OF Mark Contreras recalled by the Minnesota Twins
St. Paul 7, Buffalo 4
Aaron Sanchez: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 K
HR: Michael Helman 2 (3, 4), John Andreoli (6)
Multi-hit games: Jake Cave (2-for-5), Tim Beckham (2-for-4), Michael Helman (3-for-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI), Elliot Soto (4-for-5, R, 3 RBI), John Andreoli (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI)
The Saints won handily on Saturday.
Former AL ERA champ Aaron Sanchez received the nod on Saturday. He was sporadic, walking a batter an inning while allowing three runners to score; he ended the day with a 2.00 WHIP.
But the Saints’ bats pulled through. One-day big-leaguer, Elliot Soto, brought home a pair of runs with a single in the 4th inning. The Buffalo Bisons then chipped back, netting a few runs before parking themselves firmly in front of St. Paul at a 3-2 clip. Michael Helman wanted no part of that, and he sent a solo shot out to left before John Andreoli blasted his own homer, this time to center.
If you thought Helman was done, then you would be wrong, my friend. Helman sent another solo homer out to left, this time staking a three-run lead that expanded after Soto brought him one final run with an RBI single.
The Saints may have found good fortune on Saturday; their pitchers walked more batters than they struck out (eight to seven), but Buffalo could not take advantage of the free passes. Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good.
Wichita lost a weird one on Saturday.
Every batter for Wichita, outside of one got a hit on Saturday; they had 10 in total. Yet, the team went a hearty 0-7 with RISP, and that’s how you score two runs off 10 hits. Heck, half of their RBIs on Saturday came from a bases-loaded walk.
Cole Sturgeon realized that if you hit a homer, then you’re always in scoring position, and simply blasted a ball out to right field for his sixth homer of the season. Kevin Merrell had the other extra-base hit: a double in the 6th.
Louie Varland was just good, not his usual dominant self on Saturday. The righty had a full stat line, allowing eight runners against five strikeouts with three earned runs bookending his start.
Cody Laweryson made his AA debut after receiving a promotion on Friday. The righty worked two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and two singles allowed. He did work himself into some trouble in the 9th inning, but Chris Williams threw out a runner to end the inning.
Cedar Rapids 6, West Michigan 5
Sean Mooney: 4 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
HR: Wander Javier (6), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (16)
Multi-hit games: Seth Gray (2-for-4, 2 RBI)
The Kernels won a walk-off on Saturday.
Sean Mooney started the game and did an adequate job keeping his team in the game, allowing two runs over 4 ⅔ innings. Mooney also struck out six.
Cedar Rapids’ bats picked up immediately on Saturday; Kyler Fedko brought home two runs on a 1st inning triple, giving the Kernels the quick advantage. The Whitecaps scratched back with a pair of sacrifice flies in the 3rd and 5th innings to tie the game.
West Michigan didn’t stop there. A pair of plays involving errors from Charles Mack allowed the Whitecaps to take a two-run lead. With two on in the bottom of the 8th inning, Wander Javier launched a go-ahead three-run homer to centerfield, giving the Kernels their first lead since the 1st inning.
The Whitecaps tied up the game in the 9th inning with a solo homer, but Christian Encarnacion-Strand punished such silliness by cracking a walk-off shot in the bottom of the inning. It was Encarnacion-Strand’s 16th home run of the season.
The Mighty Mussels were supposed to play a doubleheader, but rain intervened, and neither game occurred. Fort Myers will play two games on Sunday starting at 10:30 AM.
FCL Twins 7, FCL Red Sox 6 (10 innings)
Cleiber Maldonado: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Multi-hit games: Jefferson De La Cruz (3-for-5, 2 R), Andres Centeno (2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Breilin Ramirez (3-for-5, 2 R)
The FCL Twins won in extra-innings on Saturday.
Rehabbing big-leaguer Chris Sale started for the FCL Red Sox. Sale ended up striking out six over 2 ⅔ IP—because of course he did—but the FCL Twins did knock out three hits against him.
Cleiber Maldonado, now the owner of my favorite name in the system, was phenomenal on Saturday. The lefty punched out six batters while allowing just one run over 4 innings; he dominated by any metric.
The FCL Twins had three players with multiple hits and fortunately, all three batters hit back-to-back-to-back; six of the Twins’ runs came from Jefferson De La Cruz, Andres Centeno, and Breilin Ramirez.
The DSL Twins lost in a shutout on Saturday. Yasser Mercedes nabbed one of the two extra-base hits for the DSL Twins; Junior Del Valle had the other. Del Valle also stole a base.
TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cleiber Maldonado
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
#1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Injured List
#2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-1, K
#3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, 2 K
#4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch
#5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - IL
#6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - IL
#7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-4, RBI, BB
#8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - IL
#9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Did not play
#10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch
#11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch
#12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
#13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
#14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - Did not pitch
#15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, BB, 2 K
#16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, RBI, BB, K
#17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch
#18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, HR, R, RBI, BB, 2 K
#19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - IL
#20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
St. Paul @ Buffalo (12:05 PM) - RHP Mario Sanchez
San Antonio @ Wichita (1:05 PM) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long
Western Michigan @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - RHP John Stankiewicz
Fort Myers @ Lakeland (10:30 AM) - LHP Jaylen Nowlin