Twins Minor League Report (8/8): May Day is Here, Poulson Debuts
Image courtesy of Seth StohsThe Twins would get to him in a big way the seventh, but at that point their five runs on the board were not enough to put them out front. In the ninth inning, Josh Willingham was just feet away from notching a go-ahead home run against his former team and its closer Sean Doolittle, but his blast drifted just foul. He then took a called third strike on the next pitch to end the game.
In the minors, one starter flirted with a no-hitter only to end up being one-upped by another who finished a complete-game shutout, and a certain rookie-free-agent/mythical flamethrower made his professional pitching debut with Elizabethton.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 11, Indianapolis 4
Rochester scored single runs in each of the first two innings, then bludgeoned the Indians for six total runs in the fifth and sixth innings, and three more in the ninth en route to the blowout. Six hitters tallied multiple hits, including Doug Bernier (3-5), Chris Herrmann (2-4), Josmil Pinto (2-3), Wilkin Ramirez (2-5), Aaron Hicks (2-5) and Deibinson Romero (3-5).
Bernier hit his sixth home run of the season to lead off the game, and Aaron Hicks added a long blast in the second to put the Red Wings in front 2-0. In the fifth, it was a leadoff single from Romero and extra base hits from Herrmann (3B), Pinto (2B), Danny Ortiz (2B), and finally a Ramirez single that scored four runs. Then a string of singles in the sixth scored two more. The Rochester lineup was 8-15 with runners in scoring position on the night.
Mark Hamburger made the start, and pitched 6.1 (extra) quality innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits and three walks. What gets lost in that overall line is the fact he had a no-hitter intact through six of those innings. It unraveled for him quickly in the seventh however, which led to the Indians' three runs before Stephen Pryor finished the inning. Hamburger struck out just one, but recorded twelve groundouts and four flyouts.
In his return to Rochester, Logan Darnell pitched the next 0.2 innings of relief, and surrendered a run after a double, wild pitch and RBI groundout in the eighth. Michael Tonkin finished the final 1.1 innnings, striking out one.
The victory brought the Red Wings within one and a half games of the first place Syracuse Chiefs.
ROCK CATS REVIEW
New Britain 0, Erie 6
Starter Pat Dean was roughed up for twelve hits and six earned runs in just 3.1 innings, and the Rock Cats were unable to mount any threats against Seawolves pitchers in this one, racking up six hits and going 0-7 on the night with runners in scoring position.
Jorge Polanco was 2-4, and Eddie Rosario collected the only extra base hit for New Britain, his fourteenth double of the year in the sixth inning.
Alex Wimmers came on for 2.2 innings of relief, allowing one hit while striking out four, and Jim Fuller added two scoreless innings while New Britain limped to the finish in this one.
Fort Myers 4, St. Lucie 0
Fort Myers was able to collect some retribution for the AA shutout, by doing the same to their High-A opponent, the St. Lucie Mets.
Brett Lee was on the mound looking to atone for his last start, in which he lasted just four innings and allowed four runs. He did that and more, pitching a complete game shutout, scattering seven hits and three walks, while striking out four. He also induced three double plays, and none of the St. Lucie hits went for extra bases. The win gives him a 9-3 record on the year in fifteen starts, and lowered his ERA to 1.89, which would rank fourth in the FSL if he had three more innings under his belt, and just ahead of former teammate, Jose Berrios.
The Mets actually outhit the Miracle 7-6, but RBI triples from Stuart Turner in the seventh and Max Kepler in the ninth gave Lee all the support he needed. Kepler was 2-3 on the night, while Travis Harrison was 1-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Byron Buxton rough stretch continued, as he went 0-4 with two strikeouts on the night, and is batting just .171 in his last ten games.
In The Sandlot-esque fashion, Jason Kanzler entered the game in the top of the ninth as a pinch runner for Dalton Hicks, moved to second on a wild pitch, and then proceeded to steal third base. He then took home as part of a double-steal with Adam Brett Walker II for the Miracle’s third run of the game.
Kane County 6, Cedar Rapids 5
Cedar Rapids fell behind early. Starter Stephen Gonsalves had some trouble in the first inning, as leadoff singles from the first two batters, a walk, and a bases clearing double put them in the hole 3-0.
