Still a lot of meaningful activity going on as the minor league regular season comes to a close. The Twins were led to a victory Monday afternoon largely due to the right arm of Phil Hughes. The organization also made a number of September call-ups who will join the Twins on Tuesday.E-TOWN E-NOTES / APPY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Elizabethton 9, Johnson City 10
You could call this a heartbreaker. After giving up two runs in the first and four in the third to fall into a 6-0 deficit, the E-Twins turned around with nine runs in the bottom of the sixth. They then turned right around and gave up four more runs in the top of the seventh to trail - and eventually lose - 10-9.
The bottom of the sixth was crazy. After a Pat Kelly double and Tanner English triple, Nick Gordon drew a walk that led to a pitching change. The reliever walked Trey Vavra and also threw two wild pitches, so English scored and Gordon advanced to third. With Tyler Kuresa batting, a third wild pitch scored Gordon and a passed ball allowed Vavra to reach third. An RBI groundout by Kuresa plated Vavra, the fourth run of the inning. Austin Diemer added an RBI fielder’s choice. Pat Kelly drove in two more on a single. Tanner English added a sac fly before Gordon closed the scoring with an infield hit that drove in a run.
Unfortunately, there wasn't a whole lot more that the offense was able to put together.
Sam Gibbons started and gave up six runs (four earned) in three innings. He struck out one. Randy LeBlanc came in and pitched three solid, shutout innings. LeBlanc allowed the first two runners of the seventh to reach before being relieved. Sam Clay got only one out, allowing those two runners to score and giving up two more runs of his own. Trevor Hildenberger finished the seventh and completed the game, striking out four.
Decisive Game 3 will take place tomorrow night at 6:00 pm with Appy League Pitcher of the Year Felix Jorge on the bump.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 3, Pawtucket 1
The Red Wings closed out their 2014 season with a victory to end the season on a high note and at 77-67. Unfortunately, they were eliminated from the playoff race with yesterday’s loss but were able to play meaningful games up until the (almost) very end.
Additional good news came to some members of the Red Wings, as eight players will be promoted to the Twins tomorrow. Those players are: Ps Logan Darnell, A.J. Achter, Lester Oliveros, Michael Tonkin, SS Doug Bernier, CF Aaron Hicks and Cs Josmil Pinto and Chris Herrmann. Only Achter will be making his big-league debut.
Hicks reached safely three times in his tune-up for his return to the big leagues. He drove in a run and finished his AAA season batting .278. Eric Farris also had two hits and an RBI. Chris Colabello, who was passed over for a September call-up, drove in the other run. This likely seals his fate as a member of the Twins organization. Pedro Florimon was also passed over.
Kris Johnson made the start and only gave up one run. He allowed four hits and walked three while striking out three. Johnson picked up his 10th AAA win. In their final appearances before their promotions, A.J. Achter struck out four in two innings and picked up a hold and Lester Oliveros picked up his sixth save. He struck out one in an inning.
It was a good run that the Red Wings made and hitting coach Tim Doherty and manager Gene Glynn will both be joining the Twins staff for two weeks. The Red Wings have been very successful under their tutelage and it would be an upset if the entire staff didn’t return next year in some capacity.
ROCK CATS REVIEW
New Britain 4, New Hampshire 3 (13 innings)
The Rock Cats have had a long season, but apparently wanted it to be a few innings longer.
Despite some rough patches, New Britain still had a record (73-69) that would have kept them in playoff contention if they were in the Western Division.
Jorge Polanco was the offensive star for the Rock Cats. He had an RBI single in the first inning, an RBI single in the eighth inning to tie the game and finally an RBI walk-off double in the bottom of the 13th. Terry Ryan said Polanco “isn’t ready” for a September call-up. I’d beg to differ.
Stephen Wickens and Matt Koch both had two-hit games to end their seasons.
Alex Wimmers made the start and went three innings, throwing 35 pitches and only allowing a single hit while striking out three. It will be interesting to see how he figures into the organization’s plans.
Edgar Ibarra, outrighted off the 40-man roster yesterday, gave up a two-run home run in his three innings pitched. Jim Fuller gave up a run in two innings. Daniel Turpen pitched three scoreless innings before Cole Johnson pitched the final two innings, picking up the win.
Fort Myers - DAY OFF
The Miracle kick off the Florida State League playoffs tomorrow at Bradenton at 5:30. Game Two and Three follow as “home games” in Jet Blue Park on Wednesday and Thursday. Both games, if needed, will be at 6:05.
Cedar Rapids 3, Clinton 1
The Kernels ended their regular season with a victory.
Ryan Eades was remarkable. He went seven innings, allowing only three hits, a walk and one run. He struck out two and ended his season with a 5.14 ERA and 10 wins. Eades was an entirely different pitcher in the second half of the season than he was in the first half. In the first half, Eades threw 56.2 innings in 12 starts, he struck out nearly a batter per inning, but also walked about four batters per nine. His ERA was 6.51. In the second half, Eades saw his strikeout rate drop to six per nine, but also saw his walk rate drop to three batters per nine. He gave up more home runs and hit more batters, but his ERA fell to 4.13) and WHIP from 1.76 to 1.26.
Hudson Boyd struck out two in a scoreless eighth and Jake Reed recorded three groundball outs to close the game. In Reed’s 31 innings this year, he allowed only one earned run, and that game was on June 30th.
Alex Swim and J.D. Williams both had two-hit games. Swim and Max Murphy each had an RBI. The Kernels failed to have an extra-base hit.
The Kernels open the Midwest League playoffs on Wednesday against Burlington.
Twins Daily Minor League Players of the Day
Pitcher of the Day: Ryan Eades, Cedar Rapids
Hitter of the Day: Jorge Polanco, New Britain
Ft. Myers at Bradenton (5:30 CST) – TBD (Listen) (Game 1)
Elizabethton vs Princeton (6:00 CST) - Felix Jorge (Game 3)
The Twins won on Monday, so grab some discounted Papa John's pizza on your way home from school tomorrow!
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