Twins Minor League Report (8/7): Williams Powers Elizabethton
Image courtesy of Linwood Ferguson (photo of Griffin Jax)TRANSACTIONS
There were a few moves in the system before the games:
- The Chattanooga Lookouts sent LHP Casey Crosby on a rehab assignment to the GCL Twins. Also, in some sad news RHP Todd Van Steensel was released from the Lookouts roster.
- In Cedar Rapids, outfielder and 2018 first round draft pick Trevor Larnach was officially promoted. To make room, Jean Carlos Arias was sent back to Elizabethton, and Christian Cavaness was released from the Kernels roster.
Toledo 5, Rochester 1
Starter Zack Littell had to try to work around a bunch of trouble in his outing, and he wasn’t able to on enough occasions. He finished 4 2/3 innings with 96 pitches (61 strikes), allowing five hits and five walks. Two errors from his defense led to five runs (two earned). This was more than enough for the Mud Hens as Rochester finished 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base.
Gregorio Petit finished the day 2-for-4 with a double to lead the way. Edgar Corcino added a triple and scored their only run on a RBI single from Juan Graterol that followed.
The bullpen duo of Luke Bard and John Curtiss combined to finish the game in scoreless fashion. Bard went 2 1/3, allowing one hit and striking out two. Curtiss finished the final two innings by allowing one hit and one walk. He struck out three.
Scheduled Day Off.
After taking three out of five against the Mississippi Braves, the Lookouts got a day off on Tuesday before continuing the second half of their 10-game homestand against the Jackson Generals tomorrow.
Fort Myers 5, Lakeland 0
The Miracle got a fantastic start from right-hander Griffin Jax and as a result Jose Miranda’s first home run in the Florida State League would be all the run support needed, but the lineup added some insurance just in case.
Jax pitched into the eighth inning where he allowed a leadoff double before getting a groundout for his final out. In his 7 1/3 innings, he gave up only four hits, walked one, and struck out seven. Of his 94 pitches 67 went for strikes and he retired twelve in a row at one point. He improved to 3-1 on the season.
July’s Twins Daily MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month, Jovani Moran, came on and finished off the victory with 1 2/3 scoreless frames to pick up his third save with Fort Myers. He retired all five hitters he faced including punctuating the win with his second strikeout to end it.
The offense got two hits from Taylor Grzelakowski (2-5, RBI, 2 K) and Caleb Hamilton (2-for-3, R, 2B, RBI), While Miranda’s home run was a two-run shot in the eighth that made it 3-0. Royce Lewis singled, stole a base, and scored a run in five trips to the plate. Alex Kirilloff finished 1-for-4.
Scheduled Day Off.
Cedar Rapids got a travel day on Tuesday to head further east across the state of Iowa. They will begin a five-game road trip with three versus the Clinton Lumberkings on Wednesday.
Kingsport 10, Elizabethton 16
The lack of offense in the other games on Tuesday was more than made up for in this one. The E-Twins racked up 16 runs on 16 hits, seven walks, and two errors against the Kingsport defense in a scoreboard slugfest. Even more remarkable was that the Mets scored their 10 runs on just six hits. Combined the teams finished 9-for-21 with runners in scoring position and left half as many runners on the bases as they scored.
Chris Williams had a mammoth day, finishing 2-for-3 with two home runs and six RBIs. He also was hit by a pitch, had a sac fly, and scored three runs on the game. His first home run in the eight-run third inning was a three-run blast. His second was a two-run shot in the fourth. Robert Molina concluded the fireworks in the third with a grand slam. Williams now has 14 homers in 42 games with Elizabethton (that’s a better rate than Brent Rooker had last year, if you were wondering). Molina’s slam was his second in the Appalachian League and drove in five runs in total.
Gilberto Celestino (2-for-6, 2 R), Colton Burns (3-for-4, 3 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Ricky De La Torre (2-for-5, R, K), and Lean Marrero (3-for-4, R, BB) joined Williams and Molina with multiple hits.
With all that offense, the pitching wasn’t as great for the Twins. Luis Rijo made his first start with his new organization and due to an error in the fourth, ended his debut being charged with five unearned runs. In 3 2/3 innings he allowed two hits, walked two, and struck out four. Pedro Garcia went the next 3 1/3 and allowed five earned runs on three hits and four walks while striking out three. Zach Neff finished the game for the Twins with two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out one.
GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Twins 2, GCL Rays 3
The Twins lineup was only able to muster three hits on the game and combined with drawing zero walks, they just didn’t have or make for themselves many opportunities. They were just 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left only one man on base. Their runs were courtesy of an Agustin Marte solo home run in the sixth (his first in the states), and an RBI single from Estamy Urena after Gabe Snyder reached second base on an error in the eighth.
Despite all that the score was tied 2-2 heading into the ninth, so the Twins also had some good pitching. On a rehab assignment from Chattanooga, Casey Crosby struck out three in the first inning but due to a walk, a stolen base, error, and wild pitch also gave up an unearned run. Prelander Berroa went the next four frames and allowed an unearned run on three hits and one walk while striking out three. Junior Navas then threw two scoreless frames, allowing two hits and striking out two. Denny Bentley added a one-two-three eighth inning setting the stage for climactic ninth.
When the Twins went down in order in the top half, Niklas Rimmel came on to pitch the bottom. He was greeted by a double from the leadoff man, got the next to fly out, but couldn’t escape as a single a few batters later walked it off for the Rays.
STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Griffin Jax, Fort Myers Miracle (W, 7.1IP, 4 H, BB, 7 K)
Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Chris Williams, Elizabethton Twins (2-for-3, 3R, 2 HR (14), 6 RBI)
TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-5, R, SB (5)
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-4, K
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch.
#4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-for-4, 2 K
#5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Did not pitch.
#6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play (officially promoted on Tuesday).
#7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – Did not play.
#8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play.
#9 -Wander Javier – Out of for the season.
#10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – L (3-5), 4.2IP, 5 R (2 ER), 5 H, 5 BB, 3 K
#11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play.
#12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – Did not play.
#13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-4, R, K
#14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) – Did not play.
#15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) – Did not play.
#16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) – 1-for-6, R, 2 K
#17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) – Will have surgery on his wrist soon. Out for season.
#18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play.
#19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play.
#20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) – Did not play.
WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Toledo @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – RHP Chase De Jong (0-1, 12.27 ERA)
Jackson @ Chattanooga (6:15PM CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (7-4, 3.67 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30PM CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (4-6, 4.04 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (7:00PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (4-5, 4.76 ERA)
Kingsport @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – TBD
GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) – TBD
Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
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