Off the field, there may have been some big news.
The Twins have asked the city of Elizabethton to make needed improvements to Joe O’Brien Field. The Player Development contract between the Twins and Elizabethton runs out at the end of the season, and there is a real chance the Twins could go elsewhere. Even with the ballpark changes, it’s possible the Twins could go elsewhere, but this certainly helps.
- LaMonte Wade was activated from the disabled list. Travis Harrison was placed on the disabled list.
- Brian Olson ended his rehab stint in the GCL and returned to the Miracle.
- Cedar Rapids placed Travis Blankenhorn on the 7-day disabled list with a lower back strain.
- Austin Bizzle was also activated from the GCL’s DL.
Rochester 2, Norfolk 7
Looking at the final score, you might be surprised that this game was tied 0-0 through six innings. Lefty David Hurlbut was fantastic. He did give up a run in the seventh to put the Red Wings down 1-0.
Hurlbut began the eighth inning, but he gave up two singles before getting a strikeout for the first out of the inning. Jake Reed came on to try to keep it a one-run game, but that’s not quite what happened. Reed gave up a single, but Daniel Palka came up throwing and got the runner out at the plate for the inning’s second out. Uplifting, but then Reed gave up a walk to load the bases, and they were cleared by a double by Mike Yastrzemski. Yaz’s grandson scored when Paul Janish singled him in. Then the inning mercifully came to an end, but the damage was done.
Luke Bard got the ninth inning, and he was charged with two runs on two hits in the inning. He struck out two.
Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Red Wings had just two hits. In the ninth, Zack Granite scored on Daniel Palka’s ninth double. Palka later scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Hague. But it wasn’t enough, and the Red Wings fell. Mitch Garver hit his 26th double and Kennys Vargas went 2-4.
Hurlbut’s final line? He gave up two runs on 10 hits. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a single batter.
Chattanooga 7, Birmingham 2
Zack Littell made his third start for the Lookouts since coming over from the Yankees organization. He improved to 2-0 thanks to six quality innings. He gave up just one run on five hits. He walked three and struck out three. At 86 pitches, he was removed.
Yohan Pino made his first appearance since a long DL stint. He gave up a solo homer in the seventh inning. Ryan Eades pitched two very efficient innings to close out the win.
Nick Gordon returned to the lineup after sitting out two games. He went 2-5 with an RBI. LaMonte Wade returned after being out since July 31st. He went 1-3 with two walks and was hit by a pitch. Jonathan Rodriguez walked twice and drove in two runs. Andy Wilkins provided some insurance late with two RBI.
Game 1 - Ft. Myers 6, Dunedin 4
It’s always good to score early… and then hang on. The Miracle got their double- header started with a big, five-run first inning and held on. With two on, Zander Wiel hit a grounder. Because the ball was misplayed, two runs scored. Next, with two runners on, Brent Rooker hit his fifth Miracle home run, a three-run shot, to give the Miracle a 5-0 lead. That gives Rooker 12 homers since signing with the Twins.
Randy LeBlanc started and went 4.2 innings. He gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks. He struck out three. Anthony McIver worked the final 2.1 innings. He gave up four hits, but no runs and struck out one.
Brian Olson came off of the DL. He had a broken foot. He’s been rehabbing in the GCL, but this was his first Miracle game. He went 1-3.
Game 2 - Ft. Myers 1, Dunedin 0
Tanner English came to the plate with a runner on third base and less than two outs. His sacrifice fly scored Jaylin Davis. Not exactly exciting normally, but when it’s tied 0-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning of the second game of a doubleheader, it’s a walk-off. The Miracle were able to sweep two games from the Dunedin Blue Jays.
As you would expect from a 1-0 game, there wasn’t a lot of excitement, at least until the seventh inning. But first, we should point out that Sean Poppen started and he was fantastic. He threw six shutout innings and gave up just one hit. He walked one and struck out five.
Andrew Vasquez came in for the seventh inning. He gave up hits to the first two batters. He then tried a pickoff play and threw the ball away, allowing runners to be at second and third with nobody out. However, he turned it on at the point. He got a ground out to third base, with the runners holding. Then he got a big strikeout for the second out. Another ground ball to third, and the inning was over.
