Twins Minor League Report (6/19): All-Star Festivities and De La Cruz the Destroyer
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Travis Blankenhorn)To find out how Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, and the rest of the organization’s All-Stars and prospects fared on Tuesday night, keep reading and be sure to add to the discussion in the comments!
There were a couple of transactions leading into the action on Tuesday:
-Felix Jorge was sent on a rehab assignment in the GCL from Chattanooga and started the game for the GCL Twins.
-Leonardo Reginatto was activated from the disabled list for the Red Wings.
-Byron Buxton began his rehab assignment with Rochester.
-Pitcher Josh Winder was assigned to the Elizabethton roster.
RED WINGS REPORT
Syracuse 3, Rochester 4
The Red Wings used a big third inning and a strong bullpen performance on Tuesday to pull out a victory despite being outhit 10-to-6.
In that third inning Jake Cave got the scoring started with a two-RBI double, and later in the inning RBI singles from Willians Astudillo and Cameron Rupp put them out front for good at 4-2. Nick Gordon and Kennys Vargas added doubles to the effort, and LaMonte Wade drew two walks to keep his Triple A on-base-percentage above .400 despite hitting just .219 thus far after his promotion. In 11 games he now has 10 walks compared to just four strikeouts.
Left-hander Dietrich Enns made the start and finished five innings to pick up his fifth win. He allowed three runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out two.
The bullpen went to work from there, as D.J. Baxendale, Luke Bard, and John Curtiss combined for four innings of scoreless ball to close the game. Baxendale went two innings, allowing two hits and striking out four. Bard allowed two hits in the eighth but no runs, striking out one. Curtiss slammed the door with a one-two-three ninth, striking out two. Baxendale and Bard each picked up holds, while Curtiss notched his fifth save.
Byron Buxton batted leadoff and went 0-4 with two strikeouts in his first rehab game as the DH.
Southern League All-Star Game: South 9, North 5
With selections LaMonte Wade promoted to Rochester and Zander Wiel and Randy LeBlanc on the disabled list, the Lookouts were represented on the North squad by pitchers Omar Bencomo, Ryne Harper, Williams Ramirez, and Todd Van Steensel in the Southern League All-Star Game Tuesday Night in Birmingham, Alabama.
It was all them for the first six innings, as the North jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first and their pitchers held the South hitless. Bencomo got the fourth and delivered a one-two-three frame, striking out one. Harper got the sixth and did the same, setting all three hitters down in order.
Unfortunately, it was Ramirez who lost the no-hitter in the seventh when he gave up a leadoff single, and that was followed by a home run to tie the game at two. He got the next two hitters out before being lifted.
The teams traded blows in the eighth, each putting three runs on the board to head to the ninth tied at five. The North handed the ball to Van Steensel and his excellent 1.75 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in the first half. He was promptly greeted by a solo home run to put the South out front. Like Ramirez, he got the next two outs before he was replaced.
Fort Myers 8, Palm Beach 7
Fort Myers fell behind 5-0 after the top of half of the third inning as starting pitcher Tyler Watson was knocked around by the Tarpons lineup. In 3 1/3 total innings, Watson surrendered seven runs on eleven hits. He struck out two.
Ryan Mason was able to settle it down, as he would finish the next 3 2/3 innings. He allowed no runs on five hits while striking out three. He was able to pick up the win as the Miracle offense woke up in the bottom of the third and scratched a couple more across while he was on the mound.
The lineup stormed back with six runs in that third inning to take the lead 6-5. Travis Blankenhorn got the scoring started with a 2-RBI double and later score on a wild pitch. After a series of walks, Caleb Hamilton delivered a bases-clearing triple to put Fort Myers out front.
Watson gave that lead back in the top of the fourth, but an RBI single from Jaylin Davis in the bottom half knotted it back up. With the game still tied in the sixth, Travis Blankenhorn led off with a single and then stole second base, his fifth of the year, to put himself in scoring position. Lewin Diaz drove him in with a one-out single and that was enough for the Miracle.
Logan Lombana struck out two in a scoreless eighth, working around a leadoff single. Tom Hackimer picked up his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth. He hit one batter and struck out one.
Midwest League All-Star Game: West 2, East 3 (10 innings)
Like their double-A big brothers, the Midwest League also played their All-Star game, this one in Lansing, Michigan on Tuesday night.
The Kernels were well represented, with top prospects Royce Lewis starting at shortstop and batting leadoff and Alex Kirilloff batting third and starting in right field.
