Twins Minor League Report (8/18): Grand Slams, Stewart’s AAA Debut, and Rooker Highlight Friday’s Action (but there’s so much more!)
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Kohl Stewart)TRANSACTIONS
Before getting to the games, there were some exciting transactions on Friday throughout the system.
The Twins recalled Mitch Garver from AAA to take the place of Robbie Grossman, and he was in uniform on Friday (I’ll let the game recap detail his debut, if it happens). The Twins also optioned Aaron Slegers back to Rochester after his fine MLB debut yesterday. To round out the AAA-related moves, pitcher Kohl Stewart and catcher Carlos Paulino were assigned to Rochester from Chattanooga.
To take their places at AA, pitcher Lewis Thorpe and first baseman Brian Olson were brought up from Fort Myers.
Down in Fort Myers, the Miracle received catcher Jhon Alvarez from the GCL.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 10, Louisville 4
The story with the Red Wings on Friday, was the AAA debut of Kohl Stewart. It wasn’t great, but he did enough to pick up his first International League win. He went five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five. All four runs scored in the second inning. Two of the hits allowed were doubles in that inning, and the big damage came on a two-run home run. From there Stewart settled down a little, picking up a strikeout to end the third, and then two one-two-three innings to finish his day.
Rochester scored first in the game, taking a 1-0 lead after the top of the first as J.B. Shuck led off the game with a triple and scored on a ground out. They took back the lead right after Stewart’s bad inning, as they tacked on five runs in the top of the third. A bases loaded walk scored the first run, before Tommy Field added the other four with a grand slam for a 6-4 lead.
They added another run in the fourth after another leadoff triple, this one from Engelb Vielma, and he scored on a wild pitch. They tacked on more runs in both of the final two innings due to an RBI single from Niko Goodrum in the eighth and an RBI single from Shuck in the ninth that scored two after an error.
Shuck (2-6, R, 3B, RBI), Daniel Palka (2-5, R, 2B, BB), Goodrum (2-5, 2 RBI), and Vielma (2-5, 3 R’s, 3B) each had multiple hits. Kennys Vargas was 1-3 with a run scored, double and two walks.
John Curtiss came on for the sixth inning and brought the team into the eighth. He allowed one hit in his 2.2 innings, striking out two. Michael Tonkin finished the final 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out two.
Chattanooga 9, Tennessee 8
The Lookouts had to hold off a furious rally from Tennessee in the ninth, but were able to do so because of a couple big innings from their offense, and a gutsy performance from a newcomer to the organization with the tying run on second base.
Chattanooga took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning as they loaded the bases with nobody out to start the game. A Max Murphy single scored the first two runs, a wild pitch the third, and another bases loaded walk the fourth. That chased the Smokies starter from the game.
They wouldn’t score another run until the sixth, but they decided to tack on five more when they did. The big hit was a three-run home run from Jonathan Rodriguez and the other two scored on another bases loaded walk and a sac fly from LaMonte Wade.
Felix Jorge was the starter for the Lookouts and was efficient with his pitches in seven innings to pick up his tenth win. He allowed three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out six. Ryan Eades came on for the eighth inning and pitched a scoreless frame, but it was the ninth that would haunt him when he came back out.
A double, walk and single that included a throwing error scored the first run for the Smokies to make the score 9-4. Another single and a double each brought in another run to make it 9-6 before lights-out lefty Gabriel Moya was summoned with runners on second and third and the tying run stepping into the batter’s box.
A sacrifice fly to his first batter made it 9-7, then a double scored another to make it 9-8 with the tying run in scoring position. Moya buckled down and got the next hitter to fly out before striking out the next to pick up his 21st save of the season. Eades ended up being charged with five runs on five hits and a walk in his 1+ innings.
Leading the offense was Rodriguez, who in addition to the home run finished 2-4 with a walk. Ryan Walker added three hits to the effort in a 3-4 night.
Fort Myers 7, Tampa 6
Fort Myers pulled off a miracle in Tampa on Friday night, coming back from a 6-0 deficit to win the game.
They fell behind 6-0 as starter Sean Poppen got hit around a little and his defense made a few mistakes. In five innings, he allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk, while striking out four. Both runs Tampa scored in the fourth inning to make it 6-0 were unearned as Jermaine Palacios and Sean Miller committed throwing errors.
After that the bullpen shut it down as four pitchers combined for four shutout innings (one apiece). Alex Robinson struck out two in a one-two-three sixth. Michael Kohn pitched a scoreless seventh, walking one and striking out one. Andrew Vasquez gave up a couple of hits and a walk in the eighth but escaped without giving up a run and struck out one. Tom Hackimer picked up his fourth save with Fort Myers with a scoreless ninth. He walked one and struck out one.
The Miracle started their comeback in the top of sixth inning when Jermaine Palacios led off with single, Brandon Lopez scored him with a double and Chris Paul singled to put runners on the corners. Mitchell Kranson then delivered an RBI single to make it 6-2.
In the seventh, it was another big blast from a 2017 draft pick that brought them all the way back. Sean Miller led off the inning with a single, and one out later Tanner English reached on an error. Palacios brought them both home with another double to make it 6-4, and he would score on another hit from Lopez, this one a single. With two outs, Brent Rooker came to plate and blasted, off the foul pole, his seventh home run with Fort Myers, and fourth in his last ten games, to put them out front 7-6 and complete the comeback.
