Twins Minor League Report (6/18): Kernels Clinch
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailyRED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 3, Pawtucket 2 (Game 1- 8 Innings)
Rochester scored in each of the first two frames to take an early 2-0 lead. After a Matt Hague walk, singles from Mitch Garver and ByungHo Park plated the first run. JB Shuck was hit by a pitch to start the second. Bengie Gonzalez and Engelb Vielma were walked to load the bases. Zach Granite singled to push the score to 2-0 with no outs. Unfortunately, the Red Wings would score only one with the bases loaded and no outs.
Chris Heston started and allowed two earned runs on seven hits with a strikeout. Drew Rucinski didn't allow a run in two innings. Michael Tonkin picked up his second win after striking out four of the six batters he faced to end the game.
Seven innings wasn't enough to decide the first game of the doubleheader. Lucky enough for Rochester fans, Matt Hague didn't wait long into extra-frames. He led off the top of the eighth inning with his fifth home run of the season which turned out to be the game-winning knock.
Rochester 2, Pawtucket 1 (Game 2- 7 Innings)
Rochester found themselves in an early 1-0 hole but that's where the scoring would stop for the Red Sox. Tim Melville, in his second start with Rochester, pitched five innings and allowed one run. He danced around four walks and three hits but struck out four on the way to his first win. Trevor Hildenberger picked up save number five with two scoreless frames including three strikeouts.
JB Shuck started the third with a double, his 15th on the season. Bengie Gonzlez was the next batter and he reached on a throwing error which allowed Shuck to score. In the top of the fifth, Tommy Field singled and scored on a single from Shuck. The play included two errors from the Red Sox outfield so neither of the runs scored by Rochester were earned.
With two wins on Sunday, Rochester is now just one game under .500 at 32-33 on the season. They are 11 games out of first place in the International League North but they are only eight games back in the wild card race with plenty of baseball left to play.
Chattanooga 10, Tennessee 2
Chattanooga pounded out 12 hits and 10 runs on their way to the club's 42nd win this season. With the game tied at 1-1 in the top of the fourth, the Lookouts plated four runs. Ryan Walker started the inning with a single and moved to third on Nick Gordon's second double of the game. Levi Michael drove in one with a ground-out before LaMonte Wade added a run-scoring single. Wade stole second in front of an Andy Wilkins double. Then Dan Gamache doubled to bring in Wilkins and cap the four-run inning.
TJ White broke the game open in the seventh inning with a three-run home run. It was his third homer of the season. Nick Gordon finished 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and three runs scored. Wade, Wilkins and Walker all had multi-hit games.
Paul Clemens was able to put the game on cruise control to improve to 2-0 with the Lookouts. He scattered five hits over five innings while adding a strikeout and a walk. Alex Muren struck out two in two innings but did allow a solo home run. Todd Van Steensel pitched two scoreless innings to finish the contest, lowereing his ERA to 1.93.
Cedar Rapids 16, Clinton 3
With a chance to clinch a playoff spot on Sunday, the Kernels made quick work of the LumberKings. Cedar Rapids sent 13 men to the plate in the first inning on their way to scoring nine runs. Travis Blankenhorn scored twice in the frame including a two-run home run. Lewin Diaz added a two-run single and Christian Cavaness brought home two with a triple. The Kernels added to their lead in the second with an Aaron Whitefield two-run home run and a run scoring single from Blankenhorn. Their 12-0 lead was more than enough for the pitching staff.
Whitefield finished with a career-high five runs batted in. Ben Rortvedt connected for his first career home run as part of a three-hit game. Blankenhorn went 4-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored, and three RBI. Every batter in the Kernels' starting line-up reached base.
Max Cordy pitched into the fourth inning and allowed one run on three hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Alex Robinson was credited with the win. He tossed 2.1 scoreless innings with a strikeout and a walk. Logan Lombana allowed a pair of runs in one inning. Patrick McGuff finished off the game with two scoreless frames including two strikeouts.
The Kernels qualified for the Midwest League playoffs for the fifth year in a row and secured the longest playoff streak in Cedar Rapids professional baseball history.
TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day – Michael Tonkin, Rochester Red Wings (2 IP, 4 K, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB)
Hitter of the Day – Travis Blankenhorn, Cedar Rapids Kernels (4-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI)
MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester vs. Buffalo (6:05 CST) - TBD
Chattanooga - Scheduled Off-Day
Fort Myers @ Jupiter (5:30 CST) - TBD
Cedar Rapids - Scheduled Off-Day
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.