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Theo Tollefson

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  1. Box Score SP: Devin Smeltzer 4 1/3 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (96 pitches, 62 strikes (64.5 strike %)) Home Runs: Byron Buxton (19) Bottom 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer -.406, Gilberto Celestino -.207, Carlos Correa -.103 Following Buxton’s homer, Gary Sanchez and Luis Arraez reached base on a single and double but were unable to score as Jose Miranda lined out to center field. . After Buxton put the Twins up 1-0 in the top of the first, Arizona responded in the bottom of the inning.. Twins starter Devin Smeltzer allowed a lead-off single to D-Backs catcher Carson Kelly. One out later, Smeltzer met a new yet familiar foe; former Cleveland Guardian Jordan Luplow. Prior to their first match-up for the evening, Luplow was 0-for-3 in his career against Smeltzer. That changed with one swing of the bat as Luplow connected with a Smeltzer fastball right down the middle for his eighth home run of the year putting the D-Backs up 2-1. Smeltzer retired the next two batters in the bottom of the first on groundouts, escaping further base runners. In the top of the second, the Twins had two base runners reach thanks to a Max Kepler single and Buxton double. But again the Twins couldn’t get the runners home to retake their lead. Once the top of the third came around, the Twins were finally able to capitalize on their runners. Gio Urshela led off the inning with a double and was able to advance to third on an Arraez single. Following Arraez was Miranda and he capitalized with an RBI single to score Urshela and tie the game at 2-2. Just as it looked like the Twins were back in the game, Luplow had other plans. Up for his second at-bat and with two outs, Luplow hit another home run off of Smeltzer to give the Diamondbacks the lead once more. With the score still 3-2 going into the bottom of the fourth the Diamondbacks were able to capitalize and run away with a lead, It all started with a leadoff walk to D-Backs designated hitter Bobby Kennedy. Following Kennedy, right fielder Alek Thomas hit a single, setting up the D-Backs for an opportunity to take the lead. And take the lead the D-Backs did. In a bizarre outcome, Diamondbacks second baseman Jake Hager offered a sacrifice bunt that could have kept runners on second and third with one out for Smeltzer. Instead, Smeltzer threw the ball away at first resulting in an error that allowed both Kennedy and Thomas to score and extend Arizona’s lead to 5-2. Hager was able to score later in the inning on a Carson Kelly single making the game 6-2 D-Backs, and as Jordan Luplow got to the plate for his third at-bat against Smeltzer. Twins fans wondered if Smeltzer could record the final out of the inning. Fortunately for Smeltzer, he was able to retire Luplow on a groundout to Urshela, but not without 4 runs, (3 earned) surrendered to the Diamondbacks. Even after a rough fourth inning, Smeltzer returned to the mound to start the bottom of the fifth. But he would not find his way out of the inning as he surrendered two more hits, both singles, to Daulton Varsho and Kennedy. This ended Smeltzer's outing for the evening as Rocco Baldelli called on Tyler Thornburg to get the Twins out of the inning. Thornburg got the Twins out of the inning but not before giving up another RBI single to Hager with the run charged to Smeltzer. As the Twins left the field in the bottom of the fifth, the Diamondbacks held a 7-2 lead against them. The remainder of the game was uneventful for the Twins at the plate but Byron Buxton kept fans entertained with four of the top five exit velocities in the game. Although Buxton was 2-for-4 for the night, Star Tribune beat writer Phil Miller noted on Twitter that Buxton had four of the top five exit velocities in the game. Even topping Luplow’s second home run’s exit velocity. The bullpen held together for the Twins following Smeltzer’s outing. Thornburg completed 2 2/3 innings allowing only one single after the fifth and allowed no further base runners or runs in his frame of work. In the bottom of the eighth, Tyler Duffey threw a 1, 2, 3 inning to keep the Diamondbacks lead at five runs. The Twins had one last chance for runs in the bottom of the ninth but fell up short as Alex Kirilloff pinch hit in his return only to strike out. Trevor Larnach grounded out on a bouncer to third base, and Byron Buxton ended the game on a groundout to short, giving the D-Backs a 7-2 win over the Twins. What’s Next? The Twins play a late one Saturday night with a 9:10 p.m. start for their second game against the Diamondbacks in the three-game series. Dylan Bundy will start for the Twins while Diamondbacks hurler Luke Weaver. Postgame Interview Bullpen Availability MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Cotton 18 0 16 0 0 34 Thornburg 0 0 0 0 33 33 Duran 13 0 13 0 0 26 Jax 12 0 11 0 0 23 Pagán 18 0 0 0 0 18 Smith 1 0 15 0 0 16 Megill 0 14 0 0 0 14 Thielbar 8 0 4 0 0 12 Duffey 0 0 0 0 9 9
  2. The Twins played their first game in Arizona since 2011 on Friday night. On the second pitcher of the game, Byron Buxton tied his career-high in home runs, but from there the Diamondbacks, took control of the game. Box Score SP: Devin Smeltzer 4 1/3 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (96 pitches, 62 strikes (64.5 strike %)) Home Runs: Byron Buxton (19) Bottom 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer -.406, Gilberto Celestino -.207, Carlos Correa -.103 Following Buxton’s homer, Gary Sanchez and Luis Arraez reached base on a single and double but were unable to score as Jose Miranda lined out to center field. . After Buxton put the Twins up 1-0 in the top of the first, Arizona responded in the bottom of the inning.. Twins starter Devin Smeltzer allowed a lead-off single to D-Backs catcher Carson Kelly. One out later, Smeltzer met a new yet familiar foe; former Cleveland Guardian Jordan Luplow. Prior to their first match-up for the evening, Luplow was 0-for-3 in his career against Smeltzer. That changed with one swing of the bat as Luplow connected with a Smeltzer fastball right down the middle for his eighth home run of the year putting the D-Backs up 2-1. Smeltzer retired the next two batters in the bottom of the first on groundouts, escaping further base runners. In the top of the second, the Twins had two base runners reach thanks to a Max Kepler single and Buxton double. But again the Twins couldn’t get the runners home to retake their lead. Once the top of the third came around, the Twins were finally able to capitalize on their runners. Gio Urshela led off the inning with a double and was able to advance to third on an Arraez single. Following Arraez was Miranda and he capitalized with an RBI single to score Urshela and tie the game at 2-2. Just as it looked like the Twins were back in the game, Luplow had other plans. Up for his second at-bat and with two outs, Luplow hit another home run off of Smeltzer to give the Diamondbacks the lead once more. With the score still 3-2 going into the bottom of the fourth the Diamondbacks were able to capitalize and run away with a lead, It all started with a leadoff walk to D-Backs designated hitter Bobby Kennedy. Following Kennedy, right fielder Alek Thomas hit a single, setting up the D-Backs for an opportunity to take the lead. And take the lead the D-Backs did. In a bizarre outcome, Diamondbacks second baseman Jake Hager offered a sacrifice bunt that could have kept runners on second and third with one out for Smeltzer. Instead, Smeltzer threw the ball away at first resulting in an error that allowed both Kennedy and Thomas to score and extend Arizona’s lead to 5-2. Hager was able to score later in the inning on a Carson Kelly single making the game 6-2 D-Backs, and as Jordan Luplow got to the plate for his third at-bat against Smeltzer. Twins fans wondered if Smeltzer could record the final out of the inning. Fortunately for Smeltzer, he was able to retire Luplow on a groundout to Urshela, but not without 4 runs, (3 earned) surrendered to the Diamondbacks. Even after a rough fourth inning, Smeltzer returned to the mound to start the bottom of the fifth. But he would not find his way out of the inning as he surrendered two more hits, both singles, to Daulton Varsho and Kennedy. This ended Smeltzer's outing for the evening as Rocco Baldelli called on Tyler Thornburg to get the Twins out of the inning. Thornburg got the Twins out of the inning but not before giving up another RBI single to Hager with the run charged to Smeltzer. As the Twins left the field in the bottom of the fifth, the Diamondbacks held a 7-2 lead against them. The remainder of the game was uneventful for the Twins at the plate but Byron Buxton kept fans entertained with four of the top five exit velocities in the game. Although Buxton was 2-for-4 for the night, Star Tribune beat writer Phil Miller noted on Twitter that Buxton had four of the top five exit velocities in the game. Even topping Luplow’s second home run’s exit velocity. The bullpen held together for the Twins following Smeltzer’s outing. Thornburg completed 2 2/3 innings allowing only one single after the fifth and allowed no further base runners or runs in his frame of work. In the bottom of the eighth, Tyler Duffey threw a 1, 2, 3 inning to keep the Diamondbacks lead at five runs. The Twins had one last chance for runs in the bottom of the ninth but fell up short as Alex Kirilloff pinch hit in his return only to strike out. Trevor Larnach grounded out on a bouncer to third base, and Byron Buxton ended the game on a groundout to short, giving the D-Backs a 7-2 win over the Twins. What’s Next? The Twins play a late one Saturday night with a 9:10 p.m. start for their second game against the Diamondbacks in the three-game series. Dylan Bundy will start for the Twins while Diamondbacks hurler Luke Weaver. Postgame Interview Bullpen Availability MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Cotton 18 0 16 0 0 34 Thornburg 0 0 0 0 33 33 Duran 13 0 13 0 0 26 Jax 12 0 11 0 0 23 Pagán 18 0 0 0 0 18 Smith 1 0 15 0 0 16 Megill 0 14 0 0 0 14 Thielbar 8 0 4 0 0 12 Duffey 0 0 0 0 9 9 View full article
  3. The Twins came into Sunday’s game looking to make their first sweep of the Rays in Target Field history. Unfortunately, the Twins fell short as the Rays took advantage of hit batters and bad fielding to salvage a win out of the three-game series. Box Score SP: Cole Sands 4 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HBP (101 pitches, 64 strikes (63.4 strike %)) Home Runs: None Bottom 3 WPA: Cole Sands -.235, Gio Urshela, -.077, Byron Buxton -.071 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Cole Sands made another start, his first at Target Field, for the depleted Twins rotation on Sunday. Sands cruised through the first two innings allowing only one base runner on a pitch that got away from him and hit Randy Arozarena. In the top of the third, the Rays found a way to produce a run off of Sands as after a walk to Brett Phillips, Ji-Man Choi hit an RBI single to make it a 1-0 Rays lead. In the fourth, the struggles continued both for Sands and the Twins defense. Sands again hit Arozarena with a pitch but found himself in a jam after a throwing error to get Kevin Kiermaier out at first. Then two more fielder's choices occurred, one that failed to get the next out on a bad judgment play at first by Jose Miranda. Then the Twins finally got an out on a Francisco Mejia fielder's choice nailed Kiermaier out at home. After the fielding blunders by the Twins infield, Sands found a way out of the inning thanks to a Brett Phillips flyout and outfield assist from Gilberto Celestino that led to a throw out of Mejia at third. Sands escaped the inning with only two runs surrendered making it a 3-0 game as the Twins headed into the bottom of the fourth. The bats couldn’t get anything going for Cole Sands in the bottom of the fourth. Sands remained out on the mound for the bottom of the fifth and gave up a lead-off double to Manuel Margot. Sands was able to get the next two batters on a strikeout and groundout, but an Arozarena double and Kiermaier bloop single made it a 5-0 Rays lead and knocked Sands out for the day as he was at 101 pitches. Tyler Thornburg came into the game in relief for his Twins debut and recorded the last out rather easily. Again, the Twins bats remained cold in the bottom of the fifth and could not get anything going for run support. Thornburg remained in the game for both the sixth and seventh innings and allowed only one base runner on a walk to Choi in the bottom of the seventh. Aside from the walk, Thornburg dominated in his Twins debut going 2 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings. He had just the one strikeout that ended the fifth inning.. The Twins had their biggest threat to score going in the bottom of the sixth after Carlos Correa and Jorge Polanco drew walks with one out. But the following hitters did nothing to get Correa and Polanco home. Tyler Duffey pitched the final two innings of the game for the Twins and even after giving up a home run to Kiermaier, showed improvement from his previous outings giving up only one additional hit and a walk. In the bottom of the ninth, Luis Arraez, Miranda, and Gilberto Celestino came up for the Twins. Arraez and Miranda failed to get on base as Arraez struck out, Miranda grounded out, but Celestino walked to keep the inning alive with two outs. Celestino advanced to second on the first pitch of Trevor Larnach’s at-bat thanks to a wild pitch from Colin Poche. The game ended with a groundout by Larnach. The Rays pitching dominated after two losses against the Twins lineup allowing nine base runners on five hits and four walks but never allowed a Twins base runner to advance past second base the entire game. The shutout by the Rays was the eighth time this season the Twins have been shutout, tied for the most shutouts against a team in Major League Baseball with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Royals. What’s Next? The Twins are on the road Monday night to start a six-game west coast road trip beginning in Seattle tomorrow night at 9:10 p.m. CT. The Twins will be sending Chris Archer out for the start while the Mariners have yet to announce a starter for Monday night’s game. