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Twins Minor League Report (8/24): Kernels Clinch

Posted by Cody Christie , in Minor Leagues 24 August 2014 · 1,271 views

chad christensen pat dean nick gordon nick burdi adam brett walker
Twins Minor League Report (8/24): Kernels Clinch Things are starting to wind down in the minor league season and this means plenty of very important games for Twins' affiliates. The Kernels entered Sunday with a chance to clinch and the Red Wings are right in the middle of the wild card hunt. This means every at-bat and every pitch are very important.

The same can't be said for the MLB version of the Twins. They are out of the playoff chase but they can still upset a few teams along the way. After pounding the Detroit Tigers in the first two games of the series, the Twins dropped the last two to end up with a split.

Let's see if the farm system offered up any more hope on Sunday.

Rochester 5, Scranton/WB 4
Box Score
A lot of Rochester's future is in their own hands. They took that moto to heart on Sunday as they mounted a four run bottom of the eighth inning to crawl past the RailRiders. Doug Bernier went 1-for-3 in the game but his two-run double put the Wings on top for good. Daniel Ortiz cracked his eighth home run of the season, his first since July 27.
Lester Oliveros continued his run of scoreless innings over the last 11 games. He hasn't given up a run in the last 19.2 frames. Tyler Duffey started and allowed three runs on five hits and three walks over four innings. It was the first time since June 4 that he didn't make it through five innings.
With a week's worth of games left in the regular season, the Red Wings are 1.5 games back of the Wild Card leaders Buffalo and Pawtucket. They have two games remaining with both teams so they can forge their own destiny.
New Britain 12, Altoona 0
Box Score
Pat Dean was masterful in this game as he scattered three hits over eight shutout innings. He struck out three and walked two. It was his eighth victory of the season. He hadn't pitched more than seven innings in any start this season and he only earned the win in one of those three outings. Cole Johnson helped complete the shutout by striking out one in an inning of work.
The Rock Cats offense gave Dean plenty of run support. Reynaldo Rodriguez crossed the 20 home run plateau with a two-run shot in the 6th inning. Corey Wimberly had three hits including his 11th double. Kyle Knudson scored twice and hit a couple of doubles. The only starters to remain hitless were Nate Hanson and Tony Thomas.
Fort Myers 2. Charlotte 5
Box Score
D.J. Baxendale surrendered five earned runs on eight hits as he was charged with his third loss of the season. It was his third straight outing of less than five innings and he has won a game since he won three straight starts at the beginning of July. Nick Burdi made his fifth appearance for the Miracle and he has yet to allow a run. He has nine strikeouts over five innings pitched with one walk.

Adam Brett Walker continues to hit home runs. He reached base in three of his four plate appearances and hit his 25th home run of the season. He's also up to 93 RBI on the season. Dalton Hicks had the only other extra base hit for Fort Myers. His 24th double set-up one of the team's two runs.

Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 8
Box Score
Even though the Kernels didn't win this game, a loss by Peoria meant the Kernels still clinched a playoff spot for the second consecutive season. Cedar Rapids will play either Burlington or Kane County in the opening round.

Cedar Rapids strung together three straight singles to take a late inning 5-4 lead but the River Bandits stole the lead back in the bottom of the frame. J.D. Williams was a perfect 3-for-3 and he reached base four times. Chad Christensen knocked in four runs with his 23rd and 24th doubles of the season. Engelb Vielma scored twice and added his 13th double of the year.

Hudson Boyd took the loss after giving up three earned runs on three hits. He struck out one and walked one. Mat Batts got the no decision after he pitched 4.2 innings by allowing three earned runs with four strikeouts. It was the first time since July 2 that he didn't make it through five innings.

Elizabethton 10, Bristol 4 (Game 1- 7 Innings)
Box Score
Seven runs in the last two innings helped to separate the E-Twins from the Pirates. Nick Gordon went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base. He also got caught stealing once and got picked off once. Jorge Fernandez and Tyler Mautner collected three RBI apiece. Nautner had two extra-base hits, a double and a home run.

Keaton Steele earned his second victory after he replaced John Curtiss. Steele struck out two over two innings while allowing one run. Curtiss made it four innings and gave up three earned runs. Dereck Rodriguez struck out the side as part of a perfect final frame.

Elizabethton 1, Bristol 0 (Game 2- 7 Innings)
Box Score
After 14 total runs were scored in the first game of the doubleheader, this game took on quite a different feel. The teams found themselves in a pitchers duel with neither team being able to muster up much offense. Bristol out hit Elizabethton six to two but it wasn't enough. Trey Vavra hit a run scoring double to plate the lone run of the game.

Randy LeBlanc earned his first professional victory after throwing five shutout frames. He struck out seven and walked none. C.K. Irby struck out five over the final two frames to complete the shutout. It was his second save of the year.

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Pat Dean, New Britain Rock Cats
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Chad Christensen, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Scranton/WB @ Rochester (6:05 CST) – Alex Meyer (Listen)
New Britain @ Binghamton (5:35 CST) – Taylor Rogers (Listen)
Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (5:30 CST) – Brett Lee (Listen)
Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (7:00 CST) - Stephen Gonsalves (Listen)
Elizabethton @ Bristol (6:00 CST)- Michael Cederoth
GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00am CST) – TBD