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Eric R Pleiss

Twins Minor League Report (07/08): Alex Meyer Shines, Mike Kvasnicka Glows

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The Twins pulled out a late night win against the Mariners. Phil Hughes pitched 7.1 shutout innings and Sam Fuld hit a go-ahead home run, his first as a Twin. Brian Dozier hit an RBI sac fly to increase the lead to 2-0 late in the game and the bullpen shut down the Mariners bats.

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Ricky Nolasco was put on the 15-day Disabled List with a sore pitching elbow. The Twins have recalled Chris Herrmann to take his spot on the 25-man roster, giving Gardy a third catcher and a 12-man pitching staff. Josmil Pinto was activated form the AAA Disabled List to replace Herrmann at AAA.

Brian Dozier was added to the list of participants for the Home Run Derby. He doesn't have the power we typically expect from derby participants, but he's a home town guy with a not awful home run total over the past year.

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Red Wings Report
Rochester 3, Buffalo 2
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Alex Meyer threw 99 pitches, 59 for strikes, over six innings. He gave up four hits, two runs, struck out ten, and walked four. After a couple of hiccups in mid-June, Meyer has not rattled off three strong starts in a row, and will head to the MLB Futures game on a roll. His ERA is down to 3.43 and he has 103 strike outs in just 89.1 innings. Rob Antony talked about wanting more consistency from Meyer earlier this week, but it seems like he's doing everything he needs to to earn a promotion after the All-Star game, especially if Ricky Nolasco's injury prevents him from returning to the starting rotation.

Alex Meyer left the game with a no decision, and Edgar Ibarra came on, pitched two scoreless innings, picked off two runners and earned the win when Rochester took the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Ryan Pressly pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save of the year.

Doug Bernier led off for the wings and was 2-4 with a double and two RBIs. He's now hitting .299/.375/.436 this year in AAA. He's going to be 34 later this month, but with the performance the Twins have received from shortstops this year, his name is certainly in the mix if Danny Santana is out for an extended period and Eduardo Escobar continues to slide.

The Red Wings take on former Twin Liam Hendriks on Wednesday evening. Hendriks is having a strong year at AAA, 6-1, 2.19 ERA, 70 strike outs, 6 walks, in 86.1 innings. Hendriks has twice been called up to Toronto to start for the Blue Jays this year, and pitched well in his first two outings before being trounced for six earned runs in 1.2 innings at the end of June.

Rock Cats Review
Game One: New Britain 10, New Hampshire 2 (seven innings)
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The Rock Cats jumped out to an early lead and continued to add on en route to a 15 hit, 10 run explosion. Every Rock Cats hitter had at least one hit. Leadoff hitter Mike Kvasnicka was 3-4 with a double and an RBI. Reynaldo Rodriguez was 2-3 with two runs scored, two doubles, and the Rock Cats' only base on balls of the evening. Brandon Waring was 1-4 with two strike outs and a seventh inning grand slam.

Adrian Salcedo and Jim Fuller combined to throw five scoreless innings and Cole Johnson finished the final two frames, surrendering two earned runs, but not factoring in the outcome thanks to all the runs the Rock Cats scored.

Game Two: New Britain 5, New Hampshire 4 (seven innings)
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In a back and forth game, Tyler Duffey pitched well enough to earn a win, despite lasting only 5.1 innings and giving up four runs (three earned). Duffey allowed eight hits and two home runs, and he struck out four. Ryan O'Rourke finished the sixth for Duffey and the Rock Cats without giving up a hit, and Daniel Turpen earned his first save of the year with a scoreless seventh.

Aaron Hicks was 3-4 with a rnu scored and is now hitting .279/.400/.410 at AA. Mike Kvasnicka picked up two more hits in game two, including a solo home run. He ends the day 5-8 over two games. Hicks and Kvasnicka had five hits in the second game, the rest of the Rock Cats had just four more, but thanks to some timely hits and a sac fly, they managed to earn a victory.

Miracle Matters

Fort Myers game against Palm Beach was postponed due to rain.

Kernels Nuggets
Cedar Rapids 15, Wisconsin 5
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You're reading that correctly, the Kernels scored 15 runs. J.D. Willimas was 4-4 hitting in the eight hole, including a two run homer in the bottom of the second, a double, four RBIs and a walk. What a day, kid! Ryan Walker was 2-3 with a walk, a double and four RBIs. Lots of Kernels were on base three times between walks and his, in addition to Williams and Walker, Chad Christensen, Jason Kanzler and Tanner Vavra all managed the feat.

