- Minnesota Twins recalled RHP Griffin Jax from St. Paul Saints.
- C Kyle Schmidt assigned to St. Paul Saints from Fort Myers Mighty Mussels.
- C Chris Williams assigned to Wichita Wind Surge from Cedar Rapids Kernels.
- C Kole McKinnon assigned to Fort Myers Mighty Mussels
Columbus 3, St. Paul 0
Andrew Albers’ six-inning outing wasn’t enough to propel the Saints to victory on Thursday evening in Columbus. Jimmy Kerrigan recorded the Saints’ only hit on a night that was dominated by a stellar Clipper pitching staff.
Kerrigan’s hit came with one out in the fifth inning when he punched 1-1 pitch to left field for a single.
Albers’ outing wasn’t his best of the year, but it certainly wasn’t a bad one. The Canadian gave up six hits but did strike out five on the night. After giving up a run in the first, Albers was excellent for the next two innings, only allowing one baserunner. It looked like that streak would continue in the fourth after Albers struck out the first two batters in the Columbus lineup. That plan changed when Clippers’ right fielder Daniel Johnson rocked a home run over the right field wall. Columbus would follow suit with another run in the inning thanks to a walk and a double.
And while the bats weren’t cooking, St. Paul relievers Nick Vincent and Robinson Leyer were excellent in the eighth and ninth innings. Vincent, who was signed on Tuesday was perfect in the seventh thanks to a strikeout and two ground outs. Leyer followed suit with a perfect eighth inning thanks to a pop-out, line-out, and a ground ball.
WIND SURGE WISDOM
Wichita 8, Midland 6
Things didn’t look good for the Wind Surge midway through Thursday night’s game against Midland. After four innings Wichita was trailing 4-0 with all hope of scoring opportunities plagued by double plays and outs.
Insert a wealth of fifth-inning singles, walks, and runs.
The Surge scored eight runs between the fifth and sixth innings to power the club to an 8-4 win over the RockHounds.
David Banuelos, Peter Mooney, Jose Miranda, Jermaine Palacios, and BJ Boyd all knocked singles in the fifth to ignite a four-run inning for the Surge.
The four-run feat was repeated in the sixth thanks to doubles by Jose Miranda and Andrew Bechtold. Miranda was the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month for May. His numbers in June have been even better than they were in May. Miranda has slashed .346/.418/.593 so far this month and has shown no signs of slowing down.
Despite the rough start, Wichita saw positive bullpen performances from Ryan Mason and Alex Phillips. Both men pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball.
Cedar Rapids 5, Lansing 2
Trey Cabbage was nothing less than magical in the Field of Dreams state on Thursday night, crushing two home runs in the Kernels’ eighth victory in a row.
Cabbage launched a two-run shot in the fourth and a solo shot in the ninth to propel Cedar Rapids to a 5-2 win over Lansing. Cabbage’s dingers give him four hits in his last three games and a slash line of .273/.251/.568 on the year.
Cabbage’s fourth-inning shot wasn’t the only one in the inning. Following a leadoff walk, Seth Gray launched a two-run home run to kickstart a four-run inning for Cedar Rapids. The shot was a momentum changer for Cedar Rapids, who hadn't put a baserunner on in the first three innings.
"After Steer took that walk, Gray jumped on that first pitch and it gave the guys a bit of relief." manager Brian Dinkkleman said. "Once you get that first guy on and that first run it helps build some momentum."
Gray’s homer was followed by a Jair Carmago single that set up Cabbage’s two-run shot.
Cabbage and Gray weren’t the only Kernels who pounced on the Lugnuts’ pitching staff. Spencer Steer and Michael Helman also recorded hits on the night for Cedar Rapids. Steer also scored a run thanks to Gray’s homer.
And while the offense got the headlines, Kernels’ starter Ben Gross was excellent on the bump, striking out six and only giving up two runs in five innings. Prior to this season Gross last pitched in Elizabethton in 2019. Despite the gap in 2019 Gross has done well to adjust to a higher level of pitching.