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Pagán 15 0 15 21 0 51 Smith 0 26 24 0 0 50 Jax 27 0 14 0 0 41 Cotton 0 13 0 26 0 39 Moran 0 36 0 0 0 36 Thielbar 14 0 0 19 0 33 Duffey 0 0 0 0 33 33 Duran 0 15 0 16 0 31 Thornburg 0 0 0 0 26 26 Megill 0 0 0 16 0 16 View full article
  4. Box Score SP: Cole Sands 4 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HBP (101 pitches, 64 strikes (63.4 strike %)) Home Runs: None Bottom 3 WPA: Cole Sands -.235, Gio Urshela, -.077, Byron Buxton -.071 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Cole Sands made another start, his first at Target Field, for the depleted Twins rotation on Sunday. Sands cruised through the first two innings allowing only one base runner on a pitch that got away from him and hit Randy Arozarena. In the top of the third, the Rays found a way to produce a run off of Sands as after a walk to Brett Phillips, Ji-Man Choi hit an RBI single to make it a 1-0 Rays lead. In the fourth, the struggles continued both for Sands and the Twins defense. Sands again hit Arozarena with a pitch but found himself in a jam after a throwing error to get Kevin Kiermaier out at first. Then two more fielder's choices occurred, one that failed to get the next out on a bad judgment play at first by Jose Miranda. Then the Twins finally got an out on a Francisco Mejia fielder's choice nailed Kiermaier out at home. After the fielding blunders by the Twins infield, Sands found a way out of the inning thanks to a Brett Phillips flyout and outfield assist from Gilberto Celestino that led to a throw out of Mejia at third. Sands escaped the inning with only two runs surrendered making it a 3-0 game as the Twins headed into the bottom of the fourth. The bats couldn’t get anything going for Cole Sands in the bottom of the fourth. Sands remained out on the mound for the bottom of the fifth and gave up a lead-off double to Manuel Margot. Sands was able to get the next two batters on a strikeout and groundout, but an Arozarena double and Kiermaier bloop single made it a 5-0 Rays lead and knocked Sands out for the day as he was at 101 pitches. Tyler Thornburg came into the game in relief for his Twins debut and recorded the last out rather easily. Again, the Twins bats remained cold in the bottom of the fifth and could not get anything going for run support. Thornburg remained in the game for both the sixth and seventh innings and allowed only one base runner on a walk to Choi in the bottom of the seventh. Aside from the walk, Thornburg dominated in his Twins debut going 2 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings. He had just the one strikeout that ended the fifth inning.. The Twins had their biggest threat to score going in the bottom of the sixth after Carlos Correa and Jorge Polanco drew walks with one out. But the following hitters did nothing to get Correa and Polanco home. Tyler Duffey pitched the final two innings of the game for the Twins and even after giving up a home run to Kiermaier, showed improvement from his previous outings giving up only one additional hit and a walk. In the bottom of the ninth, Luis Arraez, Miranda, and Gilberto Celestino came up for the Twins. Arraez and Miranda failed to get on base as Arraez struck out, Miranda grounded out, but Celestino walked to keep the inning alive with two outs. Celestino advanced to second on the first pitch of Trevor Larnach’s at-bat thanks to a wild pitch from Colin Poche. The game ended with a groundout by Larnach. The Rays pitching dominated after two losses against the Twins lineup allowing nine base runners on five hits and four walks but never allowed a Twins base runner to advance past second base the entire game. The shutout by the Rays was the eighth time this season the Twins have been shutout, tied for the most shutouts against a team in Major League Baseball with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Royals. What’s Next? The Twins are on the road Monday night to start a six-game west coast road trip beginning in Seattle tomorrow night at 9:10 p.m. CT. The Twins will be sending Chris Archer out for the start while the Mariners have yet to announce a starter for Monday night’s game. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Pagán 15 0 15 21 0 51 Smith 0 26 24 0 0 50 Jax 27 0 14 0 0 41 Cotton 0 13 0 26 0 39 Moran 0 36 0 0 0 36 Thielbar 14 0 0 19 0 33 Duffey 0 0 0 0 33 33 Duran 0 15 0 16 0 31 Thornburg 0 0 0 0 26 26 Megill 0 0 0 16 0 16
  5. Elliot Soto has spent 13 seasons playing professional baseball and now at the age of 32, he finds himself in a leadership role in the St. Paul Saints clubhouse mentoring the future stars of the Minnesota Twins. Elliot Soto has been in professional baseball for 13 seasons, and he has had only three games in Major League Baseball. Soto got his call with the Los Angeles Angels on September 25, 2020, against the freeway rival Los Angeles Dodgers. Soto’s debut was as a pinch-runner for teammate Luis Rengifo in the top of the seventh inning. By the time it was Soto’s turn to bat in the top of the ninth against Kenley Jansen, he was pinch hit for by Shohei Ohtani. Soto wouldn’t have to wait long to get that first at-bat as then-Angels manager Joe Maddon, wrote him in as the starting shortstop for the team the next day. Soto spoke on what it was like getting that call-up after a long decade spent in the minors. “It was really cool and was weird. It was different because of COVID, but it didn't feel real at first until I put the uniform on. It's just indescribable, really, because then you’re like, alright, you know, I'm here, I'm in the works. But then you just want to get back there and prove that you can play there and stay there.” Back in 2007, Soto was originally drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in the 13th round of the June amateur draft. Soto opted not to sign with the Twins at the time, but 15 years later, he’s come full circle to join the organization. Soto spoke on what he has enjoyed being a part of the Twins system after so many years after that first draft. “Most organizations are pretty similar. Some focus more on heavy workloads and stuff, but I think the thing that separates this organization is the mindset. They're a little bit more laid back. There are some teams that are more relaxed, and more personable, and some teams that are more centered on those workloads. This one's more towards the relaxed, which I think is better, in my opinion, because I think then you get the most out of your players.” Following his MLB debut as a pinch-runner, Soto played in the final two games of the 2020 season for the Angels and went 2-for-6 with a double and a walk. Soto has not returned to the Majors, but it has allowed for another opportunity to open for him; a team leader for the St. Paul Saints clubhouse. Many of Soto’s teammates this season including Spencer Steer, Kevin Merrell, and Royce Lewis have all described Soto as the leading veteran for the team. For Soto, the role of leadership was one that took time for him to reach and he attributed his former college teammate at Creighton and ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte as a key mentor for his playing career. “I was no boy scout, I had some learning to do in college, Pat Venditte really helped me out. He helped me figure out what I needed to do to play in college and what it was to be a professional athlete. Watching him and how he works, and it was just like, even to this day or since I've seen him like he's out there. I played against him in 2019 and he’s out there working all day long. His work ethic is unbelievable,” said Soto. In addition to Venditte, Soto attributes his leadership success to some of his more recent teammates last season in the Dodgers' farm system. Those teammates he mentioned are former MLB catcher Tim Federowicz and utility infielder Andy Burns, who is currently playing with the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Soto spoke on how these recent teammates have helped shape his approach to playing and what he wants to pass on to his younger Saints teammates. “A lot of guys that I've been playing with recently showed me what it's like to be a real pro. Federowicz had a really good mindset. I played with him last year and Andy Burns with the Dodgers farm teams. Just the way that he [Burns] thought about things in so many different ways. You can pick up mental skills from them because I think at this point in my career, you're always getting better at your craft. In baseball, I think the mind is even more important than anything and a lot of guys have really unique things that they do. And if something works for you, it can change your game.” Learning as many things as he can from teammates' mental approaches to the game of baseball has become a key trait Soto wants to continue passing on to his current Saints teammates. “I've been lucky enough to have good teammates in the past that have given me tips or, you know, little tricks to just help you get through anything on and off the field. I just want to pass it on and that's who I want to be. I'm in my 30s now, and I want to spread the knowledge I have, especially when I like the people and I want them to play well. I view it as I'm closer to being on my way out and I want to see these guys on TV succeeding when I'm at home.” One of Soto’s current teammates that could be making that mark soon and joining the Minnesota Twins before the summer is over is Spencer Steer. Since joining the Saints in May, Steer has hit eight home runs, driven in 19 runs, posted a triple-slash .279/.380/.691, and posted a 1.071 OPS. Soto shared his thoughts on the talent he has seen in Steer and what he has been able to teach him over the short time he has been with the Saints. “He's an amazing player. When he got here, I was like, wow, okay, this kid is a real deal. Just the way he goes about playing, his demeanor, and the questions he asks. You can see that he's truly thinking about the game. He really wants to know more and then when you tell him something as a tip he's so incredibly appreciative, which makes you feel good. I just think that the type of person he has, like, he's going to have no problem going out to the next level and staying there.” On Three Questions With last week, Spencer Steer spoke about the impact Soto has has in his time with the Saints. "Elliot Soto has been a lot of fun to play alongside in the infield. He's really given me some good advice in the two weeks I've been here just about the mentality, playing the position, and also some footwork stuff." Steer is not the only Major League talent that Soto has spent a short time playing alongside that has made a lasting impact on him. Back when Soto was with the Iowa Cubs in 2014, he was playing with an MLB talent trying to still make something of a career at the age of 42; Manny Ramirez. Ramirez and Soto’s time as teammates only lasted about a month together. Even in that short time, Soto’s talent caught the eye of Ramirez and made a lasting impact on his career as Soto shared a couple of stories of their time together. “It was amazing. I wish it would have lasted longer. It was cool for me because one of the first days Manny saw me take grounders and really liked the way I played defense. So he came up to me and he was like, he calls everyone Nino, and he said, 'hey Nino, I like the way you move your hands. You got good hands. I want to hit with you before the game.' I said, Yeah, Absolutely! Every day, let's do it. So I got to work out with him before the games and just the way he worked and the stuff he did was amazing.” Having mentors in his career that are lifelong ball players that had a short time in the Majors like he did, to one of the most colorful and best hitters to ever play the game. Soto has a wealth of baseball knowledge and experience that he can share with his teammates now who are just one step away from making their MLB debuts like he did a couple of years ago. View full article
