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  1. TRANSACTIONS None Saints Sentinel St. Paul 11, Iowa 1 Box Score Andrew Albers: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: David Bañuelos (3) Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-6, 2B, R, 3 RBI), David Bañuelos (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB) The Saints steamrolled the Cubs on Sunday. St. Paul took all the way until the 2nd inning to score a number of runs that would be wholly unnecessary for them to win. A wild pitch plated B.J. Boyd before Jose Miranda brought two more runners in safely with a single up the middle. Miranda racked up three RBIs in the game; his first time doing that since… Friday. David Bañuelos provided the firepower for the 3rd inning. He unclogged the bases with a two-run double that put St. Paul up 5-0 after the first third of the game. They would be far from done scoring. The 7th inning would prove to be the most fruitful for the Saints’ offense. Jose Miranda flexed his muscles once more and banged a run-scoring double to take the lead 7-1. Drew Maggi singled home a run before B.J. Boyd tripled home two more. Mr. Bañuelos added a solo homer in the 8th for good measure. In total, the Saints offense knocked ten hits, walked an astounding 13 times, and scored 11 runs. Somehow, actually, it seems that the Cubs got off easier than they should have. But it did not matter as Andrew Albers and the rest of the Saints pitching staff carried the torch the rest of the way. Albers allowed a single run over his five excellent innings of work while Ian Hamilton, Derek Law, and Ian Gibaut combined to hold Iowa’s offense scoreless. In total, the three relievers struck out five, walked one, and allowed one hit en route to that lopsided victory. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 0, Quad Cities 5 Box Score Cody Laweryson: 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Kernels lost Game 5 to Quad Cities, finish second in High-A Central League. Cody Laweryson was wild early. Four of the first five hitters he faced reached base, and he was pulled after throwing 26 pitches to net one out. Denny Bentley held the bleeding to just a pair of runs, but he was also touched up for two runs over his 2 2/3 innings of work. Derek Molina was the most effective out-getter of the night as he allowed no runs over 2 2/3 innings while striking out three batters. Even if the River Bandits failed to score after the 1st inning, they still would have won the game. The Kernels’ offense was completely blanked in the game as, despite walking eight times, they were unable to score a run. In a unique outcome, the team left ten men on base despite only having two hits in the ballgame. The River Bandits gave the Kernels a plethora of opportunities to plate a run, but the offense could not find a single hit with a runner on base. DaShawn Keirsey tried to kick-start the bats with a 9th inning double-the only extra-base hit of the game for Cedar Rapids-but he was stranded at second. It was a tough loss for a team that was in the driver’s seat just two days ago. Cedar Rapids was up 2-1 in the series but lost on Saturday and Sunday, and they now find themselves as the second place team in the High-A Central, as they were in the regular season. Nonetheless, it was an impressive season for the team as they were without Matt Canterino and Blayne Enlow for most of the year, and only had one healthy player from our Twins Daily Top 20 on the roster for the final game (Matt Wallner). TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Andrew Albers Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – David Bañuelos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-6, 2B, R, 3 RBI #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-2, 2 K
  2. Box Score Albers: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K Home runs: Sanó (26) Bottom 3 WPA: Albers -.127, Arraez -.092, Simmons -.089 Win Probability Chart (Via FanGraphs) After an exciting victory on Wednesday night, the Minnesota Twins got on the board first again on Thursday when Miguel Sanó hit a moonshot for the Minnesota Twins in the second inning, his 26th home run of the 2021 season. Unfortunately for the Twins, though, that was the only offense that they would provide for the night. On the night, the Twins were only able to muster four hits, only plating the solo home run from their first baseman. The Sanó home run improved his OPS on the season to .779 as his resurgent second half of the season continued on. On the other side of the plate, Andrew Albers got the call on the mound for the Minnesota Twins and struggled with two areas that you don’t want to see a pitcher struggle with, control and the long ball. Albers, pitching on four days' rest, could not command any of his pitches and threw just 58% strikes while allowing four free passes. Additionally, Albers allowed two home runs to Cleveland hitters, one to Franmil Reyes in the third inning and another to Oscar Mercado in the fourth. In total, Albers only lasted four innings while throwing 98 pitches, following up his incredible start last week with a poor performance today. In the bullpen, the Twins allowed another home run when José Ramirez hit a solo home run off of Ralph Garza Jr. in the seventh inning to give Cleveland an insurance run. Emmanuel Clase closed things down for Cleveland in the ninth inning with a perfect ninth inning securing a 4-1 win for Cleveland over the Minnesota Twins to avoid a four-game sweep. Postgame Interviews What’s Next The Minnesota Twins will travel home and kick off a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals, beginning with Griffin Jax on the mound Friday night against Daniel Lynch. Bullpen Usage Report SUN MON TUE WED THU TOT Farrell 0 0 0 0 32 32 Colomé 23 9 17 0 0 49 Thielbar 28 0 25 8 0 61 Minaya 0 0 21 0 0 21 Alcalá 15 0 19 0 0 34 Garza Jr. 0 0 0 0 19 19 Duffey 10 8 0 17 0 35 Coulombe 0 0 0 0 15 15
