One month of minor league action is in the books, and for the most part, it has played out better than could have been anticipated. The Minnesota Twins' top prospects are performing very well. As important, several of the second-tier prospects have been able to establish themselves early. The Ft. Myers Miracle has the most wins of any team in the minor leagues. The Cedar Rapids Kernels have a roster filled with players who were on the Beloit playoff team a year ago and from the Appalachian League champion Elizabethton Twins.
Over the next couple of days, I will be posting articles on the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month, Starting Pitcher of the Month and Relief Pitcher of the Month. There were a lot of very good choices. However, we still need to talk about what happened in the Twins system on Tuesday night.
Rochester Red Wings 2, Buffalo Bisons 5
Clete Thomas got the Red Wings on the scoreboard in the first inning with his fourth home run of the season. He went 3-5 with the home run and his third double. Chris Colabello went 2-5. Joe Benson had a hit to extend his hitting streak to seven games; in that time he is 9-26 (.346).
Andrew Albers put together a solid start. The left-hander went six innings and gave up two runs on eight hits. He walked none and struck out seven. Shairon Martis came on and gave up one hit over two scoreless innings. The score was just 2-1 entering the ninth frame when the rehabbing Tim Wood came on. He recorded just one out and gave up three runs on three hits. Michael O’Connor came on and got the final two outs.
The Red Wings finish April with a 10-16 record.
New Britain Rock Cats 2, Harrisburg Senators 6
Alex Meyer was back on the mound for the Rock Cats. He threw five scoreless innings in this game. Unfortunately, he pitched six innings and the third of the six didn’t go so well. He gave up four runs in that frame. Overall, he gave up four runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out eight. On the bright side, Meyer did not allow a base runner following the third inning. Jose Gonzalez came on for the Rock Cats and gave up two runs on four hits in 1.2 innings. Michael Tonkin came on and got the final four outs.
The Rock Cats bats didn’t show up in this game. They managed just four hits. Curt Smith went 1-2 and walked once.
New Britain ends April with a 13-12 mark.
Ft. Myers Miracle 5, Clearwater Threshers 2
The Miracle had an incredible month of April, ending the month with another win to give them a minor league best 21 victories. DJ Baxendale was back on the mound and was a winner for the fourth time in the month. The right-hander went six innings and gave up two runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out five. Chad Rodgers came on and threw two scoreless innings. Corey Williams came on and recorded his sixth save with a perfect ninth inning.
Angel Morales had the key hits in this game. He was 2-4 with his ninth double and his second home run. He drove in two runs. Eddie Rosario was 2-4 with a walk and his seventh double. Andy Leer was also 2-4. Miguel Sano was 1-2 with two walks. Stephen Wickens and Levi Michael each doubled.
Cedar Rapids Kernels 5, Lansing Lugnuts 4
The Kernels managed just five hits in this game, but two of them were pretty important. Byron Buxton led off the bottom of the first with an infield single and came around to score on Dalton Hicks’ fourth home run of the season. In the third inning, it was Buxton’s turn to hit his fourth homer of the year, another two-run blast.
Matt Tomshaw made his first start of the season for Cedar Rapids. The lefty threw five shutout innings and gave up just four hits. He walked one and struck out two. Manuel Soliman came on in the sixth inning. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. He was replaced by David Hurlbut who gave up two unearned runs on three hits and a walk. Tyler Jones came on to get the final out and his fourth save of the month.
The Kernels’ 18-5 record is overshadowed by the Miracle, but they are off to a tremendous start.
A LOOK AHEAD to Wednesday
The Rochester Red Wings will be enjoying an off day on Wednesday. New Britain will send lefty Logan Darnell to the mound against Harrisburg. Darnell is 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA so far. The Miracle will play an afternoon game in Clearwater. Jason Wheeler will look to improve to 3-0 despite going into the game with a 5.84 ERA. Cedar Rapids makes their first, long trek into the Eastern Division, when they play West Michigan. Lefty Brett Lee is scheduled to start and is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA.
Twins 1, Tigers 6
Justin Verlander was Justin Verlander. Alex Avila, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder all homered. Vance Worley gave up six runs. In general, it was not a good game for the Twins. The lone run came on a Wilkin Ramirez double.
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