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TwinsDaily Minor League Report (9/17): Max Keper's Grand Salami!

Posted by Eric R Pleiss , 18 September 2015 · 763 views

max kepler max murphy chris paul sam gibbons jason wheeler
The Twins squandered an early 5-0 lead and eventually fell 8-11 to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Despite the loss the Twins remain just a game and a half behind the Houston Astros for the second Wild Card spot in the American League.

In the Minor League playoffs, both the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Cedar Rapids Kernels played game two of their respective league championship series. Let's take a look at how they did.

Lookouts Look In
Chattanooga Lookouts @ Biloxi Shuckers
Jason Wheeler vs. Adrian Houser
Final Score: Lookouts 6, Shuckers 1

The Lookouts took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a Max Kepler solo-home run. They extended their lead to 5-0 in the fifth after another Max Kepler homer, this time a grand slam! In the seventh the Shuckers had the good sense to intentionally walk Max Kepler only to see the next batter, Travis Harrison hit an RBI single to put the Lookouts up 6-1.

Max Kepler was the hero of the evening for the Lookouts, finishing the game 2-4 with a pair of runs scored, five RBIs and a walk. Kepker's two home runs were the Lookouts only extra base hits of the evening. Shortstop Heiker Meneses was 203 with a walk and number nine hitter, Shannon Wilkerson, was 2-4.

Jason Wheeler pitched seven innings of three hit baseball, surrendering just a single run and taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning. All three of of hits Wheeler gave up came in quick succession in the bottom of the sixth as the first three hitters singled. Wheeler struck out five and walked three. Nick Burdi gave up a hit and a walk in the eighth inning but recorded a pair of strike outs and help the Shuckers scoreless. J.T. Chargois walked the first hitter in the bottom of the ninth to give Biloxi some hope, but mad quick work of the next three hitters to send the Shuckers home.

Game three is on Saturday in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Kernels Korner
Cedar Rapids Kernels @ West Michigan Whitecaps
Sam GIbbons vs. A.J. Ladwig
Final Score: Kernels 1, Whitecaps 4

The Kernels led the Whitecaps 1-0 going into the bottom of the seventh inning before allowing four runs to lose the game. Sam Gibbons was cruising through six, but gave up a walk and a double to start the inning, putting runners at second and third. The next batter singled home a pair of runs. The lead runner scored easily, but the second runner was ruled safe a home despite never touching the plate as the home plate umpire ruled that Kernels' catcher Brian Navarreto was blocking the plate without the baseball. Kernels manager Jake Mauer came out to argue the call and was relieved of his managing duties for the remainder of the evening as he was subsequently ejected. With Gibbons still in the game and now down 2-1, the next batter laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner over and a throwing error by Gibbons allowed the runner to reach putting runners at the corner with no outs, ending Gibbons' evening. The Whitecaps would score two more runs in the seventh to extend their lead to 4-1.

Gibbsons' final line on the night was 6+ innings pitched, five hits, four runs (two earned), a walk and four strike outs. Yorman Landa pitched the final two innings. Landa gave up one hit, one walk, and struck out three.

The Kernels offense managed just six hits, with a pair of them coming from designated hitter Max Murphy, who tripled home the only run of the night in the second inning. Chris Paul was 1-4 with a double and came around to score on the Max Murphy triple. On the evening the Kernels sent 34 men to the plate and did not earn a single walk.

Game three is on Saturday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.