Twins Minor League Report (8/28): Miracle Close In On Playoffs With Walk-Off in Extras
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Andro Cutura)TRANSACTIONS
There were a few roster moves and an All-Star announcement in the system on Tuesday:
- In Chattanooga, infielder Sean Miller was released. No corresponding move was made at this time. Miller was a 10th-round pick for the Twins in the 2015 draft out of South Carolina.
- It was busy in Fort Myers, as the Twins signed pitcher Alex Phillips out of the independent Frontier League and assigned him to the Miracle where he would play a part in their game. They also placed Taylor Grzelakowski on the 7-day disabled list while activating Shane Carrier.
RED WINGS REPORT
Game 1: Buffalo 4, Rochester 5 (seven innings)
In their regularly scheduled game, the Red Wings used one big inning and a timely hit from Byron Buxton late to secure a victory.
Zack Littell made the start for Rochester, and completed six of the game’s seven innings. He allowed a single run in each of the first and third innings, then two in the fourth to tie the game. He gave his offense a chance by holding the Bisons scoreless in his final two innings, including striking out the last two hitters he faced with a runner in scoring position. He ended up with a win to even his record at 6-6 on the season when the home team struck in the bottom half of his final frame.
The game was tied as the Red Wings lineup strung together five hits and a sacrifice fly in the third inning that was good for four runs of their own. Alex Perez, Byron Buxton, and Nick Gordon loaded the bases with singles to start it, Gregorio Petit drove in two of them with a double, then an RBI single from LaMonte Wade and sac fly from Zander Wiel finished it. In the bottom of the sixth Juan Graterol doubled to put himself in scoring position, then with two outs Buxton traded places with him for the deciding run.
Lefty Andrew Vasquez got his first save opportunity since being promoted to Triple A in the top of the seventh, and while it got interesting, escaped a no-out situation with runners on second and third to record his first save with Rochester. He struck out the final two hitters to do so after fantastic barehanded fielder’s choice play from Petit at third base to cut a runner down at home:
The top of the Red Wings lineup (Buxton, Gordon, Petit) combined to go 6-for-11 with three runs scored, four doubles, and three RBI on the game. Wade and Graterol also picked up multiple hits.
Game 2: Buffalo 4, Rochester 6 (seven innings, makeup of 4/8 postponement)
In game two, a makeup of a postponement due to snow all the way back in early April, Rochester pitched a bullpen game. D.J. Baxendale started and finished the first 2 1/3 innings. He allowed one run in the second and ran into some more trouble in the third, finishing with two runs allowed on five hits and a walk. He struck out one.
Nick Anderson got his team through the fifth inning, allowing one run on two hits and a walk in 2 2/3, striking out four. He notched his seventh win of the season. John Curtiss closed out the final two innings for his tenth save. He gave up a run on a solo-homer that made it the final of 6-4, but also struck out two.
The Red Wings runs came courtesy of RBI doubles from Jeremy Hazelbaker and Alex Perez in the second inning, a two-run double from Kennys Vargas and RBI single from Hazelbaker in the third, and finally an RBI single from Nick Gordon in the fifth. They racked up eleven hits as a team with Gordon leading the way with a 3-for-4 showing, along with multiple hits from Gregorio Petit (2-for-4, R, 2B) and Hazelbaker (2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI).
Jacksonville 9, Chattanooga 2
Tyler Jay got the opener role in this one and delivered a scoreless first inning. He gave up one hit and struck out one leading into ‘starter’ Sean Poppen’s game. The Jumbo Shrimp jumped all over Poppen and the Lookouts were not able to recover.
Although he finished four innings, Poppen’s line included seven runs (six earned) on ten hits and one walk in his time. He struck out three and allowed two home runs. Anthony Marzi came on for the sixth and would finish 1 2/3, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks along with picking up two K’s. Sam Clay finished the seventh and added a scoreless eighth, striking out four of the five hitters he faced. Williams Ramirez finished off the game for the home team with a one-two-three ninth, striking out one.
On offense Chattanooga tallied seven hits and two walks, but they didn’t lead to many scoring opportunities as they were just 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and grounded into four double plays. Jordan Gore collected multiple hits with a 2-for-3 night. Brent Rooker finished 1-for-4 while an Andy Wilkins home run and Jimmy Kerrigan sac fly led to their only runs.
