father’s Day and cruised through the first three innings. But the Smokies chipped away at him to start the fourth with three straight singles and a sac bunt led to his exit after picking up a strikeout for the second out. Jax finished 3 2/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out just one. Andro Cutura came on and walked a batter to load the bases before getting a strikeout to escape the jam. Cutura would finish the next four innings and ended up allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk while striking out two. Anthony Vizcaya pitched a one-two-three ninth, striking out one, and gave a chance to his team in the bottom of the ninth down by just one.
Penscola closed the lead in this game to 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning as three singles, a walk, and a sac fly led to two runs scored. But that was just about all for the Blue Wahoos on the day as they combined for just six hits (all singles) and three walks. They finished 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left only seven men on base. First baseman Randy Cesar was 2-for-4 with a run scored while Tanner English went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Scheduled day off
The Fort Myers Miracle had the day off on Sunday as the Florida State League All- Star break comes to a close. The defending champions were the South Division first half winners, so they have already clinched a playoff spot at the end of the year to defend that title. They will open up the second half of the season against the Charlotte Stone Crabs at home on Monday.
Clinton 1, Cedar Rapids 4 (completion of game suspended 6/15)
Like their friends in Triple-A, the Kernels also had their game from yesterday suspended early, this one in the top of the second with Cedar Rapids up 2-0.
They had taken that lead in the bottom of the first thanks to a two-run bomb from left fielder Jared Akins, his eighth of the year that would prove to be enough for the home team. Andrew Cabezas had started the game and walked one and struck out one. When play resumed, Kai-Wei Teng was on the mound for the Kernels. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run while scattering three hits and three walks and striking out six.
His day was done after a one-out hit-by-pitch that was followed by a single, bringing in Jose Martinez from the bullpen. He finished the sixth and the seventh, walking one and striking out one. With the score then 4-1 Cedar Rapids went to Moises Gomez to finish the game. In two innings he struck out five of the six hitters he faced, including all three in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his fourth save of the season. In his last 10 appearances, Gomez has gone 2+ innings seven times (1 2/3 IP in two others) while allowing just two runs in 19 innings. That’s good for a 0.95 ERA while allowing only seven hits and six walks but racking up 25 K’s. His WHIP is 0.94 on the season and I’d venture he has a good chance to be moving up to Fort Myers after the Midwest League All-Star break that starts on Monday.
The Kernels offense added insurance runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings thanks to an error that allowed Gabriel Maciel to scamper home after stealing second base, and a sac fly from Andrew Bechtold that followed a triple from Akins. Bechtold and Gabe Snyder joined Akins with two hits on the day.
Clinton 1, Cedar Rapids 8 (regularly scheduled game, 7 innings)
The Kernels jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to a big blast from Ben Rodriguez in the bottom of the first. His three-run shot scored Gabriel Maciel who had doubled to lead off the game for the home team and Gabe Snyder who drew a walk.
Starting pitcher Austin Schulfur kept the LumberKings at bay for the first four innings. He allowed one run on a solo homer in the second inning, but otherwise allowed no other hits or walks while striking out three. Zach Neff went the next two innings, striking out three and allowing two hits. Derek Molina was summoned for the seventh inning and closed it out with a scoreless frame. He allowed one hit and struck out two.
Cedar Rapids’ lineup tacked on three more runs in the fifth thanks to an RBI triple from Maciel, a fielder’s choice ground ball from Snyder that scored another, and an RBI single from Wander Javier. In the sixth, a two-RBI double from Snyder capped off the scoring for the Kernels.
The victory clinched a first-half wild card for the Kernels, so they will join the Fort Myers Miracle in postseason action in the Twins system. Congratulations fellas!
TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day – Devin Smeltzer, Rochester Red Wings (5.2IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 10 K)
Hitter of the Day – Jared Akins, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI)
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break)
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured list
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break)
#5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-8, RBI, 3 K (2 games)
#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 2-for-7, 2 R RBI, BB, 3 K (2 games)
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch
#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch
#9 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - No game (All Star Break)
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured list (Tommy John surgery)
#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-3, 2 K
#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break)
#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-for-4, K
#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list
#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-7, R, 3 K (2 games)
#17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota via Rochester) - Did not pitch
#18 - LaMonte Wade Jr. (Rochester) - 2-for-6, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, K (2 games)
#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break)
MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Pensacola Blue Wahoos - Southern League All Star Break
Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - TBD
Cedar Rapids Kernels - Midwest League All Star Break
Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games!
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