Lewis led off the game with a single and promptly stole second base but ended up stranded. In his second at-bat he would fly out to right field and then was replaced heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Kirilloff played the whole game, getting four at-bats, and actually ended up pushing the exhibition to extra innings with an RBI single in the top of the eighth to tie the game at two.
Cedar Rapids pitcher Jared Finkel was handed the fourth inning and pitched a scoreless frame. He allowed two singles and struck out one. Brusdar Graterol was on the roster, but according to Jeff Johnson of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, did not make the trip so he could rest his arm:
Earlier in the day, Kirilloff participated in the Home Run Derby, but his 12 home runs fell one shy of making it into the final cut (notice the fence-spanning sign for him 😊).
Burlington 1, Elizabethton 6
In their Appalachian League season opener, and in defense of their 2017 league championship, the Elizabethton Twins took down the Burlington Royals in dominant fashion.
The offense was led by Arial Montesino, Ryan Jeffers, Andrew Cosgrove, and Lean Marrero who each had two hits. The biggest of those was a two-run home run from Cosgrove in the eighth inning that made it the final of 6-1. Montesino, Colton Burns, and Marrero each added doubles to the effort, while Burns scored three runs.
Pedro Garcia got the start for the Twins, and his first win of 2018 by pitching the first five innings. He allowed one run on two hits and five walks, while striking out seven. Moises Gomez went the next three innings, allowing only one hit and striking out five. Ricky Ramirez got the top of the ninth and had a one-two-three inning, punctuating the win with a K to end the game.
GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Twins 15, GCL Orioles 2
While you’d think there’d be plenty to recap in a game where the offense scored 15 runs, this one actually comes down to just one player. That’s because I doubt you’ll see again this season another performance like the one designated hitter Yeremi De La Cruz (also a catcher) put on this afternoon.
In the first inning, he hit a double to drive in two runs and give the Twins an early 2-0 lead. Another two-run double in the third made it 4-2. In the fourth, it was an RBI single that pushed their lead to 8-2. His biggest hit of the night came in the fifth, and it was a grand slam to completely demoralize the Orioles. He added another single to his line in the seventh, and the Orioles would finally get him out on a liner to third base in the eighth.
If you were keeping track, that meant the product out of the Dominican Republic finished his first career game stateside with five hits in six at-bats, including two doubles, the grand slam, and NINE runs batted in. Unbelievable!
The Twins got multiple hits from three other hitters, including Yeltsin Encarnacion (3-for-4, 3 R, RBI, BB), Victor Tademo (3-for-5, 3 R, RBI, BB, K), and Agustin Marte (2-for-5, 2 R, K).
In other news, Felix Jorge pitched the first inning in this one, kicking off a minor league rehab tour after starting the season on the disabled list. He allowed a single and an unearned run after a fielding error. Tyler Benninghoff pitched the next five innings, picking up the win. He gave up one run on two hits and four walks, while striking out six. Petru Balan went the next 1 2/3 innings, allowing a hit and a walk with three K’s. Frandy Torres finished the game with 1 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out two.
STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Moises Gomez, Elizabethton Twins (3 IP, H, 4 K)
Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Yeremi De La Cruz, GCL Twins (5-for-6, 2 R, 2 2B, GS (1), 9 RBI)
TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – (MWL All-Star Game) 1-for-2, SB
2. Fernando Romero (Minnesota) – Did not pitch.
3. Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 1-for-4, R, 2B, K
4. Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Did not pitch.
5. Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – (MWL All-Star Game) 1-for-4, RBI, CS
6. Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Out for season with injury.
7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – SL All-Star Break
8. Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – MWL All-Star Break
9. Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) – MWL All-Star Break (did not pitch)
10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – MWL All-Star Break
11. Zack Littell (Rochester) – Did not pitch.
12. Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) – SL All-Star Break
13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB
14. LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 0-for-2, R, 2 BB
15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – 0-for-3, K
16. Ben Rortvedt (Fort Myers) – 1-for-3, R, BB
17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K, SB
18. Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) – Did not play.
19. Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch.
20. Felix Jorge (Rochester) – (Playing for GCL Twins) 1 IP, H, R (unearned)
WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Syracuse @ Rochester (11:35AM CST) – LHP Adalberto Mejia (2-2, 3.47 ERA)
Chattanooga – Southern League All-Star Break
Tampa @ Fort Myers (11:00AM CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (2-4, 3.04 ERA)
Cedar Rapids – Midwest League All-Star Break
Burlington @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – TBD
GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD
Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
- Oldgoat_MN, big dog and caninatl04 like this