Palacios (2-5, 2 R’s, 2B, 2 RBI), Lopez (3-5, 2 R’s, 2B, 2 RBI), Rooker (2-5, R, HR, 2 RBI), Miller (2-4, R), and Jaylin Davis (2-4) all had multiple hits for the Miracle as they racked up fourteen hits as a team and were 4-9 with runners in scoring position.
Robinson picked up the win on the pitching front to improve to 4-0, and Kohn and Vasquez were credited with holds.
Beloit 1, Cedar Rapids 2
The former Minnesota Twins Midwest League affiliate and their new one got engaged in a pitcher’s duel in Cedar Rapids, and it though it got a little interesting in the bottom of the ninth, the home team held on for the victory.
Left-hander Anthony Marzi made the start for Cedar Rapids, and again was pretty good. He allowed just one run on four hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out three to lower his ERA to 1.99 on the season. Ryan Mason pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing a single and striking out one.
The Kernels tied the game at one in the bottom of the third, when Royce Lewis drove in Joe Cronin with a double, his first in the Midwest League. They took the lead in the seventh after a Shane Carrier double put runners on second and third, and Trey Cabbage brought in one with a sac fly.
In the ninth it was team saves leader Hector Lujan who got the call. He struck out the first man he faced, but the next beat out an infield single to get the tying runner on base. The next hitter is when it got interesting, as a fly ball to center field got the second out on a sliding catch from Aaron Whitefield, but an airmailed throw back in (toward friend of TD’s Steve Buhr) put the runner on third base. No big deal though, as Lujan struck out the next man to close the door on his fourteenth save.
The Kernels had just four hits as a team on the game, but they got all the runs they needed in the end. Lewin Diaz was 2-4 with a double as the other hitter of mention.
Elizabethton 9, Bristol 1
Elizabethton’s offense pounded out 12 hits and were 5-11 with runners in scoring position in racking up nine runs on the game.
Akil Baddoo and Ariel Montesino led the charge with three hits apiece. All three of Baddoo’s were doubles and he scored three runs. He also drove in three. Jose Miranda slugged a two-run home run in the third inning to make the score 3-0. Rainis Silva followed that with a triple and scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0. Wander Javier drove in one in the ninth with a single and finished the game 2-4. He also stole third base and scampered in on a throwing error to cap the Twins scoring at nine. Kolton Kendrick was 1-3 with two walks. Baddoo, Montesino, Javier and Silva all picked up stolen bases.
On the mound for the Twins was right-hander Bailey Ober, and he limited the damage to just one run in six innings while allowing seven hits and a walk. That was because he also racked up 11 K’s, including the first four hitters of the game and the last two he faced. Ober improved to 2-1 in his professional career. Jovani Moran came on for the seventh and continued the strikeout parade. In two innings he walked one and struck out five. Jared Finkel finished the game with a one-two-three ninth.
GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Twins 6, GCL Red Sox 4
The Red Sox jumped on Twins starter Tyler Benninghoff for two runs in the first inning, ending his day before he could finish an inning. It was just his second appearance as a pro so he was still on a pitch limit. He walked one, struck out one, and gave up back-to-back doubles to account for those two runs.
Henry Centeno was the first reliever up, and went one inning, allowing one hit and a walk. Kevin Marnon brought the team through the fifth inning, striking out four in 3.1 innings and retiring all ten hitters he faced. Cody Stashak picked up the win pitching the sixth and seventh innings. He allowed one hit and struck out four. Zach Featherstone allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in the eighth, and Derek Molina picked up his fourth save by allowing one hit and striking out one in the ninth.
The Twins offense cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the second inning with a sac fly from Edgar Herrera to score Benjamin Rodriguez, who had led off with a single. They took the lead 5-2 in the seventh thanks to a grand slam from Jared Akins, his second home run in as many days. Akins added a sac fly in the ninth to score the Twins sixth run, finishing his day 1-4 with 5 RBI.
Players with multiple hits on the game included Emmanuel Morel (2-5), Jean Carlos Arias (2-5), Rodriguez (2-4, R), and Alex Robles (2-4). Edgar Herrera, Humberto Maldonado and Kerby Camacho added doubles to the 12-hit effort for the Twins, and Ricky De La Torre drew three walks.
In a slight anomaly of a stat, the Twins were 0-4 on the game in stolen base attempts.
TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day – Bailey Ober, Elizabethton Twins (W, 6.0IP, 7 H’s, 1 ER, BB, 11 K’s)
Hitter(s) of the Day – Akil Baddoo, Elizabethton Twins (3-4, 3 R’s, 3 2B’s, 3 RBI, BB)
(Honorable Mention to Tommy Field, Jared Akins, Jonathan Rodriguez, and Brent Rooker for the big spot bomb parade on Friday)
SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Louisville (5:35PM CST) – RHP Chris Heston (0-1, 7.63 ERA)
Chattanooga @ Tennessee (6:00 PM CST) – RHP Fernando Romero (11-7, 2.96 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Tampa (5:30PM CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (0-0, -.-- ERA, FSL debut. 11-3, 2.03 ERA in Midwest League)
Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
Elizabethton @ Bristol (11:00AM CST) – LHP Ryley Widell (0-2, 2.70 ERA)
GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (9:00AM CST) – TBD
Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games!
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