"With the year off it's been a challenge to get into that competitive mindset and focus on getting guys out," Gross said. "There's more consistency here (than in rookie ball) and it's tougher to get guys out multiple times through the lineup."
Gross has handled the transition well and is now 2-0 on the year with a 2.78 ERA.
For a California-native and product of east-coast Princeton and Duke, Gross has appreciated the deeply-rooted tradition of baseball in the Midwest.
"That's been one of the very pleasant surprises of being here, is that people love their baseball," Gross said. "To go from games where we'd have 100 people at games (in rookie ball) to 1,400 tonight on a Thursday, it's a really great atmosphere to play in."
After leaving the game Gross was relived by two rock-solid performances from Derek Molina and Zach Featherstone. Molina pitched 2 1/3 innings of one-hit scoreless baseball and Featherstone followed suit with a scoreless 1 2/3 innings, recording his second save of the year.
Palm Beach 5, Fort Myers 4
A series of unfortunate events in the ninth resulted in a tough loss for the Mussels on Thursday evening in the Sunshine State.
An error, stolen base, and single pushed the Cardinals to a walk-off win in a game that featured a plethora of standout performances from the Mussels.
Despite giving up ten hits Mussels starter Brent Headrick was productive on the mound, surrendering only two runs in five innings. Headrick, who now has a 2.87 ERA on the year ran into obstacles in all five innings but was able to limit the damage, giving up one run in the third and another in the fifth. He struck out five men in his outing.
Despite the loss, the Mussels also put up ten hits and a quad of runs thanks to some mid-game momentum.
Trailing 1-0 in the fifth, the Mussels punched a ticket on the scoreboard thanks to a pair of doubles from Misael Urbina and Aaron Sabato. With one out, Urbina laced the opening pitch of his at-bat to left field for his first of three hits on the night. Two batters later, Sabato followed suit with a double to left field that scored Urbina.
Fort Myers continued their offensive surge in the sixth. Charlie Mack kicked off the inning by taking an 0-2 pitch to center field for a single. He would then advance to second thanks to a balk from Palm Beach pitcher Luis Ortiz. Mussels’ DH Nick Anderson followed with his second double on the year, moving Mack to third. Mack would score on the next at-bat thanks to a sacrifice fly from Justin Washington.
Anderson’s quality at-bat paid off when Ruben Santana poked an RBI blooper to the left side of the infield, allowing Anderson to score from third. The run was Anderson’s second since being activated by the Twins on June 7.
The Mussels bowled a turkey in the seventh inning when Eduoard Julien laced an RBI single to left field, scoring Urbina. Julien is now slashing .316/.503/.991 on the year.
TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day- Ben Gross (Cedar Rapids)- 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, BB, 6K
Hitter of the Day- Trey Cabbage (Cedar Rapids)- 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 H, 3 RBI, 2 HR, K
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
#1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – 0-for-4
#2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL)
#3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – 0-for-3, BB, K
#4 - Ryan Jeffers (Minnesota) – Did not play
#5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 7-day IL (elbow strain)
#6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch
#7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – Did not play
#8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB
#9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – IL (elbow)
#10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – IL (Tommy John surgery)
#11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play
#12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – Did not play
#13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – IL (hamate bone)
#14 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 3-for-5, 2 R, K
#15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 7-day IL (undisclosed)
#16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow)
#17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – 1-for-3, K
#18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A
#19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 5-for-6, R, RBI
#20 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch
FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05PM CST) – RHP Charlie Barnes (3-1, 3.10 ERA)
Wichita @ Midland (7:00PM CST) – RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-1, 6.43 ERA)
Lansing @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Cody Lawyerson (2-1, 2.57 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30PM CST) – RHP Casey Legumina (2-1, 4.67 ERA)