That set up the bottom of the seventh. Davis, who had notched his seventh double earlier in the game, started the inning with a single. One out later, he advanced to third on a single by Nelson Molina. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, English stepped to the plate and stepped up with the game-winning sacrifice fly.
Cedar Rapids 3, Quad Cities 0
Clark Beeker was on the mound again for the Kernels, and that’s been must-watch pitching his last several outings. It was again on Friday night. The right-hander threw seven more shutout innings.He gave up three hits and walked three without a strikeout.
His consecutive scoreless innings streak now sits at 32.2 innings. He has now given up zero runs in four straight starts. On July 23rd, he threw six scoreless innings. He threw a complete game shutout on July 29th. On August 4th, he went 8.2 innings. And now seven more shutout innings. He is now 11-3 with a Midwest League leading 2.03 ERA.
For his part, Beeker says he doesn’t think about the streak, though he clearly doesn’t want to give up runs. He told Twins Daily on Friday night, “I don't think about the streak too much, but it's just so happens the streak is runs allowed and not something like hits or walks. But I definitely do bear down and focus more pitch by pitch once those guys get into scoring position. The defense made some great plays behind me tonight that definitely helped us pick up the win. ”
His catcher was instrumental in the Kernels win as well. Ben Rortvedt gave the Kernels a 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the bottom of the second inning. It was his fourth homer of the year. In the fourth inning, he added an RBI single.
But Rortvedt’s value obviously is felt by his pitching staff as well. According to Beeker, “Ben does a phenomenal job behind the plate. It really is impressive to watch him work and how much he values the defensive side of the game. Obviously his home run and single were huge to get some momentum going early, and he's definitely swung the bat better these last few months. His dedication to being on the same page with the pitchers and taking control of the game at his age and in his first full season is impressive and has been fun to watch, whether I'm a spectator that day or pitching.”
The third Kernels run scored on a Lewin Diaz single. Diaz went 2-3 in the game. Christian Cavaness went 1-3 with two walks. Caleb Hamilton was 1-3 with two walks.
Beeker’s bullpen helped finish the shutout. Ryan Mason threw a scoreless eighth inning (despite two walks). Colton Davis recorded his third save with a scoreless ninth frame. He gave up one hit and struck one out.
Elizabethton 1, Greeneville 3
While the E-Twins lost on the field, it appears that they had some positive news off of it that we mentioned up above. The Twins in Elizabethton is such a great tradition, it would be unfortunate if they were unable to maintain the affiliation.
On the field, the offense was able to get some chances, but they were unable to cash in often enough. Their lone run in the game came on a solo home run off the bat of Kolton Kendrick who also walked in the game. Andy Cosgrove went 2-4 with a double. Jose Miranda was also 2-4. TJ Dixon added his third double.
Bailey Ober made the start for the Twins. He gave up three runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batter in 5.2 innings of work. He struck out five. Rickey Ramirez came on and threw 2.1 scoreless innings, striking out one. Jared Finkel struck out one in his inning.
GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Twins 4, GCL Red Sox 3
The Twins got an early lead, gave it up, and then won in dramatic fashion on a walk off.
Austin Bizzle started for the Twins. He gave up two runs on three hits in four innings. He struck out six without a walk. Carlos Suniaga went the next 4.2 innings. He gave up one run on three hits. He walked three and struck out eight. David Gerics came on and got the final out.
Ben Rodriguez led the Twins offense. He went 2-4 with his ninth double. In the bottom of the ninth, Taylor Grzelakowski led off with a single. Dane Hutcheon replaced him on the bases. Victor Tademo sacrificed him over to second. Emmanuel Morel had a pinch hit single to advance Hutcheon to third base. Then Humberto Maldonado singled in Hutcheon to win the game. It gave Gerics his first professional win.
TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Clark Beeker, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ben Rortvedt, Cedar Rapids Kernels
FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Norfolk @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers
Chattanooga @ Birmingham (6:30 CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez (vs Michael Kopech)
Dunedin @ Ft. Myers (5:05 CST) - RHP Eduardo Del Rosario
Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - LHP Anthony Marzi
Elizabethton @ Johnson City (6:00 CST) - TBD
GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox (9:00 am) - TBD
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday’s games.
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