LHP Jovani Moran promoted from Triple-A St. Paul to Minnesota Twins
RHP Andrew Albers optioned from Minnesota Twins to Triple-A St. Paul
St. Paul 21, Omaha 4
Holy runs, Batman! The Saints’ lineup exploded on Saturday evening, particularly prior to the fifth inning, in which they scored 17 of their runs. The 21 runs is the high-water mark for the Triple-A East this season.
Shortstop J.T. Riddle set the tone for St. Paul in the bottom of the second inning when he launched his seventh home run of the season to give his squad a 3-0 lead. However, the Saints weren’t done as center fielder Jimmy Kerrigan hit his 18th dinger and first baseman Sherman Johnson his fourth, later in the frame. It was his first hit since he went 3-for-5 on August 26th. He had been 0-for-17, though he had walked seven times in that stretch. Right fielder Mark Contreras joined the fun in the third inning when he smacked his 15th. The ball flew 461 feet.
Every Saints batter picked up at least one hit on the evening except for catcher Caleb Hamilton who was a late-game replacement for Tomas Telis, who went 3-for-4. DH Gilberto Celestino led the way, going 4-for-6 with two RBI and three runs scored. B.J. Boyd (3-for-5), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-5), and Kerrigan (2-for-6) also contributed multi-hit games.
Derek Law, Vinny Nittoli, and Edgar Garcia tossed six innings of scoreless ball out of the pen after Jason Garcia exited after three innings.
WIND SURGE WISDOM
Arkansas 10, Wichita 3
Well, let’s just say that it wasn’t Chris Vallimont’s night.
The Naturals touched the Twins RHP prospect for nine runs — seven of them earned — in 2 1.3 innings as they cruised to an easy victory. Vallimont was only able to pick up three strikeouts and surrendered nine hits as his ERA ballooned to 6.33.
However, despite the first couple of frames going poorly, as a whole the Wind Surge’s pitching staff performed quite well. Evan Sisk, Hector Lujan, Erik Manoah Jr., and Mitchell Osnowitz combined to strike out 10 batters and allow one run over the course of their 6 2/3 innings.
Right fielder Trey Cabbage led Wichita in hits as he picked up three — all singles — in four plate appearances. Third baseman Spencer Steer went 2-for-3 with a double; however, it was second baseman D.J. Burt’s mammoth home run in the first inning that was the highlight of the game.
Cedar Rapids 5, Wisconsin 4, F/10
The Kernels took home a close victory over the Timber Rattlers Saturday afternoon. Former Minnesota State University, Mankato Maverick Aaron Rozek started the game on the hill, and although he surrendered all four of Wisconsin’s runs — three coming via the long ball — he was able to put together a strong showing, striking out nine and only walking one.
The 26-year-old lefty has made a name for himself after being signed midway through the season thanks to gaudy strikeout numbers and a refusal to issue walks. In 51 1/3 innings across Rookie, Low-A, High-A, and Double-A ball this summer, Rozek has punched out 70 and walked only six batters. That’s a nearly 12:1 K:BB ratio, which is the best in the system among pitchers with at least 50 innings and by a wide margin. Andrew Albers is second with a 8.7:1 ratio and Josh Winder is third with a 6.15:1 ratio.
Derek Molina and Andrew Cabezas tossed the final five innings with shutout ball, striking out five.
Catcher Jefferson Morales and shortstop Anthony Prato each went 3-for-5 on the afternoon; however, it was center fielder DaShawn Keirsey who played the role of hero out of the nine-hole, going 2-for-5 with a double and his fourth home run of the season; he finished with three RBI. Second baseman Edouard Julien (2-for-5, BB) and left fielder Michael Helman (2-for-6, triple, RBI) also contributed multi-hit games.
Fort Myers 6, Palm Beach 5
The Mighty Mussels pulled off a come-from-behind victory against their cross-state rivals despite only one of their seven hits going for extra bases.
Fort Myers scored all six of their runs over their final three at-bats, including four runs in the bottom of the seventh. Second baseman Mikey Perez and third baseman Jake Rucker each when 2-for-3, with one of Perez’s hits being the team’s lone double. First baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand kept his hot streak alive as he drove in two of the Mighty Mussels’ runs. While his box score won’t jump off the page, left fielder Alerick Soularie had a productive night going 0-for-1 with three walks, two runs scored, and a stolen base.
Regi Grace started on the bump for Fort Myers and tossed three innings, striking out three and walking one. RHP Ramon Pineda, brother of Twins’ RHP Michael, was awarded the win after he threw two innings in relief; he struck out two and allowed one earned run. RHP Matt Mullenbach earned the save.
FCL COMPLEX REPORT
Game 1: FCL Red Sox 2, FCL Twins 1, F/8
Game 2: FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 1, F/7
2021 first-round draft pick RHP Chase Petty made his professional debut Saturday afternoon and performed largely as advertised. Across two innings of scoreless work, Petty surrendered two hits, struck out two, and did not surrender a run.
First baseman Wander Valdez clubbed his fourth home run of the season during the Twins’ win, while DH Carlos Aguiar hit his fifth during the loss. As a unit, the Twins’ offense mustered only nine hits between the two games.
TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day — Andrew Cabezas, Cedar Rapids: 3 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K
Hitter of the Day — Jimmy Kerrigan, St. Paul Saints: 2-for-6, 2B, HR, 4 RBI
#1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
#2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, RBI, BB
#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) - Did not play
#7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
#8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain)
#9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
#10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - On Temporary Inactive List.
#11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement)
#12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, RBI, BB
#13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 4-for-6, 2 RBI, 3 R
#14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
#15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 0-for-5, BB
#16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play
#17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
#18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4
#19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch
#20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-for-3, 2B, BB
SUNDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS
Omaha @ St. Paul (2:05 PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (1-2, 4.96 ERA)
NW Arkansas @ Wichita (1:05 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (2-2, 2.86 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (12:05 PM CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (2-3, 4.52 ERA)
Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (11:00 AM CST) - TBD
Feel free to comment and discuss tonight’s games!