Twins Minor League Report (9/9): Tough Losses Set Up Must-Win Sundays
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Ben Rortvedt)Continue reading to find out how the two Twins minor league playoff games went and who performed well in the losses.
Chattanooga 0, Montgomery 2
The final score was the same as Game 3. Unfortunately for the Lookouts, they were on the short-end on the scoreboard in Game 4.
Adalberto Mejia made his final rehab start. He had made two starts for the Red Wings, but their season is over, so he made a start for the Lookouts. Having thrown 61 pitches in his previous rehab appearance, he was in line to throw about 75 pitches in this one. He threw 73 pitches, and 50 of them were strikes. The left-hander threw the first five innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out five without allowing a run. He appears ready to rejoin the Twins starting rotation.
The Rays also used a couple of rehabbing pitchers. Nathan Eovaldi struck out two in the first innings. Then Xavier Cedeno threw a scoreless inning. At that point, #OldFriend Logan Darnell came in to the game to face the Lookouts. The southpaw went the next 4.2 innings without allowing a run to get the win. The Lookouts were unable to score in the game.
Darnell said it wasn't too strange to pitch against the Twins affiliate. "I mean, not that strange. I only knew a handful of guys and Baxendale might be the only guy I played with. But honestly it's good to see the staff... Jake (Mauer), Ivan (Arteaga), CJ the most! Great people! Chattanooga is a solid team! Very tough to pitch against... perfect mix of patience and aggressive hitters. TJ White is dangerous player."
TJ White had two of the Lookouts' four hits. Jonathan Rodriguez walked twice. But the Lookouts ended the game without a run.
DJ Baxendale came into the game for the sixth inning and put up another zero. Unfortunately, the Lookouts defense was not good. They committed four errors in this game. Baxendale gave up one run each in the seventh and eighth innings, but they were both unearned. Nick Anderson pitched a scoreless ninth.
That sets up a winner-takes-all game on Sunday night in Chattanooga. Remember, the Southern League has cancelled its championship series due to Hurricane Irma, so there will be co-champions. Pensacola won the other half.
Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 5 (10 innings)
The Kernels won their first round series against Kane County and even had a day off while waiting to find out who they would play in the Midwest League’s Western Division finals. That team was Quad Cities, so it was off to Davenport on Saturday for the Kernels.
There was no scoring in the first inning, but the Kernels put together a nice second inning. They scored four runs. Lewin Diaz led off with a double which was followed by a walk by Caleb Hamilton. With one out, Jimmy Kerrigan walked to load the bases. Ben Rortvedt came through with a two-run single to right field. Kerrigan was able to advance to third base which was important because he scored soon after on a wild pitch. Rortvedt advanced to second base on the wild pitch which allowed him to score on an Ariel Montesino single.
Tyler Watson made the start and he was terrific through six innings. He put up six zeroes on the board. However, the Twins were not able to add on. Watson went out for the seventh and it didn’t go well for him. Watson struck out the first batter. He then issued a walk but got the second out on a fly out. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get the third out. The next three batters hit singles before Watson was replaced by Logan Lombana. Lombana gave up a single to score one, and then the game-tying run scored on an error.
Bryan Sammons and Max Cordy combined to throw two scoreless innings and send the game to extra innings.
Ryan Mason came in for the 10th inning. Colin Moran walked to lead off the inning. A pinch-runner advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. The Kernels chose to intentionally walk the next batter, hoping to coax a double play ball. Instead, the next batter singled which scored the runner from second and ended the game.
The Kernels dropped Game 1 of the Best of 3 series. Game 2 will be in Cedar Rapids. The Kernels will need to win to keep their season going.
SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Montgomery @ Chattanooga (5:15 CST) - LHP Dietrich Enns
Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (4:05 CST) - LHP Charlie Barnes
Please feel free to ask any questions about Saturday night’s playoff games. Check back on Sunday night for another night of Twins minor league playoff action.