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Monday Night in the Minors

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Liam Hendriks was again unable to pick up his first career win. Despite being given a five run lead going into the bottom of the 5th against the Tigers, he was unable to get an out. However, the Twins bullpen did what they’ve done all year. Anthony Swarzak came in and maintained the lead. Alex Burnett was tremendous again. And Glen Perkins got the save. All the efforts gave manager Ron Gardenhire his 900th career win. Quite an accomplishment! The Twins have now won four in a row and play the Tigers again tonight.

For all this and more, here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from Monday:

ROCHESTER 1, PAWTUCKET 2

The Red Wings got terrific pitching. Unfortunately the defense and the offense didn’t have enough for a win on this day.

Sam Deduno started and gave up two unearned runs on five hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out five. Casey Fien struck out the side in his inning.

The offense managed just five hits in the game. Zach Stewart threw the first six for Pawtucket. Daniel Bard threw the seventh inning. Brian Dinkelman went 2-4 with his fourth double. Ray Chang added his fourth double.

NEW BRITAIN 2, BOWIE 11


Former big leaguer Shairon Martis made his first start for the Rock Cats since he was acquired last week from the Pirates for cash considerations. Martis gave up eight runs (7 earned) on eight hits and three walks in just 4.2 innings. He struck out five. David Bromberg returned to the Rock Cats and pitched out of the bullpen. He threw 2.2 scoreless innings and gave up one hit, walked two and struck out two. Daniel Turpen then gave up three runs on three hits in the final 1.2 innings. He walked two and struck out four.

Chris Colabello led the offense. He went 2-4 with his 19th double. Evan Bigley was also 2-4. Oswaldo Arcia was 1-3 with a walk and his first Rock Cats triple.

FT. MYERS 2, ST. LUCIE 5


The Miracle offense was again pretty quiet in this game. They combined for just five hits. Levi Michael returned to the lineup and had an RBI triple. Josmil Pinto was 1-3 with a walk.

Pat Dean was the Miracle starter. The lefty gave up four runs (3 earned) on nine hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out two. Miguel Munoz came on and gave up a run on two hits in his two innings. He struck out two. Nelvin Fuentes threw two scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and one walk and struck out one batter.

BELOIT 6, CEDAR RAPIDS 5


Defense is such an important variable at all levels of baseball, but it is often more magnified in the lower levels of the minor leagues. The Snappers committed five errors in this game and yet still came out victorious.

My choice for Twins Minor League starting pitcher of the month of June, David Hurlbut, was on the hill for the Snappers. He gave up five runs on six hits in five innings. Zero of those runs were earned. He walked three and struck out five. Ryan O ‘Rourke came on and provided the team with three scoreless innings of relief. He gave up two hits and a walk and struck out three. Corey Williams came on in the ninth and despite allowing two hits, he recorded his 12th save of the season. He struck out two.

On offense, Jhon Goncalves was a home run away from the cycle. The speedy centerfielder was 3-4 with his 14th double and fourth triple. Steve Liddle went 2-4 with his seventh double.

The story of the game, however, was Miguel Sano. He was 1-2 with an RBI double, his 17th of the season. However, he was removed for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning. Wang-Wei Lin batted for him and then went into the game in left field. AJ Pettersen, who started the game in left, moved in to third base. In the top of the fourth inning, Sano had three errors. He now has 31 on the season. He batted in the bottom of the 4th and flew out. So it is not immediately evident that defense is the sole reason he was removed from the game. He is, however, on pace for 54 errors on the season. That is a large number, but it is not unusual for young players in the low levels. Derek Jeter had 56 errors in the Midwest League. There are many such examples. However, it is going to take a lot of work for Sano to be a viable third baseman.

ELIZABETHTON 13, PRINCETON 1


Romy Jimenez was again the leader of an E-Town offensive attack. The team had 13 runs on 16 hits. Jimenez went 3-4 with a walk, his fourth and fifth doubles and his fifth home run. He is now hitting .439. Max Kepler was 3-5 in the game. He was hit by a pitch and hit his second triple. DJ Hicks went 2-4 with a walk, his third double and his first professional home run. Rory Rhodes was 2-4 with a walk and his fourth double. Adam Walker went 2-5 with his second double.

Angel Mata got the start and gave up one run on two hits. However, he was only able to complete 3.2 innings because he walked four and struck out four. Josh Burris came in to the game and continued to pitch great. He struck out three, and walked two, in 2.1 scoreless innings. Steve Evans gave up no runs on one hit and struck out four in his two innings. Kaleb Merck struck out one in a perfect ninth.

If you thought the 3B defense of Miguel Sano was bad wait until you read about Travis Harrison. The Twins 2011 supplemental first round pick can flat-out hit. He is hitting .354 even after going 1-10 in his last two games. However, in 12 games played, he has committed 11 errors at 3B. He is on pace for 54 errors in the Elizabethton 68 game schedule. Again, not a concern at this point, but it does show that a lot of work will need to be done.

GCL TWINS 0, GCL RAYS 1 (10 innings)


It was quite the pitcher’s duel in the GCL on Monday! The Twins managed just four hits. Kuo Hua Lo went the first five innings. He gave up no runs, no hits, no walks, no hit batters through five innings. He struck out five and got good defense behind him. Alex Muren came on and was perfect in the sixth. Trent Higginbotham came on in the seventh and gave up a leadoff single, but after a sacrifice bunt, he was able to get a line drive double play. He then walked three straight batters in the 8th inning after he got the first two outs, but Melciades de la Cruz got him out of the inning with a strikeout. De La Cruz pitched a scoreless ninth as well. However in the bottom of the 10th, he hit the leadoff batter. The next batter bunted and De La Cruz had a throwing error that led to runners on second and third. Then the game ended on a wild pitch.

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Players of the Day for Monday, July 2, 2012

Pitcher of the Day – Kuo Hua Lo

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Hitter of the Day – Romy Jimenez

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A Look Ahead – Tuesday, July 3, 2012 Schedule

Rochester @ Pawtucket – RHP Steve Hirschfeld
New Britain vs Bowie – LHP Blake Martin
Ft. Myers vs St. Lucie – LHP Cole Nelson
Beloit vs Cedar Rapids – RHP Tim Shibuya
Elizabethton @ Princeton – RHP Taylor Rogers
GCL Twins vs GCL Rays – TBD

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If you have any questions or comments on the Twins minor league system, players, teams, etc., leave them in the Comments and I’ll try to answer them!
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