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  • Minor League Report (9/5): Close But No Sweep-gar

    Lucas Seehafer PT

    The Mighty Mussels clobbered the Tortugas, but the remainder of the games were decided by four runs combined.


    • RHP Luke Farrell activated from 60-day IL, sent to Twins
    • LHP Andrew Albers optioned to St. Paul
    • RHP Derek Law DFA

    Game 1: Columbus 9, St. Paul 8
    Game 2: St. Paul 1, Columbus 0

    The Saints dropped their first game of the day against the Clippers in … unfortunate fashion. They took a 8-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh when Columbus promptly scored five runs against Ian Hamilton and the newly-signed Vinny Nittoli to pick up the win. 

    Jason Garcia started the bullpen game for St. Paul and allowed four runs in two innings. Yennier Cano and Kyle Barraclough combined to pitch four scoreless innings, striking out six, walking two, and allowing two hits.

    The Saints picked up 15 hits as a team, including four from Tomas Telis alone. Caleb Hamilton crushed a home run and went 2-for-4 in his first game at Triple-A. Gilberto Celestino and J.T. Riddle also contributed two hits apiece. 

    Charlie Barnes started the second game for the Saints and pitched five innings of shutout ball. He struck out three, walked one, and gave up only two hits. Nick Vincent pitched a scoreless sixth inning after loading the bases by striking out three. Edgar Garcia solidified the shutout and earned the save.

    Offensively, David Bañuelos went 2-for-2, while Drew Maggi drove in the Saints’ lone run. 

    Arkansas 2, Wichita 1
    Box Score

    The Wind Surge dropped a low-scoring affair to the Travelers on Sunday, though, at least that means that Jordan Balazovic pitched well. 

    Balazovic struggled during the month of August — “struggle” being relative to his usual dominance — posting a 3.72 ERA with a 22:13 K:BB ratio in 29 innings. Encouragingly, the Canadian pitched a gem against Arkansas as he struck out six and did not allow a walk in 5 ⅔ innings of work. It was the first time since August 10 and only the fourth time all season that Balazovic did not issue a free pass. 

    Although he missed some time earlier in the season with an injury, Balazovic has put together a truly encouraging season. His strikeout numbers are down (92 vs. 129) and his walk numbers up slightly (32 vs. 25) compared to his 2019 season split between Low- and High-A, but overall Balazovic has been one of the more consistent starting pitchers in the Twins farm system. His performance in 2021 should have him on track to debut at some point next summer, which will be his age 23 campaign. 

    However, despite picking up seven hits collectively, Wichita was unable to bring home more than a single run. Roy Morales was the lone Wind Surge player to contribute more than one hit, going 2-for-4 with a double. Trey Cabbage also clobbered a double and rose his OPS to .874 at the Double-A level. 

    Austin Martin, Spencer Steer, Leobaldo Cabrera, and Ernie De La Trinidad all hit singles. Zach Neff and Erik Manoah Jr. pitched 2 ⅓ innings of hitless ball in relief.

    Quad Cities 6, Cedar Rapids 4
    Box Score

    The Kernels stuck tight to the River Bandits all afternoon, though, in the end, the Quad Cities offense was simply too much to overcome.

    Cedar Rapids rallied with three runs across the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game at 4-4. However, Quad Cities scored two runs in the top of the ninth off the typically robust Zach Featherstone to claim the win.

    Tyler Watson started on the mound for the Kernels and tossed five innings, striking out four, walking three, and allowing four earned runs. Denny Bentely — who has put together a quietly great season out of the pen — tossed the next 2 2/3 innings, striking out five. Featherstone was ultimately handed the loss after striking out two and allowing two earned runs in 1 ⅔ innings. 

    The Kernels mustered only four total hits at the plate, one of each coming off the bat of Edouard Julien (single), Yunior Severino (single), Jeferson Morales (double), and Aaron Sabato (home run).  

    Fort Myers 10, Daytona 2 
    Box score

    The Mighty Mussels crushed the Tortugas on Sunday to improve their record to .500 (52-52). Fort Myers threw five pitchers — Regi Grace, Zaquiel Puentes, Logan Campbell, Bradley Hanner, and A.J. Labas — who combined to strike out 14 Daytona batters and only walk three. No Tortuga athlete had more than a single hit.

    Conversely, the Mighty Mussels had three athletes contribute multi-hit games. Christian Encarnacion-Strand led the way with three hits, including his fourth home run of the season. Willie Joe Garry Jr. — who picked up two hits — also hit a dinger, his third, while Will Holland crushed his ninth. Kyler Fedko went 2-for-5.

    FCL Twins off day

    Pitcher of the Day — Jordan Balazovic, Wichita: 5 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
    Hitter of the Day — Tomas Telis, St. Paul: 5-for-8, 3B

    #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 5 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
    #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain)
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-6, RBI, BB
    #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain)
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - No game
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, BB
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-5
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-2, 3 BB
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4

    FCL Twins at FCL Braves — 11 a.m. CST, TBD



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    Is it just me, or does Encarnacion-Strand have two or three hits almost every day?

    Excellent start for Balazovic.  With the number of so-so starts of late, would like to see him stay right where he is and help pitch Wichita to a league championship.  Looks like Charlie Barnes is one heck of a great AAA pitcher.  Can he develop into an effective soft tossing lefty for the Twins?  Will see what happens next year and beyond.

    Although the Kernel's are 10 games over .500, their record against Quad Cities has to be ugly, really ugly.  [checked their schedule, they are 7-17 vs. Quad Cities, actually seemed worse to me]  

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    Okay a name I never saw before - Vinny Nittoli - 30 years of age.  Our newest discovery.  Last night was reflective of his career - Vinny's record

    2021 - 5 teams - in Seattle era 18 - 54 in St Paul after one game.  Tacoma 5.61, two other minor league teams - 6.35.  

    2019 his era for a variety of teams - 3.80, 9.50, 5.49  We sign him and put him in AAA.  

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