Omaha 11, St. Paul 2
The storyline here was the return of Royce Lewis to the St. Paul lineup. He was leading off and playing shortstop, which is the position Minnesota had suggested they wanted him to get consistent run at. On the mound was top pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic, but this one was a tough outing. Working just four innings, Balazovic gave up six runs on six hits. He did walk just one while punching out five.
It didn’t take long for the storyline to take center stage. Lewis led off the game seeing just two pitches. The first he took, and the second he blasted over the centerfield wall for his fourth home run of the season. Unfortunately for the Saints, they didn’t score again until facing a 6-1 deficit. Kevin Merrell took his turn sending one out of the park when he hit his second dinger of the year.
Omaha continued to add on in this one, bringing home runs in each of the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings.
Two runs was all the Saints could muster tonight, despite getting seven hits. Lewis answered in a big way going 3-for-3 and looking every bit the star he appeared to be in the brief 11 game cameo with the Twins.
It’s been a tough stretch for the Saints as they’ve now dropped 10 in a row.
WIND SURGE WISDOM
Wichita 6, Springfield 5
So much to like in Wichita tonight with Simeon Woods Richardson making the start, and Trevor Larnach becoming the first major league player to play a rehab assignment for the Wind Surge. Throw in that it was alternate jersey day playing as the Turbo Tubs and you’ve got yourself a great time.
Woods Richardson continued his strong campaign working five innings allowing just two runs. Although he did give up six hits, Woods Richardson walked just one and struck out four. His ERA on the season is now 2.39.
After getting behind in the 3rd inning, Wichita evened things up during the bottom half. Spencer Steer, who has had a great 2022 season, ripped his 13th double to plate DaShawn Keirsey. After Springfield again too the lead in the 5th inning, the Turbo Tubs answered in the bottom half.
Larnach blasted a three-run homer to right field scoring Keirsey and Austin Martin. Steer then continued to rake and crushed his 8th homer of the season.
Unfortunately, Steven Klimek ran into trouble for Wichita during the 8th inning and surrendered three runs (two earned). That allowed Springfield to knot things at five and make this one a tight contest in the late innings.
Not looking to be outdone, the Turbo Tubs got turbo charged in their half of the 8th inning. Minnesota native Matt Wallner stepped in and crushed one nearly to Forest Lake, 440 feet, to regain the lead.
Cedar Rapids 11, Lake County 2
Cade Povich took the ball tonight for the Kernels and was nothing short of dominant. He worked 5 1/3 innings allowing just two hits and blanking the opposition. Povich issued just a single free pass and punched out five.
Cedar Rapids didn’t wait long to break this one open as Seth Gray crushed his third homer of the season in the bottom of the first, scoring Christian Encarnacion-Strand, to put the Kernels up early. In the second inning the good guys got another crooked number. Willie Joe Garry Jr. tallied his third triple scoring Jeferson Morales and then Wander Javier homered for the fourth time to drive them both in. Up 5-0 with Will Holland on base, Encarnacion-Strand recorded his sixth blast and made it 7-0.
Waiting a couple innings to further the damage, recently promoted Kyler Fedko stepped in for the bottom of the 5th inning. With Aaron Sabato and Gray on board, Fedko crushed homer number two and made it a 10-0 game. Morales then added on his own, a solo shot to center, and it was an 11-0 laugher.
The 11 hits matched the run total, and multi-hit efforts came from Sabato, Gray, Morales, and Garry Jr. The five home runs tonight were a season-high for Cedar Rapids.
Fort Myers is scheduled to play a doubleheader tomorrow against Clearwater.
TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day – Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB 5 K
Hitter of the Day – Seth Gray (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR(3)
We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here.
Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed:
#1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, R
#2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3-3, R, RBI, HR(4)
#4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 4.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
#8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
#12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, R, RBI, HR (7)
#18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR(8)
FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
St. Paul @ Omaha (6:35PM CST) - RHP Mario Sanchez
Wichita @ Springfield (7:05PM CST) - LHP Blayne Enlow
Lake County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long
Fort Myers @ Clearwater (DH @ 3:00PM CST) - RHP Steven Hajjar/TBD
Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.