  6. Elliot Soto has been in professional baseball for 13 seasons, and he has had only three games in Major League Baseball. Soto got his call with the Los Angeles Angels on September 25, 2020, against the freeway rival Los Angeles Dodgers. Soto’s debut was as a pinch-runner for teammate Luis Rengifo in the top of the seventh inning. By the time it was Soto’s turn to bat in the top of the ninth against Kenley Jansen, he was pinch hit for by Shohei Ohtani. Soto wouldn’t have to wait long to get that first at-bat as then-Angels manager Joe Maddon, wrote him in as the starting shortstop for the team the next day. Soto spoke on what it was like getting that call-up after a long decade spent in the minors. “It was really cool and was weird. It was different because of COVID, but it didn't feel real at first until I put the uniform on. It's just indescribable, really, because then you’re like, alright, you know, I'm here, I'm in the works. But then you just want to get back there and prove that you can play there and stay there.” Back in 2007, Soto was originally drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in the 13th round of the June amateur draft. Soto opted not to sign with the Twins at the time, but 15 years later, he’s come full circle to join the organization. Soto spoke on what he has enjoyed being a part of the Twins system after so many years after that first draft. “Most organizations are pretty similar. Some focus more on heavy workloads and stuff, but I think the thing that separates this organization is the mindset. They're a little bit more laid back. There are some teams that are more relaxed, and more personable, and some teams that are more centered on those workloads. This one's more towards the relaxed, which I think is better, in my opinion, because I think then you get the most out of your players.” Following his MLB debut as a pinch-runner, Soto played in the final two games of the 2020 season for the Angels and went 2-for-6 with a double and a walk. Soto has not returned to the Majors, but it has allowed for another opportunity to open for him; a team leader for the St. Paul Saints clubhouse. Many of Soto’s teammates this season including Spencer Steer, Kevin Merrell, and Royce Lewis have all described Soto as the leading veteran for the team. For Soto, the role of leadership was one that took time for him to reach and he attributed his former college teammate at Creighton and ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte as a key mentor for his playing career. “I was no boy scout, I had some learning to do in college, Pat Venditte really helped me out. He helped me figure out what I needed to do to play in college and what it was to be a professional athlete. Watching him and how he works, and it was just like, even to this day or since I've seen him like he's out there. I played against him in 2019 and he’s out there working all day long. His work ethic is unbelievable,” said Soto. In addition to Venditte, Soto attributes his leadership success to some of his more recent teammates last season in the Dodgers' farm system. Those teammates he mentioned are former MLB catcher Tim Federowicz and utility infielder Andy Burns, who is currently playing with the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Soto spoke on how these recent teammates have helped shape his approach to playing and what he wants to pass on to his younger Saints teammates. “A lot of guys that I've been playing with recently showed me what it's like to be a real pro. Federowicz had a really good mindset. I played with him last year and Andy Burns with the Dodgers farm teams. Just the way that he [Burns] thought about things in so many different ways. You can pick up mental skills from them because I think at this point in my career, you're always getting better at your craft. In baseball, I think the mind is even more important than anything and a lot of guys have really unique things that they do. And if something works for you, it can change your game.” Learning as many things as he can from teammates' mental approaches to the game of baseball has become a key trait Soto wants to continue passing on to his current Saints teammates. “I've been lucky enough to have good teammates in the past that have given me tips or, you know, little tricks to just help you get through anything on and off the field. I just want to pass it on and that's who I want to be. I'm in my 30s now, and I want to spread the knowledge I have, especially when I like the people and I want them to play well. I view it as I'm closer to being on my way out and I want to see these guys on TV succeeding when I'm at home.” One of Soto’s current teammates that could be making that mark soon and joining the Minnesota Twins before the summer is over is Spencer Steer. Since joining the Saints in May, Steer has hit eight home runs, driven in 19 runs, posted a triple-slash .279/.380/.691, and posted a 1.071 OPS. Soto shared his thoughts on the talent he has seen in Steer and what he has been able to teach him over the short time he has been with the Saints. “He's an amazing player. When he got here, I was like, wow, okay, this kid is a real deal. Just the way he goes about playing, his demeanor, and the questions he asks. You can see that he's truly thinking about the game. He really wants to know more and then when you tell him something as a tip he's so incredibly appreciative, which makes you feel good. I just think that the type of person he has, like, he's going to have no problem going out to the next level and staying there.” On Three Questions With last week, Spencer Steer spoke about the impact Soto has has in his time with the Saints. "Elliot Soto has been a lot of fun to play alongside in the infield. He's really given me some good advice in the two weeks I've been here just about the mentality, playing the position, and also some footwork stuff." Steer is not the only Major League talent that Soto has spent a short time playing alongside that has made a lasting impact on him. Back when Soto was with the Iowa Cubs in 2014, he was playing with an MLB talent trying to still make something of a career at the age of 42; Manny Ramirez. Ramirez and Soto’s time as teammates only lasted about a month together. Even in that short time, Soto’s talent caught the eye of Ramirez and made a lasting impact on his career as Soto shared a couple of stories of their time together. “It was amazing. I wish it would have lasted longer. It was cool for me because one of the first days Manny saw me take grounders and really liked the way I played defense. So he came up to me and he was like, he calls everyone Nino, and he said, 'hey Nino, I like the way you move your hands. You got good hands. I want to hit with you before the game.' I said, Yeah, Absolutely! Every day, let's do it. So I got to work out with him before the games and just the way he worked and the stuff he did was amazing.” Having mentors in his career that are lifelong ball players that had a short time in the Majors like he did, to one of the most colorful and best hitters to ever play the game. Soto has a wealth of baseball knowledge and experience that he can share with his teammates now who are just one step away from making their MLB debuts like he did a couple of years ago.
  7. The Twins are no strangers to having rookies on the verge of becoming superstar players go down for a long stretch of the season due to injury. The latest of this collective is Twins top prospect Royce Lewis. Today it was announced by manager Rocco Baldelli that Lewis has a partial tear to the same ACL he injured in February of 2021. The surgery will keep Lewis out until the middle of next season at the earliest. With the news of Lewis out for another year, Twins Daily will take a look back at lauded Twins rookies that have had career set back by major injuries. Here are three other former Twins superstars that found themselves in the same boat as Lewis has today. Joe Mauer, 2004 Left Medial Meniscus Joe Mauer was no stranger to IL stints throughout his career. Most famously Mauer landed his first stint on the IL during his second game as he tore the left medial meniscus in his knee which forced him out until June of 2004. Mauer returned only for a month with the Twins until the knee injury forced him out for the season. This would only be the beginning of many knee injuries that would set back Mauer throughout his career. But the injury did not keep Mauer from becoming one of the best catchers in his generation that set him on a hall of fame trajectory. Twins fans do not need much of a reminder on where Mauer's career went following this injury. He still lived up to the potential of his career and did not start to experience decline in his performance until 2014 during his age 31 season and full-time move to first base. Francisco Liriano, 2006 Tommy John Talk about an extensive injury that kept a player out longer than expected. Francisco Liriano looked to be the second coming of Johan Santana during his 2006 rookie campaign, posting a 2.16 ERA in 16 starts. But he strained his ulnar collateral ligament midyear, ultimately underwent Tommy John surgery and was on the shelf until 2008. Today, pitchers receiving their first Tommy John Surgery usually recover quicker than Liriano did at the time, but it still kept a promising future star for the Twins rotation on the shelf for a year and a half, and Liriano never turned into the next Santana. Liriano still had a few solid seasons with the Twins in 2008 and 2010, and rebounded with more success later with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2013-15. Even with later success, Liriano never met his full potential after that first Tommy John surgery. Jason Kubel, 2004 Knee Injury Jason Kubel had a delay to the start of his MLB career just like Royce Lewis. After appearing in 23 games with the Twins in 2004, Kubel found himself in the Arizona Fall League playing every day. That was until he suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss all of the 2005 season. The injury set back Kubel's chances to play for the Twins full time until 2006 when he found himself as a backup outfielder to Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and Lew Ford. Then in 2007, Kubel finally had his breakout season with the Twins as an everyday outfielder hitting 20 home runs, driving in 72 runs, hitting .272 with a .785 OPS. Kubel's best years were only ahead of him with the Twins following the 2005 injury. Kubel was arguably the most crucial bat in the Twins lineup behind Mauer and Morneau from 2008-2011. He hit an average of 20 home runs, 83 RBI, a .340 on-base percentage, and .810 OPS over that time span. Kubel's knee injury that kept him out all of 2005 still could have dented a lot of potential he had for the Twins over the years. Commonalities Even with these injuries dealt to such great players, Mauer, Kubel, and Liriano all found success in the latter half of their careers to some degree. Does this mean the second ACL tear to Lewis could set him back even further with his potential like it did for those who came before him? It’s too early to tell. Lewis just turned 23 last Sunday but will likely be 24 by the time he returns from this injury. Both Mauer and Liriano were younger than Lewis was during the time of their injuries in their career and still turned into all-star level players after those injuries. For now, Twins fans can still hope for a great season even without their top prospect playing until next year.