They got two back in the second courtesy of sacrifice fly balls from Michael Quesada and Chad Christensen that plated Max Murphy and Logan Wade, but were unable to mount any more offense until the ninth inning.
Gonsalves retired nine in a row after the early hiccup, but was able to finish only four innings, allowing the three earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out five. In four starts (technically, but really three) with the Kernels, Gonsalves has now pitched sixteen innings with a 2.25 ERA, with sixteen strikeouts compared to just four walks.
Chriss Mazza (2 IP, 3 H’s, 2 ER’s 3 K’s) and Hudson Boyd (2 IP, 2 H’s, 1 BB, 1 ER, 2 K’s) combined to pitch the next four innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk while striking out five. Josue Montanez finished the game with a scoreless inning and two K’s.
The Kernels mounted a furious comeback in the bottom of the ninth, which included an RBI single from the rehabbing Joe Mauer and a Mitch Garver double that scored Engelb Vielma and Mauer to bring the team to within one. But strikeouts from Alex Swim and Logan Wade with the bases loaded ended the game in losing fashion.
Mauer was 3-5 on the night, while Vielma (2-4), Swim (2-5, 2B) and Murphy (2-4, 2B) also collected multiple hits.
Danville 0, Elizabethton 7
2014 third round draft choice and fireballer, Michael Cederoth made the start for Elizabethton, and was effectively wild in helping them post another shutout, allowing one hit and four walks, while striking out four in 5.2 innings.
There was also another (recently) well-publicized fireballer who made his professional debut in this one, and that of course means Sidd Finch, errr.., Brandon Poulson, took the mound in this one. I would say it went well, even though he didn’t strike out like twelve in his one-inning of work. In fact, he didn’t strike out anybody and walked the first batter he faced, but also saw just three batters as he induced a double play and a weak pop-up for his three outs. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what this guy can do!
C.K. Irby (1.1 innings) and Cameron Booser (one inning) also pitched scoreless innings, with Irby striking out four and Booser striking out two.
The E-Town offense was led by none other than Nick Gordon, who was 3-4 with a double, run scored and RBI to raise his average back to just shy of .300. Brett Doe added a RBI triple to the effort, while leadoff man Jeremias Pineda went 1-3 with two walks and three runs scored.
GCL Twins Takes
GCL Twins 3, GCL Red Sox 2
The GCL Twins took this one from the Red Sox at Jet Blue Park, behind a strong start from Josh Guyer, who went five innings and allowed two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out three. Jhon Silva, Leonel Zazueta (win), and Trevor Hildenberger (save) combined for four innings of scoreless relief, four hits and one walk allowed, with four strikeouts.
A Nelson Molina triple scored the first run of the game for the Twins in the third inning, and they added two more in the seventh courtesy of two singles, two sacrifice bunts and an error to head back home across Fort Myers and Daniels Parkway to the Lee County Sports Complex with the victory.
DSL Twins Dialed In
DSL D-backs 2, DSL Twins 3
Starter Moises Gomez (4 IP) and “long reliever” for the night, Randolph Perez (5 IP), combined for all nine innings, surrendering just two earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out four apiece.
Luis Martinez was 3-4 with two doubles, Emmanuel Morel 2-4 with and run scored, and Roni Tapi added an RBI double in the win.
TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher – Brett Lee, Fort Myers Miracle (9IP, CG-SO, 7 H’s, 3 BB’s, 4 K’s)
Hitter – Doug Bernier, Rochester Red Wings (3-5, 2 R’s, BB, HR, 2 RBI)
SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Indianapolis – Alex Meyer (6-4, 3.05 ERA), 6:05PM CST
New Britain @ Erie – Taylor Rogers (8-6, 3.92 ERA), 6:05PM CST
Fort Myers @ Palm Beach – TBD, 5:35PM CST
Kane County @ Cedar Rapids – Lewis Thorpe (2-2, 4.53 ERA), 5:05PM CST
Danville @ Elizabethton – Sam Gibbons (3-2, 3.40 ERA), 5:00PM CST
GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox – TBD, 9:00AM CST
DSL Twins @ DSL D-backs – TBD, 9:30AM CST