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Weekend in the Minors

The Twins had two, touch, extra inning losses on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday night, it was Nelson Cruz that provided the game-winning hit. On Sunday night, it was Ian Kinsler. Sam Deduno had a very wild, but effective, Twins debut on Friday night. Cole De Vries was terrific, throwing seven scoreless innings against the potent Rangers’ offense. Casey Fien made his Twins debut, showing off a mid-90s fastball in a scoreless inning. It was also a busy weekend in the Twins minor leagues this weekend with a few doubleheaders.

By the way, be sure to check out the Adopt-a-Prospect forums. If there are any players that have not yet been adopted, feel free to start a thread for that player and brag him up. Find stories on them, show off their big games, and in general, just encourage discussion on those players.

With that, here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from Saturday and Sunday’s games in the system:[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]


Liam Hendriks officially dominates the International League. In his return to the Red Wings, he threw seven shutout innings to improve to 6-0. (He increased his streak to 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings) He gave up just five hits, walked one and struck out one. Esmerling Vasquez struck out two in two scoreless innings.

Clete Thomas was 2-3 with his 14th double. Wilkin Ramirez hit his seventh home run.


Nick Blackburn was terrific in his first start in his return to the Red Wings. The righty went all eight innings. He gave up nine hits but no runs. He walked none and struck out two.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, Pedro Florimon reached on a walk and got to second. Danny Valencia came up with two outs and drilled a single to left field that scored a sliding Florimon and gave the Red Wings the Game 1 win. Chris Parmelee and Rene Rivera each had a hit and a walk. Florimon was 2-3 with a walk.


In the second game, Steve Hirschfeld was on the mound. He gave up seven runs (6 earned) on six hits and a walk in four innings. Unfortunately, he gave up six runs in the second inning (3-run homers to Michael Martinez and Pete Orr) and that was more than enough for the IronPigs. Dan Sattler threw two perfect innings, and Luke French pitched one scoreless frame.

Danny Valencia went 2-4 with the lone RBI in this game too. Wilkin Ramirez was 2-2 and was hit by a pitch. Matt Carson was 2-3 with a walk.

This puts the Red Wings at their All Star break. Pedro Florimon will represent the Red Wings in the International League All Star game.


Down by three heading into the ninth, the Rock Cats got singles from Nate Hanson, Estarlin De Los Santos and James Beresford to load the bases. Chris Herrmann hit a single that got by the left fielder and cleared the bases to tie the game and send it to extra innings. In the 10th, Evan Bigley and Deibinson Romero singled to lead off the inning. Hanson sacrificed them to 2nd and 3rd. Dan Rohlfing was intentionally walked to load the bases, and De Los Santos was hit by a pitch to give the Rock Cats the lead and the eventual win.

Bigley went 3-4 with a walk. Deibinson Romero was 2-5 with his 12th home run. De Los Santos was 2-4 and James Beresford was 2-5.

Shairon Martis made his second start with the Rock Cats. He gave up four runs on nine hits in 6.1 innings. He struck out three. Edgar Ibarra was charged with an unearned run on one hit in 1.2 innings. He struck out two. Bruce Pugh continues his AA domination. He improved to 2-0 with two more shutout innings. He has now thrown 17.1 innings without allowing a run. He has given up eight hits, walked eight and struck out 22 with the team.


The Rock Cats got plenty of offensive support in this game, but that is primarily because of the left arm of Blake Martin. The southpaw went all seven innings and gave up just three hits, walked none and struck out six. As you would expect, he kept his pitch count down, throwing just 75 pitches.

His mound opponent, former Twins farmhand Yohan Pino, also worked a complete game. Chris Colabello went 3-4 with his 23rd double. Chris Herrmann hit his sixth home run and Evan Bigley hit his 11th homer. Estarlin De Los Santos was 2-3, and Aaron Hicks went 2-4.


David Bromberg made his first start with the Rock Cats since going on the Rochester disabled list last month. He gave up four runs on eight hits and a walk in three innings. He struck out four. Marty Popham made his New Britain debut and gave up just one run on one hit (a solo homer) in his three innings. He struck out two.

Chris Herrmann was 2-4 and homered for the second straight game. Aaron Hicks was 1-3 with a walk.

Also on Sunday, outfielder Oswaldo Arcia represented the Twins and his native Venezuela in the Futures Game in Kansas City. Arcia came in for the second half of the game. In his first at bat, he hit an RBI double off of Jameson Taillon. He got out in his second at bat.

The Rock Cats play on Monday, but on Wednesday, BJ Hermsen, Chris Herrmann and Daniel Turpen will play in the Eastern League All Star game. Andrew Albers was also named to the team, but due to injury, he will not be participating.