  8. Royce Lewis has once again torn his ACL and will be shut down for the remainder of the 2022 season. The Twins are no strangers to a history of superstar players taking major injuries just as it is their turn to shine. Here is a look back at some of those cases for the Twins in recent memory. The Twins are no strangers to having rookies on the verge of becoming superstar players go down for a long stretch of the season due to injury. The latest of this collective is Twins top prospect Royce Lewis. Today it was announced by manager Rocco Baldelli that Lewis has a partial tear to the same ACL he injured in February of 2021. The surgery will keep Lewis out until the middle of next season at the earliest. With the news of Lewis out for another year, Twins Daily will take a look back at lauded Twins rookies that have had career set back by major injuries. Here are three other former Twins superstars that found themselves in the same boat as Lewis has today. Joe Mauer, 2004 Left Medial Meniscus Joe Mauer was no stranger to IL stints throughout his career. Most famously Mauer landed his first stint on the IL during his second game as he tore the left medial meniscus in his knee which forced him out until June of 2004. Mauer returned only for a month with the Twins until the knee injury forced him out for the season. This would only be the beginning of many knee injuries that would set back Mauer throughout his career. But the injury did not keep Mauer from becoming one of the best catchers in his generation that set him on a hall of fame trajectory. Twins fans do not need much of a reminder on where Mauer's career went following this injury. He still lived up to the potential of his career and did not start to experience decline in his performance until 2014 during his age 31 season and full-time move to first base. Francisco Liriano, 2006 Tommy John Talk about an extensive injury that kept a player out longer than expected. Francisco Liriano looked to be the second coming of Johan Santana during his 2006 rookie campaign, posting a 2.16 ERA in 16 starts. But he strained his ulnar collateral ligament midyear, ultimately underwent Tommy John surgery and was on the shelf until 2008. Today, pitchers receiving their first Tommy John Surgery usually recover quicker than Liriano did at the time, but it still kept a promising future star for the Twins rotation on the shelf for a year and a half, and Liriano never turned into the next Santana. Liriano still had a few solid seasons with the Twins in 2008 and 2010, and rebounded with more success later with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2013-15. Even with later success, Liriano never met his full potential after that first Tommy John surgery. Jason Kubel, 2004 Knee Injury Jason Kubel had a delay to the start of his MLB career just like Royce Lewis. After appearing in 23 games with the Twins in 2004, Kubel found himself in the Arizona Fall League playing every day. That was until he suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss all of the 2005 season. The injury set back Kubel's chances to play for the Twins full time until 2006 when he found himself as a backup outfielder to Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and Lew Ford. Then in 2007, Kubel finally had his breakout season with the Twins as an everyday outfielder hitting 20 home runs, driving in 72 runs, hitting .272 with a .785 OPS. Kubel's best years were only ahead of him with the Twins following the 2005 injury. Kubel was arguably the most crucial bat in the Twins lineup behind Mauer and Morneau from 2008-2011. He hit an average of 20 home runs, 83 RBI, a .340 on-base percentage, and .810 OPS over that time span. Kubel's knee injury that kept him out all of 2005 still could have dented a lot of potential he had for the Twins over the years. Commonalities Even with these injuries dealt to such great players, Mauer, Kubel, and Liriano all found success in the latter half of their careers to some degree. Does this mean the second ACL tear to Lewis could set him back even further with his potential like it did for those who came before him? It’s too early to tell. Lewis just turned 23 last Sunday but will likely be 24 by the time he returns from this injury. Both Mauer and Liriano were younger than Lewis was during the time of their injuries in their career and still turned into all-star level players after those injuries. For now, Twins fans can still hope for a great season even without their top prospect playing until next year. View full article
  9. The Twins won their final game of an eight-game road trip that posted a series victory against the Toronto Blue Jays. Down on the farm, all minor league affiliates won their games (Ft. Myers dropped game one of a double header), and the Saints had a franchise-record eight home runs hit in a monster-sized victory over the Iowa Cubs. TRANSACTIONS St. Paul Saints RHP Ariel Jurado was assigned to Low-A Fort Myers on Minor League Rehab assignment SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 16, Iowa 7 Box score SP: JC Ramirez - 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K HR: Spencer Steer 3 HR (6), Alex Kirilloff 2 HR (6), Caleb Hamilton 2 HR (5), Tim Beckham (2) Multi-Hit Games: Steer (3-4, 5 R, 3 HR (6), 5 RBI (15), BB, HBP), Kirilloff (2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI (20), BB, 2 K), Beckham (2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI (7), BB, K), Michael Helman (3-4, 2 R, SB (1), BB, HBP), Hamilton (3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI (19), BB, K) Putting the month of May behind them, the Saints chose a good day to opt for a bullpen game with pitching as the bats, more importantly, Spencer Steer, Alex Kirilloff, and catcher Caleb Hamilton, combined for seven home runs to give the Saints a 3-2 record for June. Steer’s first home run of the afternoon came right away as he worked a 2-2 count and then hammered a lead off home run to left field to make it a 1-0 game. Before the inning was over, Tim Beckham hit his second home run, a solo shot, to extend the lead to 2-0. In the top of the second, Hamilton hit his first home run of the afternoon, a two-run shot that scored Michael Helman and gave the Saints a 4-0 lead. Before the inning was over, Steer recorded his only RBI of the afternoon not from a home run. Steer hit a sacrifice groundout that scored John Andreoli to give the Saints a 5-0 lead. On the mound for the first two innings for the Saints was JC Ramirez. Ramirez was in for his 11th appearance, the second start, for the Saints and gave up three runs on three hits and two walks. Ramirez totaled 34 pitches in his 2 innings of work and left with the Saints still in the lead 5-3. The Saints would not score again until the top of the fourth, when Steer hit his second home run of the afternoon, this time to center field, to extend the lead to 6-3. In the bottom of the fifth, the Cubs would bring themselves within a run of tying the game as they scored two off of Tyler Thornburg, who made his first appearance with the Saints for the 2022 season. The two runs Thornburg allowed went unearned and the game was at a 6-5 score going into the top of the sixth. In the top of the sixth, Hamilton hit his second home run of the day, another solo shot, and later in the inning, Kirilloff hit his first of the afternoon, a two-run homer that scored Steer extending the lead to 9-5 over the Cubs. The final home run of the afternoon for Steer came in the top of the eighth with Elliot Soto on base and put the Saints up 12-6 at the time. The third and final home run of the afternoon for Steer was his first ever three home run game of his professional career. Kirilloff’s final homer was in the top of the ninth as he hit another two-run home run that brought home Steer for his fifth run of the game and put the Saints up 16-6. The Saints will return home for a six game series for their first ever match up against the Twins former Triple AAA affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings. First game of the series is Tuesday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:07 p.m. CT. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, Frisco 3 Box Score SP: Simeon Woods Richardson - 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: Chris Williams (4) Multi-Hit Games: None Wichita completed a six-game homestand with the Frisco RoughRiders Sunday afternoon and pulled away with a series victory in their 5-3 win. Simeon Woods Richardson was on the mound for the Wind Surge Sunday afternoon making his ninth start of the season. The Twins second highest pitching prospect according to Twins Daily recovered from a shortened start against the RoughRiders on Tuesday, a game that ended up being suspended due to inclement weather. Woods Richardson completed five innings for the Wind Surge on Sunday and although he allowed eight base runners on six hits and two walks. Woods Richardson only allowed two runs, both earned, and struck out seven RoughRider batters. Woods Richardson improved his season ERA to an even 3.00 on the season and his strikeout total now stands at 50 in 48 innings. The RoughRiders did get the first two runs of the game in the top of the second and later the top of the third. Being down 2-0 in the bottom of the third, Wichita was able to score their first run thanks to an Anthony Prato sacrifice fly that scored Edouard Julien making it a 2-1 RoughRider lead. The Wind Surge were able to tie the game up in the bottom of the fourth thanks to first baseman Chris Williams fourth home run of the year. With the game still remained tied in the bottom of the sixth at 2-2. Ernie Yake found himself in a 2-2 count with the bases loaded. On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, Yake laced a ball down the right field line for a bases-clearing double that gave the Wind Surge the three runs they needed to complete their 5-3 victory. The Wind Surge begin their next series on the road Tuesday for their second road series against the Arkansas Travelers, the Seattle Mariners Double AA affiliate. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Lansing 3 Box Score SP: Aaron Rozek 4 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (10), Will Holland (4), Kennie Taylor (1), Aaron Sabato (7) Multi-Hit Games: Encarnacion-Strand (3-5, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, RBI (43), 2 K), Sabato (3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI (32), K), Yunior Severino (2-4, R, BB), Jeferson Morales (2-5, 2B, RBI (18), 2 K), Taylor (2-3, R, HR, 2 RBI (3), BB, K) Cedar Rapids completed their road series in Lansing, Michigan with a banger on Sunday, crushing the Lugnuts in a 9-3 victory. Aaron Rozek was on the mound for the Kernels Sunday afternoon making his seventh start of the season. Rozek completed 4 innings for the Kernels but surrendered three runs on two home runs, a two-run home run from Lugnuts right fielder Lawrence Butler and a solo shot by center fielder Austin Beck. Aside from the home runs, Rozek only allowed two additional base runners on a single and a walk and struck out five batters in his 4 innings of work. The bats came swinging for the Kernels all afternoon. Leading the offense for the Kernels was prospect sensation Christian Encarnacion-Strand as he went 3-5 with three extra base hits including his tenth home run of the season at High-A. Kernels first baseman Aaron Sabato had one of his best games of the season at the plate, he was also 3-5 with a home run and three runs batted in. Having his best game of the season so far was Kernels right fiedler Kennie Taylor, who went 2-3 with his first home run of 2022 and drove in two runs. The Kernels victory over the Lugnuts on Sunday gave them a 4-2 series victory over Lansing and improved them to 33-18 overall on the season. The 33-18 record for the Kernels is the best in the Midwest Western division and only second to the Dayton Dragons, the Reds High-A affiliate, who have a 35-15 record on the season. Next series for the Kernels begins on the road against the South Bend Cubs on Tuesday night with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1 Fort Myers 5, Tampa 6 Box Score SP: Ariel Jurado 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Emmanuel Rodriguez (9) Multi-Hit games: Rubel Cespedes (2-4, K) The Mighty Mussels played two on Sunday afternoon as the Mussels had a rescheduled rain out game with the Tampa Tarpons from June 3. The first game featured Ariel Jurado on the mound for his first rehab start with the Mussels. Jurado went 4 innings for the Mussels in game one showing signs of strength in his first game of 2022. Jurado allowed only three base runners off of two walks and one hit and struck out four Tarpon hitters without surrendering any runs. Fort Myers was the first to score in this game as it remained scoreless going into the bottom of the fourth inning. That first run came from an Emmanuel Rodriguez solo home run putting the Mighty Mussels up 