It was the Lookouts final home game of the season and they close it out with a five-game set across the state of Tennessee in Jackson starting on Thursday.
Bradenton 1, Fort Myers 2 (10 innings)
The Miracle’s tilt with the Marauders on Tuesday was a good old-fashioned pitcher’s duel, with the score being just 1-0 Fort Myers heading into the top of the ninth inning.
Starting for the home team was Andro Cutura, and he delivered six scoreless innings in his start, scattering five hits and one walk while striking out five. In the sixth, he worked around a hit-by-pitch and a double to start the inning by getting a shallow fly out and two K’s to end his night.
The Miracle took the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third after Travis Blankenhorn led of the frame with his 21st double and would later score on a sac fly from Ernie De La Trinidad. Hits were scarce for them, as they had just five as a team through nine.
Ryan Mason came on from the bullpen for the seventh and eighth frames, keeping his team in front by allowing just one hit and a walk while striking out three. Adam Bray and his 1.27 ERA with Fort Myers came out for the top of the ninth and Bradenton was able to tie the game with three singles and saddle him with his first blown save of the year. The newly signed Alex Phillips was summoned for the tenth and got all three hitters he faced, including a K, to keep the Marauders off the board.
In the bottom of the inning, after an intentional walk to Caleb Hamilton and a passed ball to advance the runners to second and third, Blankenhorn brought in the walk-off run with a single to center field.
The win brings the Miracle to within a half-game of the Charlotte Stone Crabs in the Florida State League South division with five games to play.
Scheduled Day Off
The Kernels wrapped up a Midwest League title in the second half on Monday and will finish off their regular season with a five-game series at home against the Burlington Bees starting Wednesday. They will kick off the MWL playoffs a week from Wednesday, against whomever comes out on top of a current half-game difference in the Western Division standings between Kane County, Beloit, and Wisconsin (Quad Cities and Peoria already qualified in the first half, so are ineligible).
Pulaski 5, Elizabethton 8
The E-Twins got all the run support they would need in the third inning when they batted around and plated six runs, but they also had pushed a run across in each of the first two innings to account for their eight runs on the scoreboard.
Yunior Severino got them started with his eighth home run in the first, and they made it 2-0 on a bases-loaded passed ball in the second before the big outburst in the third. Gilberto Celestino (2-for-4, R, 2B, K), Jared Akins (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB, K, SB), and Lean Marrero (2-for-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI, K) collected multiple hits in the contest to lead the way.
Andrew Cabezas got the start and served as an opener, pitching just the first inning. He went one-two-three including strikeouts of the game’s first two hitters. Prelander Berroa went the next 2 1/3, allowing three runs on two hits and three walks while striking out two. Juan Gomez got the win with the next 2 2/3, where he allowed an unearned run on four hits and two walks. He struck out three. J.T. Perez was the next man up and allowed a run on three hits, along with picking up four K’s in two innings. Jacob Blank closed it out for his first professional save with a one-two-three ninth, striking out two.
STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Andro Cutura, Fort Myers Miracle (6 IP, 0 R, 5 H, BB, 5 K)
Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Travis Blankenhorn, Fort Myers Miracle (2-for-4, R, 2B, Game Winning RBI)
TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
#1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, 2 K
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, K
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch
#4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – (2 games) 4-for-8, 2 R, RBI, K
#5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Minnesota) – Did not pitch.
#6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off
#7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-for-4
#8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off
#9 -Wander Javier – Out for the season.
#10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) –.W, 6 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, BB, 5 K
#11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off
#12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – (2 games) 2-for-6, RBI, K
#13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 2-for-4, R, 2B, RBI
#14 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch
#15 - Ben Rortvedt (Fort Myers) – Did not play
#16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) – 1-for-5, HR (8), 2 K
#17 - Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – Out for the season.
#18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off
#19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off
#20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) – Did not play
WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – RHP Chase De Jong (1-3, 3.81 ERA)
Bradenton @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (4-7, 4.73 ERA)
Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Blayne Enlow (3-5, 3.24 ERA)
Pulaski @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – TBD
Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
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