  3. Below are a few names, mentioned in descending order based on minor league affiliation, that just missed the top three. HONORABLE MENTIONS RHP Joe Ryan, St. Paul Saints: 9 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 17 K, 2.00 ERA RHP Jordan Balazovic, Wichita Wind Surge: 24 1/3 IP, 32 H, 16 R, 10 ER, 11 BB, 19 K, 3.70 ERA RHP Cole Sands, Wichita Wind Surge: 18 2/3 IP, 20 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 7 BB, 25 K, 3.38 ERA RHP Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels: 22 2/3 IP, 20 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 4 BB, 23 K, 3.18 ERA RHP Casey Legumina, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: 15 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 19 K, 1.80 ERA And without further ado, the bronze, silver, and gold medal finishers. 3. RHP Sean Mooney, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Stats: 13 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 8 BB, 26 K, 2.08 ERA The Mighty Mussels handle starting pitching differently than their other minor league affiliate counterparts. As the bulk of their pitchers have yet to complete an entire minor league season due to the pandemic, their focus is less on having pitchers go deep into games and more on tossing them out there in spurts to keep their workload low. Regardless, Mooney put up great numbers during his four starts in August. In fact, he's put up great numbers all season and has arguably been the Mighty Mussels' best, most consistent starter. Stints on the IL have been the only thing that have slowed him down this year. For that reason, he recently earned a promotion to High-A. 2. RHP Andrew Albers, St. Paul Saints Stats: 20 IP, 19 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 14 K, 1.80 ERA Albers' 2021 campaign is an excellent footnote in an otherwise gloomy Twins' season. The 35-year-old, who signed a minor-league deal last offseason, had not pitched in the majors since 2017 and likely did not think he would return anytime soon. However, after some brief struggles at the beginning of the season and a successful Olympic Trials run (he threw 7 innings of a no-hitter) with Team Canada, Albers earned a promotion to the Twins due to solid performance and multiple injuries. He's not going to strike many batters out and likely won't be with the team beyond this season, but it's hard not to feel happy for the wily vet. 1. RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, Cedar Rapids Kernels Stats: 17 IP, 17 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 26 K, 2.12 ERA I'll repeat what I mentioned in my recent scouting report: Sawyer Gipson-Long is one of the Twins' best under-the-radar pitching prospects. Gipson-Long was dominant during August, racking up strikeouts and not allowing free passes. His strong performance at High-A continued on Wednesday evening when he tossed six innings of one-hit ball. (Although the one hit was a two-run homer, and he also walked three while striking out four. They can't all be Cy Young caliber.) Other than four lackluster starts to begin the season, due at least in part to poor defense behind him, Gipson-Long has been solid all year. Don't be surprised if his name starts popping up in top prospect lists. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  4. Taylor Rogers was the choice for Twins Daily Pitcher of the Month in both May and June, and Kenta Maeda ‘received’ the award in August. Who will take home the prestigious award in their minds (because we haven’t come up with any sort of physical trophy or plaque or piece of paper). Now, before we get too far into this, I will debunk a rumor that was going around the Twitter-sphere on Wednesday afternoon. Sure, he had a 0.00 ERA and just a 1.00 WHIP, and opponents didn’t get a single hit off of him all month, but here are some candidates that finished ahead of La Tortuga in voting. Before even getting to the Honorable Mentions and the Winner, there were several strong pitching performances by the Twins in August, particularly out of the bullpen. Unfortunately, the starting pitching was not as good. First, Andrew Albers posted a 0.96 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in his two appearances and 9 1/3 innings. Jorge Alcala had a 1.50 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP in August, but he pitched in just five games and spent half of the month on the Injured List. Tyler Duffey had a 2.25 ERA and 12 strikeouts but had just eight innings and a 1.75 WHIP. Caleb Thielbar became one of the most reliable arms out of the team’s bullpen. He had 14 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings. His WHIP was just 