1-0. The Mussels came up with three more runs their next time at the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning. The first run came from a Nelson Roberto RBI single that scored Mikey Perez, that was followed up with an RBI triple to center field form Jake Rucker scoring Roberto and making the score 3-0 Mussels. Finally, Noah Miller laced a ground-rule double over the left field fence to score Rucker and give the Mussels a 4-0 lead. In the top of the sixth, the Tarpons began to mount their comeback against the Mussels as the Yankees number three overall prospect, Jasson Dominguez, hit a two-run home run for his sixth of the season making it a 4-2 ballgame. The Tarpons then added two more runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game up 4-4 and with the Mussels unable to pick up runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh, the game went to extras. The Tarpons completed their comeback as they scored two more runs in the top of the eighth making it a 6-4 game in their favor. Fort Myers responded with a singular run from a Mikey Perez sacrifice fly, but came up short in game one of the doubleheader losing 6-5. Game 2 Fort Myers 7, Tampa 1 Box Score SP: Pierson Ohl 3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K HR: None Multi hit Games: Mikey Perez (2-3, R, 2 2B, 3 RBI (26), SB (20)), Luis Baez (2-3, 2 R, SB (6)) Fort Myers recovered in the second game of the doubleheader against the Tampa Tarpons as the bats came out the gate swinging in the bottom of the first. The Mighty Mussels put up five runs in the bottom of the first off of a walk, an error and four hits, the biggest hit coming from Mikey Perez’s RBI double that scored two. Perez wasn’t done performing when he had his second at-bat in the bottom of the second as he had another RBI double that only scored one but gave the Mighty Mussels a 6-0 lead. On the mound for the start for Fort Myers was Pierson Ohl. Ohl was making his eighth start for the Mighty Mussels and even though it was shortened, it was one of his most impressive yet as Ohl recorded all nine of his outs via strikeout while allowing five baserunners. Following an explosive first two innings of runs, the Mighty Mussels only scored one more insurance run in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a Jake Rucker single. Juan Mendez closed out the game in the top of the seventh for the Mussels to give them their 7-1 victory and a split doubleheader. The Mighty Mussels travel to Daytona Beach Tuesday for a six game series against the Reds Low-A affiliate the Daytona Tortugas with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 3-4, 5 R, 3 HR (6), 5 RBI (15), BB, HBP PROSPECT SUMMARY 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: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, BB #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 2-5, RBI #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 3-4, 5 R, 3 HR (6), 5 RBI (15), BB, HBP #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Game 1: 1-2, R, HR, RBI, 2 BB Game 2: Did not play #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Game 1: 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB Game 2: 0-4, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-2, R, SB (6), 2 BB #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, R, SB (6) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, RBI (43), 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, June 7. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). Rochester @ St. Paul (7:07 PM CST) - TBD Wichita @ Arkansas (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games View full article
  10. TRANSACTIONS St. Paul Saints RHP Ariel Jurado was assigned to Low-A Fort Myers on Minor League Rehab assignment SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 16, Iowa 7 Box score SP: JC Ramirez - 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K HR: Spencer Steer 3 HR (6), Alex Kirilloff 2 HR (6), Caleb Hamilton 2 HR (5), Tim Beckham (2) Multi-Hit Games: Steer (3-4, 5 R, 3 HR (6), 5 RBI (15), BB, HBP), Kirilloff (2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI (20), BB, 2 K), Beckham (2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI (7), BB, K), Michael Helman (3-4, 2 R, SB (1), BB, HBP), Hamilton (3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI (19), BB, K) Putting the month of May behind them, the Saints chose a good day to opt for a bullpen game with pitching as the bats, more importantly, Spencer Steer, Alex Kirilloff, and catcher Caleb Hamilton, combined for seven home runs to give the Saints a 3-2 record for June. Steer’s first home run of the afternoon came right away as he worked a 2-2 count and then hammered a lead off home run to left field to make it a 1-0 game. Before the inning was over, Tim Beckham hit his second home run, a solo shot, to extend the lead to 2-0. In the top of the second, Hamilton hit his first home run of the afternoon, a two-run shot that scored Michael Helman and gave the Saints a 4-0 lead. Before the inning was over, Steer recorded his only RBI of the afternoon not from a home run. Steer hit a sacrifice groundout that scored John Andreoli to give the Saints a 5-0 lead. On the mound for the first two innings for the Saints was JC Ramirez. Ramirez was in for his 11th appearance, the second start, for the Saints and gave up three runs on three hits and two walks. Ramirez totaled 34 pitches in his 2 innings of work and left with the Saints still in the lead 5-3. The Saints would not score again until the top of the fourth, when Steer hit his second home run of the afternoon, this time to center field, to extend the lead to 6-3. In the bottom of the fifth, the Cubs would bring themselves within a run of tying the game as they scored two off of Tyler Thornburg, who made his first appearance with the Saints for the 2022 season. The two runs Thornburg allowed went unearned and the game was at a 6-5 score going into the top of the sixth. In the top of the sixth, Hamilton hit his second home run of the day, another solo shot, and later in the inning, Kirilloff hit his first of the afternoon, a two-run homer that scored Steer extending the lead to 9-5 over the Cubs. The final home run of the afternoon for Steer came in the top of the eighth with Elliot Soto on base and put the Saints up 12-6 at the time. The third and final home run of the afternoon for Steer was his first ever three home run game of his professional career. Kirilloff’s final homer was in the top of the ninth as he hit another two-run home run that brought home Steer for his fifth run of the game and put the Saints up 16-6. The Saints will return home for a six game series for their first ever match up against the Twins former Triple AAA affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings. First game of the series is Tuesday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:07 p.m. CT. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, Frisco 3 Box Score SP: Simeon Woods Richardson - 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: Chris Williams (4) Multi-Hit Games: None Wichita completed a six-game homestand with the Frisco RoughRiders Sunday afternoon and pulled away with a series victory in their 5-3 win. Simeon Woods Richardson was on the mound for the Wind Surge Sunday afternoon making his ninth start of the season. The Twins second highest pitching prospect according to Twins Daily recovered from a shortened start against the RoughRiders on Tuesday, a game that ended up being suspended due to inclement weather. Woods Richardson completed five innings for the Wind Surge on Sunday and although he allowed eight base runners on six hits and two walks. Woods Richardson only allowed two runs, both earned, and struck out seven RoughRider batters. Woods Richardson improved his season ERA to an even 3.00 on the season and his strikeout total now stands at 50 in 48 innings. The RoughRiders did get the first two runs of the game in the top of the second and later the top of the third. Being down 2-0 in the bottom of the third, Wichita was able to score their first run thanks to an Anthony Prato sacrifice fly that scored Edouard Julien making it a 2-1 RoughRider lead. The Wind Surge were able to tie the game up in the bottom of the fourth thanks to first baseman Chris Williams fourth home run of the year. With the game still remained tied in the bottom of the sixth at 2-2. Ernie Yake found himself in a 2-2 count with the bases loaded. On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, Yake laced a ball down the right field line for a bases-clearing double that gave the Wind Surge the three runs they needed to complete their 5-3 victory. The Wind Surge begin their next series on the road Tuesday for their second road series against the Arkansas Travelers, the Seattle Mariners Double AA affiliate. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Lansing 3 Box Score SP: Aaron Rozek 4 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (10), Will Holland (4), Kennie Taylor (1), Aaron Sabato (7) Multi-Hit Games: Encarnacion-Strand (3-5, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, RBI (43), 2 K), Sabato (3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI (32), K), Yunior Severino (2-4, R, BB), Jeferson Morales (2-5, 2B, RBI (18), 2 K), Taylor (2-3, R, HR, 2 RBI (3), BB, K) Cedar Rapids completed their road series in Lansing, Michigan with a banger on Sunday, crushing the Lugnuts in a 9-3 victory. Aaron Rozek was on the mound for the Kernels Sunday afternoon making his seventh start of the season. Rozek completed 4 innings for the Kernels but surrendered three runs on two home runs, a two-run home run from Lugnuts right fielder Lawrence Butler and a solo shot by center fielder Austin Beck. Aside from the home runs, Rozek only allowed two additional base runners on a single and a walk and struck out five batters in his 4 innings of work. The bats came swinging for the Kernels all afternoon. Leading the offense for the Kernels was prospect sensation Christian Encarnacion-Strand as he went 3-5 with three extra base hits including his tenth home run of the season at High-A. Kernels first baseman Aaron Sabato had one of his best games of the season at the plate, he was also 3-5 with a home run and three runs batted in. Having his best game of the season so far was Kernels right fiedler Kennie Taylor, who went 2-3 with his first home run of 2022 and drove in two runs. The Kernels victory over the Lugnuts on Sunday gave them a 4-2 series victory over Lansing and improved them to 33-18 overall on the season. The 33-18 record for the Kernels is the best in the Midwest Western division and only second to the Dayton Dragons, the Reds High-A affiliate, who have a 35-15 record on the season. Next series for the Kernels begins on the road against the South Bend Cubs on Tuesday night with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1 Fort Myers 5, Tampa 6 Box Score SP: Ariel Jurado 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Emmanuel Rodriguez (9) Multi-Hit games: Rubel Cespedes (2-4, K) The Mighty Mussels played two on Sunday afternoon as the Mussels had a rescheduled rain out game with the Tampa Tarpons from June 3. The first game featured Ariel Jurado on the mound for his first rehab start with the Mussels. Jurado went 4 innings for the Mussels in game one showing signs of strength in his first game of 2022. Jurado allowed only three base runners off of two walks and one hit and struck out four Tarpon hitters without surrendering any runs. Fort Myers was the first to score in this game as it remained scoreless going into the bottom of the fourth inning. That first run came from an Emmanuel Rodriguez solo home run putting the Mighty Mussels up 1-0. The Mussels came up with three more runs their next time at the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning. The first run came from a Nelson Roberto RBI single that scored Mikey Perez, that was followed up with an RBI triple to center field form Jake Rucker scoring Roberto and making the score 3-0 Mussels. Finally, Noah Miller laced a ground-rule double over the left field fence to score Rucker and give the Mussels a 4-0 lead. In the top of the sixth, the Tarpons began to mount their comeback against the Mussels as the Yankees number three overall prospect, Jasson Dominguez, hit a two-run home run for his sixth of the season making it a 4-2 ballgame. The Tarpons then added two more runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game up 4-4 and with the Mussels unable to pick up runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh, the game went to extras. The Tarpons completed their comeback as they scored two more runs in the top of the eighth making it a 6-4 game in their favor. Fort Myers responded with a singular run from a Mikey Perez sacrifice fly, but came up short in game one of the doubleheader losing 6-5. Game 2 Fort Myers 7, Tampa 1 Box Score SP: Pierson Ohl 