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  • Twins Minor League Report (9/17): Kernels Edge Closer

    Allen Post

    In a wild game, the Cedar Rapids Kernels used five home runs to pull within a game of a playoff berth. Read more about that and the other affiliates in tonight's Minor League Report!


    • Minnesota Twins select the contract of RHP Nick Vincent from Triple-A St. Paul
    • Minnesota Twins option LHP Andrew Albers to Triple-A St. Paul
    • Minnesota Twins sent C Mitch Garver on a rehab assignment to Triple-A St. Paul
    • Minnesota Twins promote IF Ernie Yake to Triple-A St. Paul from Twins Complex

    Indianapolis 2, St. Paul 0
    Box Score

    The Saints' never got in gear in this one, spoiling a solid pitching performance across the board. 

    Jason Garcia got the start for Saint Paul and was effective over four full innings. He allowed four hits and walked one but did not allow a run and struck out one. Unfortunately, the Saints’ bats struggled early as well and this contest stayed scoreless until the fifth, when Indianapolis got on the board first. 

    Now facing reliever Edgar Garcia, Indianapolis grabbed a run in the fifth off a Bligh Madris double and another in the sixth from an Ethan Paul single. 

    Those turned out to be the only runs of the game, spurring Indianapolis to a 2-0 win. The Saints only managed multiple base runners in the first and ninth innings and didn’t score in either inning. Miguel Yajure sailed through six against St. Paul before turning it over to the bullpen that was just as effective. Gilberto Celestino had a big 3-for-3 night, but he was the only Saints hitter with more than one knock.

    Chris Nunn pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth innings but the damage was done during Edgar Garcia’s outing.


    Wichita 2, Arkansas 1
    Box Score

    Fresh off clinching a spot in the playoff, Wichita gave the ball to Cole Sands and Twins Daily’s #19 prospect was dominant, as he and Kody Funderburk keyed a pitcher’s duel victory.

    Sands went five full innings and only allowed three hits while striking out four. He did allow three walks but did not allow any of them to score. In fact he, didn’t allow anyone to score. 

    From there, Funderburk took over and it was as if nothing changed. Kody cruised through three hitless innings, and though he ran into some trouble and allowed a run in the ninth, he still closed out the win.

    On the offensive end, the Surge didn’t do a lot, but it was just enough. The first run of the game came in the second, when a Jermaine Palacios single finished off a rally that brought Leobaldo Cabrera to the plate. 

    Hours of scoreless baseball later, Ernie De La Trinidad blasted a shot into the bullpen to grab Wichita’s second run of the game.

    Those runs proved to be all the Surge needed, thanks to the dominant pitching. D.J Burt and Ernie De La Trinidad had the only multi-hit games for Wichita. 


    Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 6
    Box Score

    With a playoff berth very much in the balance, Cedar Rapids turned to Casey Legumina tonight for his debut start for the Kernels. Legumina allowed three runs and struck out seven in 4 ⅔ innings, keeping the Kernels in it and allowing their late offensive explosion to carry the day.

    The Kernels didn’t wait to take the lead in this one as Michael Helman came to the plate on a throwing error from Peoria third baseman Jacob Buchberger. 

    Peoria answered in the bottom of the third with a run coming in on a Jhon Torres double, but the Kernels took their lead right back off a massive solo homer from Aaron Sabato

    Unfortunately, the Chiefs took the lead for themselves in the fifth with two runs, with Torres and Pedro Pages registering RBI singles.  

    Cedar Rapids still trailed 3-2 heading in the eighth inning, but then they decided they’d had enough of that. The offense blasted three homers in the inning for four runs to take a strong three-run lead. The bombs came from Edouard Julien, Michael Helman, and Aaron Sabato for his second of the night. 

    However, the Chiefs took that punch and responded with one of their own in their half of the eighth. They strung together four straight hits and put up three runs to tie the game, with RBI going to Tommy Jew (2) and Tyler Reichenborn. 

    But, as if to spit in the face of Peoria’s comeback, Seth Gray hit a go-ahead bomb to dead center to lead off the ninth inning. And, though the bottom of the ninth inning didn't go smoothly for Cedar Rapids, no runs were scored and the Kernels secured a massive win.

    Coming into this game, the Kernels were tied with Lake County for the second playoff spot in High-A Central and both teams were just one game up on Great Lakes with three to play. With losses tonight from both of their playoff rivals, this Kernels win gives them a one-game lead over Lake County. Cedar Rapids trails both Lake County and Great Lakes in the playoff tiebreaker, so that one-game lead is crucial as they'll need it to secure a spot against Quad Cities in the playoff.  


    Tampa 0, Fort Myers 0 (postponed top first)
    Box Score

    The Mussels were scheduled to finish last night’s postponed game against Tampa tonight. Unfortunately, the rain continued to create problems in Fort Myers and no baseball could be played today. 

    The game that had been scheduled for today has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. The Mussels and Tarpons will play a doubleheader tomorrow, weather permitting.


    Game 1:
    FCL Red Sox 10, FCL Twins 2
    Box Score

    It’s Friday, so you already know that the FCL Twins lost to the Red Sox. In the first half of a scheduled doubleheader the Twins struggled on both sides of the ball, losing 10-2. 

    The Twins only managed four hits in this one and no hitter had a multi-hit game. The runs scored on two solo homers, one from LaRon Smith in the second, and the other from Rubel Cespedes in the fifth. The Red Sox offense scored runs in all but two innings and built their substantial lead with a four-run second inning and a three-run second. 

    On the mound for the Twins, Giovahniey German started the game and struggled, allowing five runs (four earned) in less than two innings. Control was an issue for German, as he walked three batters and allowed a run to score on a wild pitch. Danny Moreno took over from German and was better, allowing a run and striking out three in two innings of work. Cole Bellair’s 2 ⅔ innings was the longest outing of the night, though he was touched for four earned runs during his time on the bump. Ricardo Velez took care of the seventh and was the only Twins pitcher to not allow a run. 


    Game 2: FCL Twins 2, FCL Red Sox 0 (postponed, bottom second)
    Box Score


    Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
    Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR (7)


    #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain)
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4
    #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain)
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-5, 3 K
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 3-for-3, BB, 2B
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR (8)
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Rained Out
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-3, BB, K 


    St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (1-2, 5.49 ERA)
    Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (6-7, 4.37 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (2-3, 4.63 ERA)
    Tampa @ Fort Myers, Doubleheader (Game 1: 3:30 PM CST, Game 2 to follow) - TBD

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games!




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    10 hours ago, Monkeypaws said:

    I saw comments recently about what a bust Sabato is. I think that .948 OPS in Cedar Rapids begs to differ. He does fan a lot, but he takes a lot of walks as well, and the power....

    And now he will get an offseason to work on a few specific things and come back next year ready to go. He really, really struggled the first half of the season... he couldn't hit a decent fastball. Contact was definitely an issue, and still is, and likely will always be to some degree. That said, the power is legit. The patience is legit. And, frankly, getting out of the "Florida State League" has to help too! 

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    One player we all should be excited about is Celestino.  Disappointing with the Twins in a premature call up, way premature, it appears his big league struggles has paid dividends back at AAA.  Should be key member of Twins teams in 2022 and beyond.

    should be exciting finish for the Kernels, unfortunately, their record against Quad Cities is ugly.

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