Pat Dean started for the Miracle and gave up six runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings. He walked two and struck out four. Jose Gonzalez then gave up five runs (4 earned) on six hits in two innings. AJ Achter came on and got the final five outs, three of them by strikeout.

Anderson Hidalgo had three hits in five at bats. Kyle Knudson was 1-3 with two walks and his sixth double. Joe Benson was 0-3 in his first game with the Miracle. He walked twice. Miracle batters walked 11 times in this game.


The Miracle held a 4-3 lead going into the ninth, but were unable to hold it. Cole Nelson started for the Miracle and gave up one run on seven hits and three walks in six innings. He struck out three. Michael Tonkin then gave up two runs on four hits and two walks in two innings. He struck out two. AJ Achter came in and got one out in the ninth. Unfortunately, he gave up four runs (just one earned thanks to two errors, on himself) on three hits. Ricky Bowen came in and got the final two outs but not before an RBI hit.

Danny Santana, Levi Michael and Josmil Pinto were all 2-4. Danny Ortiz went 1-3 with his sixth home run. Joe Benson batted fourth. He was 0-4 in the game with an RBI.


Matt Summers was terrific again for the Snappers. The right-hander went the first seven innings and gave up just one run on eight hits. He walked two and struck out three. Dallas Gallant made his Midwest League debut and got four outs despite two walks. Corey Williams recorded the final two outs for his 13th save.

Nate Roberts was 2-3 with a walk and two stolen bases. Steve Liddle went 2-3 with his ninth double. Wang-Wei Lin tripled for the third time this year. Important to note, Miguel Sano returned to the Snappers lineup. He went 1-3 with two RBI. Yes, he also committed his 32nd error.


David Hurlbut has been pitching quite well for the Snappers since the beginning of June, but on this night, he gave up five runs (4 earned) on seven hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out two. Steve Evans came in and struck out three in three scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit.

AJ Pettersen went 2-4 with a walk and his second home run of the season. Matthew Koch was 2-4 with his 14th double. Jhon Goncalves was 2-3 with a walk. Drew Leachman hit his seventh double. Nate Roberts was 1-3 with two walks. He also stole his ninth base.


The Twins and Johnson City have long been competitors in their division. That rivalry continued this weekend. Angel Mata started and gave up three runs (2 earned) on six hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out six. Brett Lee came in and gave up a run on two hits and a walk in three innings. The left-hander struck out five. Zach Jones struck out three in his inning, although he also walked three.

DJ Hicks led the offense by going 3-5. Jhonathan Arias was 2-4 with three RBI. Jorge Polanco went 2-4 with his fourth double and third stolen base. Rory Rhodes hit his fourth home run. Niko Goodrum left the game after being hit by a pitch in the elbow in his first plate appearance.


The story was different on Sunday. Taylor Rogers started for the E-Twins and gave up two runs (1 earned) on four hits in five innings. He walked five and struck out three. Christian Powell struck out two in a perfect professional debut. Powell was the Twins 8th round pick this year out of the College of Charleston. Luis Nunez came in and gave up three runs on five hits without recording an out. Tyler Herr came in and got the final three outs.

Max Kepler went 2-5 and stole his third base. Romy Jimenez and Josh Hendricks each were 1-3 with a walk. Candido Pimentel was 1-3 and walked twice.


The Gulf Coast League rarely plays games on Sunday. On Saturday morning, the Twins had a nice, tidy win. Austin Malinowski set the tone with a terrific start. The lefty from Minnesota started and gave up three hits in five shutout innings. He walked none and struck out seven. Chris Mazza came in and gave up one hit over two scoreless innings. J.O. Berrios came in, and for the first time, he worked two innings. He also recorded the first save of his young, professional career. He struck out two in two perfect innings.

Byron Buxton was the story on the offensive side of things. The Twins top pick went 2-4 with his first pro home run and his first pro stolen base. Jose Ramirez went 2-3. Kelvin Ortiz hit his second home run of the season.


Players of the Day for Friday & Saturday, July 7-8, 2012

Pitcher of the Day- Saturday – Liam Hendriks
Attached Image: LiamHendriks.jpg

Pitcher of the Day- Sunday – Blake Martin (honorable mention, Nick Blackburn)
Attached Image: Blake Martin Mug.jpg

Hitter of the Day – Saturday – Evan Bigley
Attached Image: Evan Bigley Mug.jpg

Hitter of the Day – Sunday – Chris Herrmann
Attached Image: ChrisHerrmann.jpg


A Look Ahead – Monday, July 9, 2012 Schedule

Rochester – All Star Break
New Britain @ New Hampshire – LHP Logan Darnell
Ft. Myers vs Jupiter – RHP Matt Hauser
Beloit vs Burlington – TBD
Elizabethton @ Johnson City – RHP Hudson Boyd
GCL Twins vs GCL Rays – TBD

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