3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K HR: None Multi hit Games: Mikey Perez (2-3, R, 2 2B, 3 RBI (26), SB (20)), Luis Baez (2-3, 2 R, SB (6)) Fort Myers recovered in the second game of the doubleheader against the Tampa Tarpons as the bats came out the gate swinging in the bottom of the first. The Mighty Mussels put up five runs in the bottom of the first off of a walk, an error and four hits, the biggest hit coming from Mikey Perez’s RBI double that scored two. Perez wasn’t done performing when he had his second at-bat in the bottom of the second as he had another RBI double that only scored one but gave the Mighty Mussels a 6-0 lead. On the mound for the start for Fort Myers was Pierson Ohl. Ohl was making his eighth start for the Mighty Mussels and even though it was shortened, it was one of his most impressive yet as Ohl recorded all nine of his outs via strikeout while allowing five baserunners. Following an explosive first two innings of runs, the Mighty Mussels only scored one more insurance run in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a Jake Rucker single. Juan Mendez closed out the game in the top of the seventh for the Mussels to give them their 7-1 victory and a split doubleheader. The Mighty Mussels travel to Daytona Beach Tuesday for a six game series against the Reds Low-A affiliate the Daytona Tortugas with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 3-4, 5 R, 3 HR (6), 5 RBI (15), BB, HBP PROSPECT SUMMARY 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: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, BB #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 2-5, RBI #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 3-4, 5 R, 3 HR (6), 5 RBI (15), BB, HBP #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Game 1: 1-2, R, HR, RBI, 2 BB Game 2: Did not play #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Game 1: 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB Game 2: 0-4, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-2, R, SB (6), 2 BB #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, R, SB (6) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, RBI (43), 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, June 7. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). Rochester @ St. Paul (7:07 PM CST) - TBD Wichita @ Arkansas (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games
  11. A flock of errors from the Jays gave the Twins early runs and the Twins survived a nail-biting ninth to win the game and the series over Toronto, Box Score SP: Devin Smeltzer 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K (62 pitches, 38 strikes (61.2 strike %)) Home Runs: Trevor Larnach (4), Gary Sanchez (7) Top 3 WPA: Jorge Polanco .186 , Luis Arraez .087, Nick Gordon .076 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Sunday was the Twins last day North of the Border potentially until October and the last day of an unusual roster. Thankfully for Twins fans, the team did not disappoint in the series final as the Twins collected eight runs on 16 hits and a few Blue Jays errors to give them the series win over Toronto. The Twins scored their first run on a wild play. Luis Arraez and Gary Sanchez had reached base both on singles. With Jorge Polanco at the plate, he hit a lazy fly ball to right field that was flat out dropped by Blue Jays right fielder Teoscar Hernandez. That allowed Arraez to score. The Twins were able to score another run in the next at-bat thanks to a Gio Urshela sacrifice flyout. The Twins' weren't done in that first inning. Next, Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman faced rookie Jose Miranda. Miranda worked the count full on Gausman and landed an RBI single to center field driving in Jorge Polanco. The Blue Jays caught a break to end the inning when Gilberto Celestino singled but the Blue Jays threw out Miranda as he tried to go from first to third. Three runs in the top of the first were exactly what the Twins needed as Blue Jays centerfielder George Springer led off the bottom of the first with his 50th career lead off home run. Later in the inning, Twins starter Devin Smeltzer found himself in a jam with two runners on from two walks and Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk at the plate. Kirk hit a ground ball on an 0-1 count that ended in a diving stop by shortstop Jermaine Palacios who turned a double play. The Twins did not stop hitting as the top of the second began. The Jays outfield was shifted more to the left for Nick Gordon and that was their first mistake. Gordon pulled a Gausman changeup down the right field line and turned it into a triple to lead off the inning. Next, Palacios was able to pull an opposite field single and get his first big league run batted in to give the Twins a 4-1 lead. A few at-bats later, Polanco drove his first, (or second depending on your scorecard), run of the game on an RBI single that scored Palacios. Gausman remained in the game for the third and fourth innings but left in the fourth facing another jam with Arraez on second and Polanco on first. Reliever David Phelps came in and got his team out of the jam, ending Gausman’s day with 3 ER’s, 9 hits, and a walk in 3 ⅔ innings pitched. Smeltzer fared well for his 4 innings of work on Sunday. Many Twins fans on Twitter were displeased that Rocco Baldelli pulled Smeltzer after 4 with only 62 total pitches thrown. Smeltzer had gone 6 ⅔ innings in his last start against Detroit on May 31 on 101 pitches. Early exit aside, Smeltzer’s command was inconsistent on Sunday. Smeltzer allowed two walks in the first that led to Palacios' impressive double play, but he also allowed two home runs, first to Springer and later to Kirk in the bottom of the fourth. The Jays had two additional hits off of Smeltzer. He recorded only one strikeout all day and that was in the fourth against Santiago Espinal. The Twins bullpen was effective, but not as perfect as they were Friday, following Smeltzer’s removal from the game. Jharel Cotton pitched the fifth for the Twins and was perfect with a strikeout of Danny Jansen. Griffin Jax came in next and was again perfect with a strikeout of his own, this one against Hernandez. Before the Twins continued with another reliever, Trevor Larnach took center stage in the top of the 7th. With the score still at 5-2, Larnach gave the Twins another insurance run with his fourth home run of the year making it a 6-2 game. Then it was Joe Smith’s turn, but Matt Chapman made sure his performance wasn’t a repeat of Friday night. Chapman drilled his seventh home run of the season to center field bringing the Blue Jays back within a run with the score at 6-3. What was starting to look like a save opportunity for the Twins turned into a bigger lead for them. With two outs in the top of the eighth, Arraez collected his fourth hit of the game and reached base for the fifth time to put a runner on for Gary Sanchez. The Blue Jays switched relievers prior to Sanchez’s at-bat taking out Andrew Vasquez and putting in Jeremy Beasly. The Jays may have wanted to keep Vasquez in a little longer as Sanchez smacked his seventh home run of the season on Beasly’s very first pitch making it 8-3, Twins. For the bottom of the eighth, the Twins brought in Johan Duran who had not pitched since Thursday. After one pitch, Duran’s day was looking to be shortened as Springer lined a ball off of Duran’s leg on the first pitch. Duran recorded the out, but time was needed before Bo Bichette’s at-bat for the Twins coaching staff to make sure Duran could stay in the game. Stay in he did, as Duran struck out Bichette and got Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to ground out to complete the eighth for the Twins on eight pitches. For precautionary reasons, the Twins took Duran out after the eighth to be sure his bruise from Springer did not worsen. Baldelli handed the ball to Tyler Duffey to close out a five-run lead for the Twins in the ninth. Duffey, oh Duffey. The concern of Duffey coming into the game from Twins fans was well granted. After retiring only one batter, Duffey walked Kirk, gave up a single to Chapman, lining up a good at-bat for Santiago Espinal who hit a three-run home run to make it a 8-6 game. The bleeding did not stop there for Duffey. He gave up another hit, this time to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Duffey was finally able to record a second out on a fielder's choice, but the throw from Polanco to try and turn a double play was too far away from Jose Miranda at first. This allowed Jansen to advance to second, but the Twins thought pinch runner Bradley Zimmer, who was out at second, had interfered to mess up Polanco’s throw. After review, the call was upheld and Duffey was replaced by Jovani Moran to get the final out against George Springer. Springer wasted no time driving a single to right that advanced Jansen to third and brought up Bichette as the winning run at the plate for his at-bat. Thankfully for the Twins, Bichette hit a ground ball straight to Gio Urshela who threw him out to end the game and give the Twins their series victory in Toronto. What’s Next? The Twins return home, have an off day tomorrow, and play Tuesday night in a three game series against the dreaded evil (and overrated) empire that is the New York Yankees. Jameson Taillion is scheduled to start for the Yankees and the Twins have yet to announce a starter as many roster moves will be announced by the Twins prior to Tuesday night’s game which starts at 6:40 p.m. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Sheet View full article
  12. Box Score SP: Devin Smeltzer 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K (62 pitches, 38 strikes (61.2 strike %)) Home Runs: Trevor Larnach (4), Gary Sanchez (7) Top 3 WPA: Jorge Polanco .186 , Luis Arraez .087, Nick Gordon .076 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Sunday was the Twins last day North of the Border potentially until October and the last day of an unusual roster. Thankfully for Twins fans, the team did not disappoint in the series final as the Twins collected eight runs on 16 hits and a few Blue Jays errors to give them the series win over Toronto. The Twins scored their first run on a wild play. Luis Arraez and Gary Sanchez had reached base both on singles. With Jorge Polanco at the plate, he hit a lazy fly ball to right field that was flat out dropped by Blue Jays right fielder Teoscar Hernandez. That allowed Arraez to score. The Twins were able to score another run in the next at-bat thanks to a Gio Urshela sacrifice flyout. The Twins' weren't done in that first inning. Next, Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman faced rookie Jose Miranda. Miranda worked the count full on Gausman and landed an RBI single to center field driving in Jorge Polanco. The Blue Jays caught a break to end the inning when Gilberto Celestino singled but the Blue Jays threw out Miranda as he tried to go from first to third. Three runs in the top of the first were exactly what the Twins needed as Blue Jays centerfielder George Springer led off the bottom of the first with his 50th career lead off home run. Later in the inning, Twins starter Devin Smeltzer found himself in a jam with two runners on from two walks and Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk at the plate. Kirk hit a ground ball on an 0-1 count that ended in a diving stop by shortstop Jermaine Palacios who turned a double play. The Twins did not stop hitting as the top of the second began. The Jays outfield was shifted more to the left for Nick Gordon and that was their first mistake. Gordon pulled a Gausman changeup down the right field line and turned it into a triple to lead off the inning. Next, Palacios was able to pull an opposite field single and get his first big league run batted in to give the Twins a 4-1 lead. A few at-bats later, Polanco drove his first, (or second depending on your scorecard), run of the game on an RBI single that scored Palacios. Gausman remained in the game for the third and fourth innings but left in the fourth facing another jam with Arraez on second and Polanco on first. Reliever David Phelps came in and got his team out of the jam, ending Gausman’s day with 3 ER’s, 9 hits, and a walk in 3 ⅔ innings pitched. Smeltzer fared well for his 4 innings of work on Sunday. Many Twins fans on Twitter were displeased that Rocco Baldelli pulled Smeltzer after 4 with only 62 total pitches thrown. Smeltzer had gone 6 ⅔ innings in his last start against Detroit on May 31 on 101 pitches. Early exit aside, Smeltzer’s command was inconsistent on Sunday. Smeltzer allowed two walks in the first that led to Palacios' impressive double play, but he also allowed two home runs, first to Springer and later to Kirk in the bottom of the fourth. The Jays had two additional hits off of Smeltzer. He recorded only one strikeout all day and that was in the fourth against Santiago Espinal. The Twins bullpen was effective, but not as