0.95. Without further ado, here are three honorable mentions, followed by the big winner! Honorable Mention #3: RHP Ralph Garza, Jr. The Twins claimed the 27-year-old right-hander after the Astros DFA’d him on August 1st. He was called up to the Twins on August 14th and has been impressive since. In eight games and 10 1/3 innings, he posted a 1.74 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP. He gave up just two earned runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out nine batters. Opponents hit just .167 against him. The Twins have claimed several players off waivers over the past couple of months and signed a few others to minor league deals. Several have already been DFAd and weren’t claimed by another team, hence, they remain in St. Paul (Beau Burrows, Edgar Garcia, Nick Vincent). However, Garza, with his multiple side-winding arm angles and pitch movement, has made a good first impression. Honorable Mention #2: RHP Alexander Colome Colome hasn’t been good in 2021. It would be tough to argue that he has been. However, he was solid in August. Following the trade of Hansel Robles at the July 30th trade deadline and the season-ending injury to Taylor Rogers, Colome has returned to the closer’s role and generally been good. Of his 13 appearances in August, ten of them provided him with a save opportunity. He converted eight of them. And he had a solid month in Alexander Colome fashion. In his 12 2/3 innings, he had a 1.22 WHIP. He gave up some hits, and he issued five walks to go with just five strikeouts. Honorable Mention #1: Bailey Ober Ober made his big-league debut in May. He had some ups and downs along the way, but overall, the Twins have to be thrilled with his performance. In his five August starts, he went 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. In 27 1/3 innings, he gave up 27 hits, walked just three and struck out 26 batters. As important, Ober has been very consistent and reliable over the past month. He pitched at least five innings in all five starts. His ERA dropped from 4.94 to 3.98 over the course of the month. He hasn’t given up more than three earned runs since July 10. The Twins are now 10-6 in games started by Ober in 2021. The only rookie starters whose teams have a better winning percentage in their games started are Alek Manoak of the Blue Jays and Shane McClanahan of the Rays. Twins Starting Pitcher of the Month: Juan Minaya Minaya has been with the Twins since the beginning of the 2020 season. Before that, he had spent much of the previous four seasons in the White Sox bullpen. He had recorded 142 strikeouts over 128 1/3 innings with Chicago. He signed a minor league signed a minor league deal with the Twins and went to spring training 2020. He then participated at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. In fact, he was called up to the Twins once last year, but a day or two later, he was DFAd without pitching in a game. He went unclaimed and stayed in the organization. He signed back with the Twins in 2021 and began the season in St. Paul. He was called up to the Twins at the end of May and pitched in four games before being DFAd on June 5th to make room for Griffin Jax. He was again unclaimed and returned to St. Paul. However, in mid-July, he was called up one more time, and after sporadic appearances, he got thrown into more proverbial fires following the trade deadline, and he has been very good. In August, Minaya worked in ten games. He went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Opponents hit just .180 off of him. He walked eight, but struck out 16 batters in his 14 innings. Still just 30-years-old, Minaya has a chance to keep himself on the 40-man roster throughout the offseason and in the plans for the team’s 2022 bullpen. August was a good month for that endeavor. Congratulations to Juan Minaya on a great month, as well as the other Honorable Mentions. Do you agree that Minaya is the choice? Should Bailey Ober have been the recipient? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  5. Box Score Andrew Albers: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K Home Runs: Donaldson (20) Top 3 WPA: Albers .306, Donaldson .177, Coulombe .080 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Before either team even took the field, two special stories were already on display. First, third baseman Eduardo Escobar, now with the Brewers, made his first visit to Target Field as an opposing player since he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2018. He got a warm welcome from Twins fans! The other story, the most important one, was also about a player’s return. After spending over two months on the injured list recovering from a hand fracture caused by a hit-by-pitch, Byron Buxton was activated by the Twins roughly an hour before the game. He took the leadoff spot in Rocco Baldelli’s lineup, starting what might be a crucial stretch for his continuity as a Twin. While Buxton’s first plate appearance in the majors since Jun. 22 was unimpressive, with a three-pitch strikeout, that didn’t mean Minnesota’s offense wasn’t going to make some noise early. With two outs in the first, Rob Refsnyder singled, reaching with a head-first slide. Josh Donaldson hit a line drive home run to left in the following