Twins Minor League Report (4/9): KKKKKKKKKohl Stewart's 2018 Debut
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Kohl Stewart)Well, on the fifth day, all four Twins affiliates and the big league club played their games. The Red Wings, after having their first three games weathered out, finally played their opener. I’m sure they’re looking forward to a southern road trip starting on Thursday. The Lookouts finished out a five-game series against Birmingham. The Miracle took on Florida, and a hitter stayed hot. The Kernels made their first road trip and found a way to win a close ball game. After reading tonight’s report, be sure to add your comments and questions in the forum.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 1, Syracuse 2
Before the games began, the Red Wings announced that their three weathered-out games against Buffalo will be made up as parts of doubleheaders on May 25, May 27 and August 28.
Aaron Slegers woke up Friday, Saturday and Sunday thinking he might be making his first start of the season. It wasn’t until Monday that it actually happened. However, Slegers proved ready for the Opening Day challenge. The right-hander went the first six innings. He gave up just one run on five hits and a walk. He struck out just one. 49 of his 66 pitches were strikes.
Veteran Edwin Jackson got the start for Syracuse. In 3+ innings, the Red Wings worked him for six walks, but they managed just one run.
Tyler Duffey came on in relief of Slegers. He was perfect in the seventh and eighth innings. He got the first out of the ninth inning, but a three-base error and a sacrifice fly meant that the Red Wings were down 2-1 going into the bottom of the ninth. They got two runners on base but were unable to push a run across the plate.
Kennys Vargas went 1-for-2 with three walks in the game. Gregorio Petit went 2-for-4 in the game. Petit also played some impressive defense at shortstop.
Chattanooga 5, Birmingham 2
The Lookouts finished out their five-game series against Birmingham on Monday night. Kohl Stewart took the mound against former Twins minor leaguer Matthew Tomshaw. The left-hander was charged with five runs (three earned) on nine hits over just 3.1 innings before exiting the game.
Stewart, on the other hand, was fantastic. The former #1 draft pick worked the first five innings for the Lookouts. He gave up one run on three hits. He walked none and struck out nine batters. He got five ground ball outs, all of which could be described as slow rollers. The lone run came on a single, a slow roller that advanced the runner to second base. Stewart then threw two wild pitches to allow the run to score.
Ryan Eades came on and gave up one run over the next two innings. He gave up two hits, but he walked none and struck out three. Williams Ramirez came on and in 1.2 scoreless innings, walked three and struck out three. Ryne Harper had to come on for the final out. He recorded a strikeout to end the game and record his second save. He’s faced four batters and struck out all four this season.
The Lookouts got their runs early. Brent Rooker came into the game 1-for-14, but he had singles in his first three at-bats. Like Rooker, LaMonte Wade went 3-for-4 in the game. Zander Wiel and TJ White each went 2-for-4. White hit his first double and stole his first base.
The team improved to 3-2 on the season.
Ft. Myers 6, Florida 4
It always sounds strange to say that Ft. Myers is playing against Florida, but we’ll have to get used to that over the next few days as the Twins affiliate takes on the Florida State League affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. On this night, the Twins minor leaguers faced Ian Anderson, one of the talented young Braves starting pitcher prospects.
Travis Blankenhorn is off to a fantastic start this season. On this night, he had a single, his fifth double and his first triple. On the season, he now has nine hits. He’s got five doubles, a triple, a homer and two singles.
Jimmy Kerrigan was a nice signing out of the independent leagues a year ago. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and his first home run of the year.
Clark Beeker made the start. He was the Twins Daily all-star right-handed pitcher in 2017. In his first Miracle start of the season, he went five innings. He gave up two runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out five. Cody Stashak came on in relief. In his two innings, he gave up two runs on just one hit. He walked two and struck out three. With the lead back, Alex Robinson came on for the final two innings. He walked one, hit one and struck out four batters to record his second save of the season.
The Miracle moved back over .500 at 3-2 with the win.
Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 1
The weather was still cold in Peoria, but the Kernels made their first road trip of the year and came out of it with a win.
Blayne Enlow made his first start of the year. The right-hander got off to an interesting start. He got the first two batters that he faced out. But the next three hitters had singles to load the bases. Enlow was helped by a diving catch by right fielder Mark Contreras who caught a sinking liner to end that threat. In the second inning, Contreras made a leaping catch at the wall to save at least one run. But Enlow started with four scoreless innings. In the fifth inning, he left the game with one out and runners on first and third. Tall left-hander Kevin Marnon came on and gave up a sacrifice fly to give Peoria a 1-0 lead (run charged to Enlow). But Marnon finished the fifth inning, as well as the sixth and seventh frames and gave up just one hit and one walk. Side-winding Jared Finkel came on for the final two innings. He gave up three hits, but no runs, to record his first save of the season.
The Kernels responded to the fifth inning run allowed by scoring a couple in the top of the sixth inning. With runners on second and third, Ben Rortvedt singled through the left side of the infield to drive in two runs and give the Kernels the lead. Rortvedt went 2-for-4 in the game. Mark Contreras did more than make great plays on defense. He went 2-for-4 with his first double of the season. He drove in an insurance run in the ninth inning as well. Third baseman Andrew Bechtold is now hitting .600 on the season after going 3-for-4 in this game. Ben Rodriguez also added his first double of the year.
The Kernels remain undefeated at 3-0.
STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Travis Blankenhorn, Ft. Myers Miracle
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Kohl Stewart, Chattanooga Lookouts
TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
#1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 1 K
#3 - Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) - 0-5, RBI, K
#5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4
#7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 3-4, RBI
#8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 4.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, BB, 3 K
#13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, K
#14 - LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) - 3-4,
#16 - Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 2 RBI
#17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, 2B (5), 3B (1), K
TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Syracuse @ Rochester (4:35 CST) - LHP Adalberto Mejia
Chattanooga - Travel Day
Florida @ Ft. Myers (6:00) - RHP Sean Poppen
Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (11:00 am CST) - LHP Tyler Watson
Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
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