perfect as they were Friday, following Smeltzer’s removal from the game. Jharel Cotton pitched the fifth for the Twins and was perfect with a strikeout of Danny Jansen. Griffin Jax came in next and was again perfect with a strikeout of his own, this one against Hernandez. Before the Twins continued with another reliever, Trevor Larnach took center stage in the top of the 7th. With the score still at 5-2, Larnach gave the Twins another insurance run with his fourth home run of the year making it a 6-2 game. Then it was Joe Smith’s turn, but Matt Chapman made sure his performance wasn’t a repeat of Friday night. Chapman drilled his seventh home run of the season to center field bringing the Blue Jays back within a run with the score at 6-3. What was starting to look like a save opportunity for the Twins turned into a bigger lead for them. With two outs in the top of the eighth, Arraez collected his fourth hit of the game and reached base for the fifth time to put a runner on for Gary Sanchez. The Blue Jays switched relievers prior to Sanchez’s at-bat taking out Andrew Vasquez and putting in Jeremy Beasly. The Jays may have wanted to keep Vasquez in a little longer as Sanchez smacked his seventh home run of the season on Beasly’s very first pitch making it 8-3, Twins. For the bottom of the eighth, the Twins brought in Johan Duran who had not pitched since Thursday. After one pitch, Duran’s day was looking to be shortened as Springer lined a ball off of Duran’s leg on the first pitch. Duran recorded the out, but time was needed before Bo Bichette’s at-bat for the Twins coaching staff to make sure Duran could stay in the game. Stay in he did, as Duran struck out Bichette and got Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to ground out to complete the eighth for the Twins on eight pitches. For precautionary reasons, the Twins took Duran out after the eighth to be sure his bruise from Springer did not worsen. Baldelli handed the ball to Tyler Duffey to close out a five-run lead for the Twins in the ninth. Duffey, oh Duffey. The concern of Duffey coming into the game from Twins fans was well granted. After retiring only one batter, Duffey walked Kirk, gave up a single to Chapman, lining up a good at-bat for Santiago Espinal who hit a three-run home run to make it a 8-6 game. The bleeding did not stop there for Duffey. He gave up another hit, this time to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Duffey was finally able to record a second out on a fielder's choice, but the throw from Polanco to try and turn a double play was too far away from Jose Miranda at first. This allowed Jansen to advance to second, but the Twins thought pinch runner Bradley Zimmer, who was out at second, had interfered to mess up Polanco’s throw. After review, the call was upheld and Duffey was replaced by Jovani Moran to get the final out against George Springer. Springer wasted no time driving a single to right that advanced Jansen to third and brought up Bichette as the winning run at the plate for his at-bat. Thankfully for the Twins, Bichette hit a ground ball straight to Gio Urshela who threw him out to end the game and give the Twins their series victory in Toronto. What’s Next? The Twins return home, have an off day tomorrow, and play Tuesday night in a three game series against the dreaded evil (and overrated) empire that is the New York Yankees. Jameson Taillion is scheduled to start for the Yankees and the Twins have yet to announce a starter as many roster moves will be announced by the Twins prior to Tuesday night’s game which starts at 6:40 p.m. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Sheet
  13. TRANSACTIONS The Twins called up Royce Lewis from St. Paul and demoted Jose Miranda as a corresponding move. Lewis will be placed on the Injured List on Monday, but the news was fairly positive. The MRI showed "only" a bone bruise. RHP Austin Schulfer was promoted from Wichita to St. Paul. IF Edouard Julien was activated from the Wichita Injured List. C/OF Jeferson Morales was activated from the Kernels Injured List. More moves coming on Monday throughout the organization. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 8, Indianapolis 7 Box score SP: Jake Faria - 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 3 K HR: Jake Cave (4) Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras (2-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI (20)), Cave (2-5, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI (27)) The Saints went down to the wire to finish out their second home series against Indianapolis early Sunday evening as the teams battled into the bottom of the ninth to close out the series. The game started with a bang from Indianapolis shortstop Oneil Cruz as he hit a leadoff home run against Jake Faria. Faria’s evening continued to see many base runners. Through his 3 2/3 innings pitched, Faria allowed ten base runners on five hits and five walks allowing Indianapolis to score four runs against him. After Faria surrendered three runs to Indianapolis through two innings, the Saints' offense was able to pick up their bats and bring the team back into the game. The first two runs for the Saints in the bottom of the second came with the price of outs as Caleb Hamilton hit a fielder's choice that scored Jake Cave and Elliot Soto grounded out to score Roy Morales. The bottom of the third brought the Saints' first lead of the game thanks to a Jake Cave three-run home run to make the score 5-3. Then after Indianapolis brought themselves back within a run in the top of the fourth, the Saints added two more insurance runs of their own from an Alex Kirilloff RBI single scoring Caleb Hamilton and a Mark Contreras bases-loaded ground out scoring David Banuelos. Indianapolis would only get one run back in the top of the fifth as the game remained at a 7-5 score going into the top of the ninth. Jharel Cotton was on the mound for the Saints to get the save in the top of the ninth, but a leadoff home run from Indianapolis first baseman Mason Martin and RBI double from third baseman Cole Tucker prevented Cotton from earning the save and forced the game into the bottom of the ninth. Thankfully for the Saints faithful, the game was over quickly as the home-run hero of the day Cave walked it off for the Saints. Cave hit an RBI single that scored Contreras to win the game for the Saints. The walk-off win was the Saints second in a row, and they won their first series since mid-April when they last played Indianapolis and took three-out-of-five games. The Saints will embark on another road trip to Iowa to take on the Iowa Cubs on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:38 p.m. CT. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Springfield 1 Box Score SP: Louie Varland - 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K HR: Chris Williams (3), Andrew Bechtold (6), Michael Helman (6), DaShawn Keirsey (1) Multi-hit games: Helman (2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI (20), SB (10), BB), Williams (2-4, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI (13), BB) The Wind Surge recovered Sunday night from a high-scoring affair Saturday when they lost 14-13. Wichita got the scoring going right away. They scored four runs in the top of the first inning against the Hooks thanks to an RBI double from Dennis Ortega and a three-run home run from catcher Chris Williams. Williams extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Wind Surge starter Louie Varland was thankful for the early run support as he made his eighth start of the season. Varland threw two scoreless innings to start his evening but gave up a run in the third on an RBI double to Hooks second baseman Emmanuel Valdez. Valdez was the only batter to get the better of Varland in the game as his second run surrendered was on a home run from Valdez. Aside from the troubles with Valdez, Varland threw five strong innings striking out four batters. However, he allowed nine base runners on four hits and five walks. Evan Sisk worked two scoreless innings to earn the win. Going into the bottom of the seventh the Wind Surge held the lead to 5-2. It would soon be taken over by the Hooks when their center fielder Justin Dirden drilled a grand slam off of Bryan Sammons to give the Hooks a 6-5 lead. The Hooks lead was short-lived as Michael Helman hit a home run in the top of the eighth to tie the game for the Surge. The Wind Surge would secure the win in the ninth inning as center fielder DaShawn Keirsey hit his first home run of the season to give the Wind Surge a 7-6 lead. The Wind Surge begin their next series at home on Tuesday against the Frisco RoughRiders, first pitch is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Timber Rattlers 6 Box Score SP: Sean Mooney 2 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K HR: Anthony Prato (6) Multi hit games: Prato (3-4, 3 R, 3B, HR, RBI (29), BB) The Kernels completed the series against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Sunday afternoon. The series was in the Kernels' favor at 3-2 through five games, but the Timber Rattlers got the better of the Kernels early. They scored all six of their runs in the first four innings. Sean Mooney was given the starting nod for his seventh start of the season. It was his shortest outing of the season. The right-hander made it into the third inning, but having allowed eight base runners, Brian Dinkelman pulled his starter. The bright spot for Mooney was that four of the seven outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Ryan Shreve, Miguel Rodriguez, Cody Laweryson, and Andrew Cabezas combined for five scoreless innings in relief on just one hit and one walk. Offensively, the Kernels had opportunities to score. In the bottom of the second inning, the Kernels scored their first run by luck as the Rattlers starter Ryne Moore overthrew the ball on a pickoff attempt which allowed for Pat Winkel to score. Cedar Rapids scored again in the bottom of the third inning thanks to a double-steal. Seth Gray stole second base. The throw allowed for Anthony Prado to steal home and cut the deficit to 3-2. After that, Wisconsin rallied for three more runs, and even though the Kernels scored two more runs in the game, it was not enough. The Kernels begin their next series on the road in Michigan against the Lansing Lugnuts on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 10:05 a.m. CT. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Bradenton 4 Box Score SP: Travis Adams 4 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Noah Cardenas (2-3, RBI (14), BB) The Mighty Mussels lost a low-scoring affair on Sunday morning. Travis Adams was on the mound for his seventh start of the season. He allowed two runs on a hit and three walks across four innings. The four-inning outing was Adams' shortest of the season but he still kept Marauder bats guessing as he recorded six strikeouts in the game. The Mussels scored the first run of the game when catcher Noah Cardenas hit a single to score Noah Miller and give the Mussels a 1-0 lead. That was the only run they scored until the top of the eighth inning when they found themselves down 4-1. Ft. Myers scored their second and final run came courtesy of their designated hitter and former first overall draft pick of the 2008 MLB amateur draft, Tim Beckham. The rehabbing veteran ripped an opposite-field line drive off of the wall in right field that scored Dylan Neuse. Beckham was held to a single. Unfortunately, he immediately exited the game, limping off the field. He has missed the first two months of the season with a quad injury. Hopefully, this is just a little setback on his road to recovery. Mikey Perez came on to pinch run for Beckham. The Mussels will be returning to Hammond Stadium on Tuesday to start a six-game series against the Yankees' Low-A affiliate the Tampa Tarpons. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Fort Myers) 4 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Chris Williams (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI (13), BB PROSPECT SUMMARY 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 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 0-1 (played CF, left game in 3rd inning after remarkable catch caused him to bang into the wall.) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, SB (13)0-7, 4 K #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K #16 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-5 #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-1 (PH) #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-1 (PH) TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 31. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Iowa (6:38 PM CST) - TBD Frisco @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (10:05 AM CST) - TBD Tampa @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Mike Paredes Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games or the first two months of the season.
