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Twins Minor League Report (5/14): Lee, Walker Propel Kernels

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Overall, it was not a good day for the Minnesota Twins’ minor league affiliates. However, you’ll want to see what the Cedar Rapids Kernels’ most productive and most exciting hitters did on Tuesday.

Kyle Gibson was back on the mound for the first time since his complete game shutout. How did the Red Wings right-hander back up his strong performance? Antoan Richardson performed the duties of leadoff hitter very well. Cedar Rapids also made several transactions.

Check out what happened in the Twins farm system on Tuesday:

Rochester Red Wings 4, Durham Bulls 7

Box Score

In his previous start, Kyle Gibson threw a complete game shutout against the offensively-challenged Toledo Mud Hens. He threw 114 pitches, so his next start was pushed back a day. On Tuesday night, he faced the good offense of the Durham Bulls. It didn’t go so well. He gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk in just three innings. Tyler Robertson came on and worked two innings. He gave up a run on one hit and one walk. He struck out two. Dan Turpen came on and gave up two runs on three hits in two innings. He walked one and struck out one. Luis Perdomo came on and gave up just one hit over two innings.

Antoan Richardson went 3-4 with a walk and a stolen base. Ray Olmedo went 2-4 with a walk. Chris Colabello was 2-5.

On Wednesday, Cole De Vries will make his third rehab start, first with the Red Wings.

New Britain Rock Cats 2, Bowie Baysox 8

Box Score

BJ Hermsen made his longest start of the season. He worked six innings. He gave up four unearned runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out four. Edgar Ibarra pitched a scoreless seventh inning, walking one and striking one out. Bobby Lanigan pitched the eighth inning and gave up four runs on four hits.

The Rock Cat bats managed just four hits. Danny Ortiz hit his 11th double. Jason Christian hit his second triple.

Pat Dean will make the start on Wednesday for New Britain.

Ft. Myers Miracle 3, Dunedin Blue Jays 9

Box Score

It wasn’t a good night for the Miracle. Matt Summers started and gave up three runs on five hits. In 5.2 innings, he walked three and struck out five. Chad Rodgers came on and gave up four unearned runs on four hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Dakota Watts pitched the final two innings and gave up two runs on four hits.

Levi Michael went 2-4 with his fifth double. Aderlin Mejia was also 2-4. The two combined for four of the team’s six hits.

On Wednesday, Tom Stuifbergen will make the start for the Miracle.

Cedar Rapids Kernels 5, Burlington Bees 4

Box Score

The Kernels may have only had four hits in this game, but they got a pretty big hit from a pretty big guy who has been a pretty big, productive performer all year for the team. Adam Walker came to the plate in the 6th inning of a tie game. For the third time this season, he hit a grand slam. On the year, Walker is now hitting .309/.356/.655 with ten doubles, four triples, ten home runs and 44 RBI in 35 games. 24 of his 43 hits have gone for extra bases. This home run went over the batter’s eye in center field, a monstrous blast. As Jeff Johnson of The Gazette (Cedar Rapids) tweeted, “Cover Kernels since ’99, seen vast majority of games in new ballpark, see 2 balls hit over batter’s eye previously. 2 this year.” Dalton Hicks hit one over the eye earlier this season, and Kennys Vargas did it once last year in a Beloit uniform. Jim Crikket was at the game and tweeted, “Walker is now 5-for-6 with the bases loaded this season. 3 of those hits are grand slams.”

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The Kernels added an important insurance run an inning later. Byron Buxton hit a routine fly ball to centerfield. The centerfielder dropped the ball and kicked it around a little bit. In the meantime, Buxton raced all the way around the bases. I’m sure Mr. Crikket will read this (maybe?) and be able to tell us more, but I envision a guy running around the bases really, really quickly.

Lefty Brett Lee was very impressive on the mound. He threw six shutout innings before his own throwing error led to two unearned runs in the seventh inning. He gave up eight hits, but walked just one and struck out ten batters for the Win. Coming into the game, he had just 13 strikeouts in 24.2 innings. He now has 23 strikeouts (and just seven walks) in 31.2 innings on the year. Manuel Soliman came on and threw a scoreless eighth before being charged with two in the ninth. David Hurlbut got the final two outs to record his third save.

Hudson Boyd will make the start on Wednesday for the Kernels. On Tuesday, the Kernels made several transactions. Lefty Josue Montanez returns to the team. Michael Quesada was officially added to the roster after his 50 game suspension. Jeremias Pineda, who came to the Twins last August in the Danny Valencia trade, was promoted to Cedar Rapids as well. Romy Jimenez, on his birthday, was sent down to Extended Spring Training.

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