Lewis Thorpe pitched four innings and gave up just two hits, but he walked three and gave up a home run to account for three earned runs. He struck out five. Brandon Bixler pitched two innings, gave up two hits and an unearned run and earnd the victory. Nick Burdi pitched a scoreless seventh, and reportedly reached 101 mph on the radar gun. His control was much better in this, his third, outing, and his ERA has come down from infinity (after failing to record an out in his first start) to just 18.00. Jake Reed gave up an unearned run in the eighth, and Hudson Boyed pitched a scoreless ninth to end the game.

Wednesday night is Hall of Fame Night in Cedar Rapids, the Kernels will recognize members of the 2014 Cedar Rapids Baseball Hall of Fame, Mike Trout, Chris Sabo, Verna Nance, Tom Barbee and Ron Gonder.


E-Town E-Notes
Elizabethton 9, Johnson City 3
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Stephen Gonsalves earned his second Rookie League win, he struck out five, walked three, and gave up five hits in five innings. He was charged with two unearned runs. Samuel Clay and Keaton Steele both earned holds, and Josue Montanez finished things off with a scorelss ninth.

Nick Gordon continues to hit, picking two more on Tuesday night with a 2-5 performance. He's now hitting .362/.408/.493. Don't forget he's 18 years old and has played just 16 games as a professional in a league that's generally the destination for college draft picks, kids right out of high school.

Every other Elizabethton hitter had a hit as well, and Max Murphy, Tyler Kuresa and Jonatan Hinojosa all had two. Jaermias Pineda was 1-4 with a double, the Twins' only extra base hit (out of 13).

GCL Twins Takes
Game One: GCL Twins 2, GCL Orioles 1 (seven innings)
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Amaurys Minier had two of the GCL Twins' six hits, and was the only batter with more than one, going 2-3 with the Twins' only base hit, a double, and an RBI. Rainis Silvia was 0-3 but had the other GCL Twins RBI.

Josh Guyer started and pitched three one-hit innings before turning things over to Alexis Tapia who earned the win with two one-hit innings. Eduardo Del Rosario earned his first save with two innings of relief work, and was charged with an unearned run.

Game Two: GCL Twins 0, GCL Orioles 1 (seven innings)
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Rainis Silva had half of the Twins' hits in the second game, he was 2-3 with a strike out. Tyree Davis and Nelson Molina each had a single. Amaurys Minier who played well in the first game was 0-3 with three strike outs in game two.

Onesimo Hernandez pitched five strong innings. He struck out eight, walked no one, and scattered five hits and surrendered only one run. Unfortunately he was tagged with the loss because the Twins did not help out with run support. Jhon Silva and Trevor Hildenberger each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

DSL Twins Notes
DSL Twins 7, DSL White Sox 8
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The Twins out hit the Sox 11-10, but were just short where it counted and lost after giving up the go ahead run in the bottom of the eighth. Lewin Diaz had a big day at the plate, going 3-4 with two runs scored, a double, an RBI and a walk. Jermaine Palacios and Edgar Herrera each collected two hits.

None of the Twins pitchers had much luck on Tuesday, everyone gave up at least a run, and Carlos Aponte, who was tagged with a loss for giving up an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth, was the only pitcher not to surrender more than one run. Jose Ramirez started and went two innings, walking five and giving up two runs (both earned). Johan Quezada gave up two earned runs in two innings of four walk baseball. Argenis Silva pitched two innings, struke out four, but gave up five hits and three earned runs. Just an ugly night all around from the pitching staff.

Twins Daily Players of the Day
Twins Daily Hitter of the Day - Mike Kvasnicka, New Britian Rock Cats
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day - Alex Meyer, Rochester Red Wings

Wednesday's Probable Starters

Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05 Central) Logan Darnell (Listen)
New Britain @ New Hampshire (12:05 Central) Jose Berrios (Listen)
Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (5:05 Central) Tim Shibuya (Listen)
Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (make up of 7/8 game) - Matt Tomshaw
Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 Central) - Ryan Eades (Listen)
Kingsport @ Elizabethton (6:00 Central) - Sam Gibbons (Listen)
GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00 AM Central) - TBD
DSL Twins @ DSL White Sox (9:30 AM Central) - TBD
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