  14. The Twins won their final game of a seven-game homestand against the Royals but saw top prospect Royce Lewis exit the game due to injury. Thankfully the Twins Minor League affiliates stayed clear of crucial injuries in their games Sunday and had a mixed bag of results. Click below to find out more. TRANSACTIONS The Twins called up Royce Lewis from St. Paul and demoted Jose Miranda as a corresponding move. Lewis will be placed on the Injured List on Monday, but the news was fairly positive. The MRI showed "only" a bone bruise. RHP Austin Schulfer was promoted from Wichita to St. Paul. IF Edouard Julien was activated from the Wichita Injured List. C/OF Jeferson Morales was activated from the Kernels Injured List. More moves coming on Monday throughout the organization. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 8, Indianapolis 7 Box score SP: Jake Faria - 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 3 K HR: Jake Cave (4) Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras (2-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI (20)), Cave (2-5, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI (27)) The Saints went down to the wire to finish out their second home series against Indianapolis early Sunday evening as the teams battled into the bottom of the ninth to close out the series. The game started with a bang from Indianapolis shortstop Oneil Cruz as he hit a leadoff home run against Jake Faria. Faria’s evening continued to see many base runners. Through his 3 2/3 innings pitched, Faria allowed ten base runners on five hits and five walks allowing Indianapolis to score four runs against him. After Faria surrendered three runs to Indianapolis through two innings, the Saints' offense was able to pick up their bats and bring the team back into the game. The first two runs for the Saints in the bottom of the second came with the price of outs as Caleb Hamilton hit a fielder's choice that scored Jake Cave and Elliot Soto grounded out to score Roy Morales. The bottom of the third brought the Saints' first lead of the game thanks to a Jake Cave three-run home run to make the score 5-3. Then after Indianapolis brought themselves back within a run in the top of the fourth, the Saints added two more insurance runs of their own from an Alex Kirilloff RBI single scoring Caleb Hamilton and a Mark Contreras bases-loaded ground out scoring David Banuelos. Indianapolis would only get one run back in the top of the fifth as the game remained at a 7-5 score going into the top of the ninth. Jharel Cotton was on the mound for the Saints to get the save in the top of the ninth, but a leadoff home run from Indianapolis first baseman Mason Martin and RBI double from third baseman Cole Tucker prevented Cotton from earning the save and forced the game into the bottom of the ninth. Thankfully for the Saints faithful, the game was over quickly as the home-run hero of the day Cave walked it off for the Saints. Cave hit an RBI single that scored Contreras to win the game for the Saints. The walk-off win was the Saints second in a row, and they won their first series since mid-April when they last played Indianapolis and took three-out-of-five games. The Saints will embark on another road trip to Iowa to take on the Iowa Cubs on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:38 p.m. CT. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Springfield 1 Box Score SP: Louie Varland - 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K HR: Chris Williams (3), Andrew Bechtold (6), Michael Helman (6), DaShawn Keirsey (1) Multi-hit games: Helman (2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI (20), SB (10), BB), Williams (2-4, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI (13), BB) The Wind Surge recovered Sunday night from a high-scoring affair Saturday when they lost 14-13. Wichita got the scoring going right away. They scored four runs in the top of the first inning against the Hooks thanks to an RBI double from Dennis Ortega and a three-run home run from catcher Chris Williams. Williams extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Wind Surge starter Louie Varland was thankful for the early run support as he made his eighth start of the season. Varland threw two scoreless innings to start his evening but gave up a run in the third on an RBI double to Hooks second baseman Emmanuel Valdez. Valdez was the only batter to get the better of Varland in the game as his second run surrendered was on a home run from Valdez. Aside from the troubles with Valdez, Varland threw five strong innings striking out four batters. However, he allowed nine base runners on four hits and five walks. Evan Sisk worked two scoreless innings to earn the win. Going into the bottom of the seventh the Wind Surge held the lead to 5-2. It would soon be taken over by the Hooks when their center fielder Justin Dirden drilled a grand slam off of Bryan Sammons to give the Hooks a 6-5 lead. The Hooks lead was short-lived as Michael Helman hit a home run in the top of the eighth to tie the game for the Surge. The Wind Surge would secure the win in the ninth inning as center fielder DaShawn Keirsey hit his first home run of the season to give the Wind Surge a 7-6 lead. The Wind Surge begin their next series at home on Tuesday against the Frisco RoughRiders, first pitch is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Timber Rattlers 6 Box Score SP: Sean Mooney 2 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K HR: Anthony Prato (6) Multi hit games: Prato (3-4, 3 R, 3B, HR, RBI (29), BB) The Kernels completed the series against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Sunday afternoon. The series was in the Kernels' favor at 3-2 through five games, but the Timber Rattlers got the better of the Kernels early. They scored all six of their runs in the first four innings. Sean Mooney was given the starting nod for his seventh start of the season. It was his shortest outing of the season. The right-hander made it into the third inning, but having allowed eight base runners, Brian Dinkelman pulled his starter. The bright spot for Mooney was that four of the seven outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Ryan Shreve, Miguel Rodriguez, Cody Laweryson, and Andrew Cabezas combined for five scoreless innings in relief on just one hit and one walk. Offensively, the Kernels had opportunities to score. In the bottom of the second inning, the Kernels scored their first run by luck as the Rattlers starter Ryne Moore overthrew the ball on a pickoff attempt which allowed for Pat Winkel to score. Cedar Rapids scored again in the bottom of the third inning thanks to a double-steal. Seth Gray stole second base. The throw allowed for Anthony Prado to steal home and cut the deficit to 3-2. After that, Wisconsin rallied for three more runs, and even though the Kernels scored two more runs in the game, it was not enough. The Kernels begin their next series on the road in Michigan against the Lansing Lugnuts on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 10:05 a.m. CT. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Bradenton 4 Box Score SP: Travis Adams 4 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Noah Cardenas (2-3, RBI (14), BB) The Mighty Mussels lost a low-scoring affair on Sunday morning. Travis Adams was on the mound for his seventh start of the season. He allowed two runs on a hit and three walks across four innings. The four-inning outing was Adams' shortest of the season but he still kept Marauder bats guessing as he recorded six strikeouts in the game. The Mussels scored the first run of the game when catcher Noah Cardenas hit a single to score Noah Miller and give the Mussels a 1-0 lead. That was the only run they scored until the top of the eighth inning when they found themselves down 4-1. Ft. Myers scored their second and final run came courtesy of their designated hitter and former first overall draft pick of the 2008 MLB amateur draft, Tim Beckham. The rehabbing veteran ripped an opposite-field line drive off of the wall in right field that scored Dylan Neuse. Beckham was held to a single. Unfortunately, he immediately exited the game, limping off the field. He has missed the first two months of the season with a quad injury. Hopefully, this is just a little setback on his road to recovery. Mikey Perez came on to pinch run for Beckham. The Mussels will be returning to Hammond Stadium on Tuesday to start a six-game series against the Yankees' Low-A affiliate the Tampa Tarpons. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Fort Myers) 4 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Chris Williams (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI (13), BB PROSPECT SUMMARY 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 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 0-1 (played CF, left game in 3rd inning after remarkable catch caused him to bang into the wall.) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, SB (13)0-7, 4 K #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K #16 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-5 #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-1 (PH) #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-1 (PH) TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 31. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Iowa (6:38 PM CST) - TBD Frisco @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (10:05 AM CST) - TBD Tampa @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Mike Paredes Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games or the first two months of the season. View full article
  15. As the author of this article I can admit the timing of its publication is both very good and very bad. Baseball is weird like that.
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