Twins Minor League Report (9/8): E-Twins Win Another Championship
Image courtesy of Mike Gallagher (video from Pulaski)Both of the Friday games were close. A two-run game and a one-run game… nail-biters, to be sure, especially given the playoff implications. Be sure to read through today’s article for everything about these two games and what is next.
Chattanooga 2, Montgomery 0
There isn’t a lot to write about this game, but that’s OK if you’re a Twins or Lookouts fan. The important thing to know is that they have regained the home-field advantage with a big win in Montgomery.
Felix Jorge returned to the Lookouts and he worked six scoreless innings. He gave up just three hits, walked one and struck out four to earn the win. Todd Van Steensel did what Todd Van Steensel does. He threw two scoreless innings, striking out three batters.
The offense? I’m glad you asked. Jonathan Rodriguez was on first base in the fourth inning when TJ White came to the plate. White hit his third home run in as many games in this series to give the Lookouts a 2-0 lead. That’s all they’d need.
Gabriel Moya got a strikeout to end a 1-2-3 ninth inning to record the save.
The Lookouts now lead the best-of-five series 2-1. They’ll play Game 4 in Montgomery on Saturday. They will face #OldFriend Logan Darnell. The winner of this series will be co-champions of the Southern League with Pensacola who finished out their series against Jacksonville on Friday night.
Elizabethton 8, Pulaski 7
After winning Game 1 at Elizabethton on Thursday night, the series shifted to Pulaski for Game 2.
The Twins fell behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. However, starting in the second inning, the Twins put up three straight crooked numbers. In the second, Mark Contreras singled. With two outs, Carson Crites doubled to score Contreras. That was followed by an RBI single from TJ Dixon. Dixon then scored on a triple off the bat of Akil Baddoo.
In the third inning, Mark Contreras came to the plate with two runners on base. For the second straight night, he knocked a big home run that gave the Twins 6-1 lead.
The E-Twins got a little help from the Pulaski defense in the fourth frame. TJ Dixon singled and advanced to third on an Akil Baddoo double. With one out, Jose Miranda walked to load the bases. JJ Robinson hit a ground ball that probably should have ended the inning, but on the fielder’s choice, a throwing error allowed two runners to score and give the Twins an 8-1 lead.
Moises Gomez started for the Twins. He gave up two runs in the bottom of the fourth, but when he completed five innings, he had just allowed three runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out six.
Jose Martinez came on and threw a scoreless sixth inning, but things got interesting in the seventh. Martinez got a strikeout to lead off the inning, but he then gave up back-to-back solo home runs to cut the lead to 8-5. He was replaced by Jared Finkel. The first batter he faced reached on an error. Finkel got the second out on a strikeout, but it was followed by an RBI double and an RBI single to cut the Twins lead to 8-7.
Ray Smith, who came into the game with 1,001 career wins, went to his closer. Jovani Moran came on and got the final out of the 7th inning on a strikeouts. In fact, he got all seven batters he faced out, four of them on strikeouts to record the save.
The Elizabethton Twins won the game 8-7, and they won the Appalachian League title. It was the team’s 11th championship, and the seventh this millennium.
Jovani Moran, well, it’s fair to say he had a pretty strong season for Elizabethton after missing the 2016 season after getting bone chips removed from his elbow.
SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Montgomery @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - TBD (likely a rehabbing Adalberto Mejia)
Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:35 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Elizabethton’s championship, the Lookouts taking back home field advantage or the Kernels starting their second round playoff series.
Check back on Saturday night for another night of Twins minor league playoff action.