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Article: Minor League Report (4/13): Shutouts


Twins Daily Contributor

In the majors on Sunday afternoon, Phil Hughes was out-dueled by Chris Sale who was making his first start of 2015 season, as the Twins lost the rubber-match of their three game series 6-2 in Chicago.

 

In the minors, all four of the Twins full-season affiliates were in action on Sunday, and there were a lot of zeroes put up on the scoreboards.Read on to see how each of them fared.

 

RED WINGS REPORT

Buffalo 2, Rochester 0

Box Score

 

On the mound for the Red Wings Sunday afternoon was big left-hander Jason Wheeler and he put forth a strong quality start effort. Unfortunately, he was also saddled with a loss as the home team lineup was unable to provide any offense to support him. In the losing effort, Wheeler tossed 6.2 innings and allowed just four hits, but four walks doomed him as both the Bisons’ runs were scored by batters who had been issued a free pass.

 

In the third inning Wheeler walked the leadoff man who was sacrificed over to second base, then moved to third on a groundout before a Chris Dickerson single brought in the first run of the game. In the fourth inning, Chris Colabello drew another leadoff walk, and was brought home on a triple from Caleb Grindl.

 

That was it for the offense from either side in this one.

 

Lester Oliveros relieved Wheeler with two outs in the seventh inning, and struck out two while finishing the eighth. Stephen Pryor came in for the ninth and struck out one.

 

The Red Wings outhit the Bisons 8-5 on the game, but were also 0-5 with runners in scoring position and left eleven men on base. Eddie Rosario (2-4, 2B) and Doug Bernier (2-4) each collected two hits on the day. Aaron Hicks was 0-5 with three strikeouts.

 

LOOKOUTS LOOK-INS or CHATTANOOGA CHATTER

Chattanooga 6, Montgomery 0

Box Score

It was another pitcher’s duel for most of the game in Montgomery, as the first twelve Lookouts hitters were retired in order, including five via strikeout, before Dalton Hicks led off the top of the fifth inning with a double. D.J. Baxendale started for Chattanooga, and kept the Biscuits lineup at bay in similar fashion, scattering six hits and one walk in 6.1 innings, while striking out four to pick up his first victory of 2015. Ryan O’Rourke came on and retired consecutive left-handed hitters, including one strikeout, to finish the seventh inning. Dallas Gallant got the save while pitching the final two innings, allowing two hits and striking out two.

 

The Lookouts didn’t put any runs on the board until the seventh inning, when the Biscuit’s went to their bullpen. Miguel Sano drew a leadoff walk, Hicks singled him to third and advanced to second on the throw, then Travis Harrison brought them both home with a single to center field to take the lead 2-0. Harrison would later come around to score on a sac fly from Stuart Turner to make it 3-0. RBIs from Mike Gonzalez (double), Adam Brett Walker (sac fly), and Byron Buxton (single) would make the score 6-0 in the top of the ninth after Hicks and Harrison drew consecutive walks to start the inning.

 

For the game, the Lookouts offense was led by Hicks (2-3, 2 R’s, 2B, BB) and Harrison (1-3, 2 R’s, 2 RBI, BB), but everyone in the lineup reached base at least once, and Sano was the only batter without a hit. Byron Buxton (1-5, RBI, 2 K’s) also notched his first steal of year.

 

MIRACLE MATTERS

Ft. Myers 0, Charlotte 4

Box Score

It was another shutout performance for a Twins affiliate, but this one also came on the wrong end and was the second time in the opening four game home-and-home series the Stone Crabs shut out the Miracle in Port Charlotte.

 

The Miracle lineup managed just five hits and two walks on the night, and like their Red Wings brothers, struggled when they did have opportunities. As a team they went 0-10 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base for the game. Niko Goodrum was the lone standout, going 2-3 with a double and a walk, but was stranded in scoring position three times. Logan Wade (1-4, 2B), Alex Swim (1-3, BB), and Engelb Vielma (1-3) collected the other three hits.

 

On the mound for the Miracle was Ethan Mildren, the Twins 12th round draft pick in 2013 out of the University of Pittsburgh. In five innings, the right-hander surrendered just two runs on six hits and one walk while striking out two. Alex Muren pitched two scoreless innings in relief (1 H, 1 BB, 2 K’s), while Brian Gilbert allowed the two other runs in the eighth inning on three singles and a double.

 

KERNELS NUGGETS

Beloit 3, Cedar Rapids 8

Box Score

 

Cedar Rapids scored early and late en-route to a 8-3 home victory at Perfect Game Field to move to 4-0 on the season.

 

To get the scoring started, Zach Granite led off the game for the Kernels with a single and scored on a Zack Larson ground out. Tyler Kuresa then doubled in Jorge Fernandez who had reached base with a walk to give the Kernels a 2-0 lead out of the gate.

 

In the second inning, the Kernels loaded the bases with two outs, and right-fielder Zack Larson cleared them with a double.

 

Video by SD Buhr

 

Beloit closed the gap to 5-3, before the home team tacked on three insurance runs in the eighth inning. Jonatan Hinojosa and Brian Navaretto led off the frame with back-to-back singles and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Tanner English. Granite then brought them both home with a double before scoring himself on a single from Nick Gordon.

 

Granite (2-3, 3 R’s, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB), Larson (2-5, 2B, 4 RBI) and Hinjosa (2-4, R,) collected multiple hits on the day. Kuresa and T.J. White added doubles to the effort.

 

Hard throwing righty Michael Cederoth made the start for the Kernels and made it through four innings before being replaced by Sam Clay in the fifth. Cederoth allowed one run on three hits and three walks while striking out three. Clay lasted just one-third of an inning as he walked the bases loaded and gave up a bases- clearing double. Zach Tillery came on to finish the fifth, and then three more innings. He allowed just one hit and one walk, while striking out four in 3.2 innings. Cameron Booser finished the game for the Kernels, walking one but striking out the side to end the game.

 

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

 

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – D.J. Baxendale, Chattanooga Lookouts (W, 6.1 IP, 0 R’s, 6 H’s, 1 BB, 4 K’s)

Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Zack Larson, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-5, 2B, 4 RBI)

 

MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

 

Rochester @ Scranton/Wilkes Barre (5:35 PM CST) – RHP Mark Hamburger

Chattanooga @ Montgomery (10:35 AM CST) – RHP Alex Wimmers

Fort Myers @ Tampa (6:00 PM CST) – RHP Ryan Eades

Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) – RHP Felix Jorge

 

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Sunday games.

 

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Today's pitching lineup features three former top prospects who have fallen out of favor.

Wimmers - former 1st round pick
Eades - former 2nd round pick
Jorge - the darling of 2014 prospect lists

Should be an interesting day.

 

Jorge certainly put himself tonight back in the conversation as a potential top prospect for Cedar Rapids, and Eades wasn't shabby, either.

 

Anyone in Cedar Rapids notice if Jorge has his velocity back?  10 K in 7 IP w/ 0 ER- very impressive considering the huge step back he took in 2014.

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