at-bat, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead. This was Donaldson’s fourth home run in the last six games. Even though they came out of the second inning empty-handed, the Twins offense kept Brewers starter Eric Lauer on the ropes. They loaded the bases with only one out and suddenly had the chance to blow this game wide open. One of those runners was Buxton himself, who worked a five-pitch walk after getting ahead in the count with 3-0. Refsnyder hit a ground ball to left that would’ve cleared the bases had it stayed fair. But it landed inches into foul territory, and he ended up being struck out briefly after that to end the inning. Albers picks up where he left off Meanwhile, Andrew Albers began putting together a nice start. Over a week after his relief appearance in New York, where he provided four innings of one-run ball, he dominated Milwaukee’s lineup the first time through the order. He retired nine of his first 11 batters faced, pitching three shutout innings on 41 pitches. He pitched himself into a jam during the fourth inning. After allowing only one hit through three, he gave up two and hit a batter, loading the bases. But he managed to induce weak enough contact to get out of it. In fact, this is what he was able to do a lot tonight. His stuff wasn’t electric, but everything was well located, causing Brewers batters to ground out multiple times. With an arsenal of five pitches, very few of them were not thrown for a strike. According to Statcast, he didn’t give up a single barrel during this outing. After a shaky fourth inning, he returned to pitch a 1-2-3 fifth and retired one batter in the sixth before being removed from the game. Jorge Alcala, also making his return to the team from the IL, came in in his relief and finished off the Brewers on ten pitches. Offense quiets down, but the bullpen is lights out Minnesota didn’t get a lot done on offense for the remainder of the game. The only time they could pose a threat was during the sixth inning when Buxton had men in the corners with two outs. Kirk Cousins’ cousin, Jake, painted the inside part of the strike zone to strike him out. Fortunately for the Twins, their bullpen was lights out. Jorge Alcala and Danny Coulombe held the Brewers scoreless until the eighth before Tyler Duffey came in to get the final out of the inning. Duffey, in fact, caught a huge break with a slow curveball out of the zone that was called for a strike – framed brilliantly by Ryan Jeffers. But on the previous pitch, a pitch that painted the lower corner of the zone and got called for a ball should’ve ended the inning. Alexander Colomé pitched the ninth inning, looking to bounce back from his previous two disastrous outings. This time, he was able to retire the side on only 13 pitches (10 strikes) to earn his eighth save of the year. Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT TUE WED THU FRI TOT Albers 0 0 0 0 88 88 Garza Jr. 31 0 24 4 0 59 Coulombe 0 0 19 0 20 39 Thielbar 0 14 22 0 0 36 Duffey 0 19 9 0 6 34 Colomé 0 0 20 0 13 33 Minaya 0 30 0 0 0 30 Gibaut 0 23 0 0 0 23 Alcalá 0 0 0 0 12 12 Barnes 0 0 0 0 0 0
  6. Box Score John Gant: 3 1/3 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K Home Runs: Jake Cave (2), Miguel Sanó (21) Bottom 3 WPA: John Gant -.211, Josh Donaldson -.107, Luis Arraez -.081 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Minnesota Twins fell to the New York Yankees Thursday night. The game functioned as the Twins’ second-straight bullpen game after Lewis Thorpe was removed early in Wednesday’s action with a shoulder injury. John Gant was the lone Twin that didn’t make an appearance during the series finale against the Cleveland Guardians and, thus, was awarded his 15th start of the season against the Yankees. How generous. Gant performed admirably in his 3 ⅓ innings, striking out four. However, the Bronx Bombers scored four runs in a third inning capped off by a Kyle Higashioka home run. The Twins’ bats were kept quiet by Jameson Taillon until the sixth inning when Jake Cave hit his second home run of the year to get them on the board. Jorge Polanco later doubled in Andrelton Simmons and Max Kepler to cut the lead to 6-3. Polanco went 3-for-4 on the night with three RBI to raise his OPS to .822. However, Minnesota’s offense came a little too late. Miguel Sanó added his 21st dinger of the season to bring the Twins within two in the ninth, but they ultimately failed to capitalize further. One positive to arise Thursday night was the return of Andrew Albers to the Twins bullpen. Albers — who is 35-years-old and was called up for the first time this season on Thursday morning — last pitched for the Twins during the 2016 season and hadn’t thrown in the majors at all since 2017. After a rough start to the season at Triple-A, Albers pitched to a 3.86 ERA for the Saints in 15 starts. He also was a member of the Canadian national team who fell just short of an Olympic berth earlier this summer. He tossed four innings and struck out four while surrendering only a single earned run Thursday night. The Twins and Yankees return to action on Friday evening when Charlie Barnes (0-2, 4.91) is expected to go up against Nestor Cortes (1-1, 2.55). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT. Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED THURS TOT Gant 0 0 17 0 0 61 78 Barnes 0 73 0 0 0 0 73 Albers 0 0 0 0 0 63 63 Minaya 0 0 19 0 40 0 59 García 0 21 0 0 35 0 56 Colomé 0 13 10 0 31 0 54 Garza Jr. 16 0 0 13 23 0 52 Thielbar 0 15 19 0 9 0 43 Duffey 0 27 0 0 14 0 41 Coulombe 10 0 0 0 7 19 36 MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. TRANSACTIONS: C Nick Garland released from organization. OF Nick Anderson released from organization. SAINTS SENTINEL Saints 8, Indianapolis 0 Box Score Andrew Albers: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: José Miranda (11) Multi-hit games: Miranda (2-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Mark Contreras (2-for-5, 2 RBI, R), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R) Andrew Albers put together his best start of the season for the Saints, tossing eight scoreless innings and striking out five. Albers now owns a 2.94 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched this season for St. Paul. He’s a call-up candidate with Michael Pineda hitting the injured list (oblique). The Saints’ offense scored 41 runs over this six-game series with Indianapolis. They tacked on eight today, thanks to a five-run first and another José Miranda homer. Miranda’s excellence has been well-documented, but it’s truly remarkable what he’s done in the high minors. He’s hitting .347 with a 1.028 OPS in 41 games for the Saints. St. Paul improved its record to 48-41 and will head home to take on the Iowa Cubs. Now back from Japan, newly acquired starter Joe Ryan could make his Saints debut during the series. WIND SURGE WISDOM Surge 14, Drillers 8 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 1 2/3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 0 K HR: BJ Boyd 2 (13, 14), Andrew Bechtold (14), Leobaldo Cabrera (4), Jermaine Palacios (18), Chris Williams (3), Trey Cabbage (13) Multi-hit games: Boyd (2-for-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R), Palacios (3-for-4, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB), Cabrera (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB), D.J. Burt (2-for-3, 2B, 3 R, 2 BB) Another home run barrage for the Surge began less swimmingly. Jordan Balazovic struggled with his command, walking three in a very short outing. None of the six runs scored against him were earned, however, as the Surge made some throwing errors in the field. Wichita entered the game with a league-leading 26 homers in August. They bashed seven more in Sunday’s win. Trey Cabbage hit his seventh homer of the month and BJ Boyd hit another two bombs himself. Boyd has four homers in his last two games and nine over his last 13 games. It was a big win for Wichita as they extend their lead over Tulsa to four games. Wichita is in first place with a 52-38 record after the road series split. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 4, Chiefs 1 Box Score Matt Canterino: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: Michael Helman (11), Alex Isola (9) Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-for-3, 2B, RBI, 2 BB), Yunior Severino (2-for-5), Isola (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB), Helman (2-for-3, HR, 2B, RBI, 2 R, BB) Matt Canterino was absolutely dominant in his abbreviated return from an elbow injury. He struck out eight of the 10 batters he faced with just one walk of top prospect Jordan Walker. Canterino owns a 0.78 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 23 innings this season. Michael Helman got things going for Cedar Rapids with a solo homer on the first pitch of the third inning. Alex Isola then went yard in the fourth, giving the Kernels a 2-0 lead. Cody Laweryson did an excellent job filling innings after Canterino, striking out six and not allowing a run in four innings of work. The Kernels have certainly enjoyed the return of Matt Wallner from the injured list. The lineup is deeper and presents an opportunity to balance out production. With the activation of Canterino, Cedar Rapids could really start to click. MUSSEL MATTERS GAME POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER COMPLEX CHRONICLES THE FCL TWINS DID NOT PLAY SUNDAY TWINS DAILY’S MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PITCHER OF THE DAY: ANDREW ALBERS: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 5 K TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE HITTER OF THE DAY: BJ BOYD: 2-for-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-6, R #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 1 2/3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 0 K #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, BB, 8 K #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play (game postponed) #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-3, BB #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, R, 2 BB #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 – Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Did not play #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Did not play
  8. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 12, Louisville 2 Box Score Andrew Albers took the ball for the Saints, and he twirled an absolute gem. Working seven strong, he allowed eight hits but limited the damage to just a single run on a solo shot. Albers also punched out five and walked just one batter. Trailing after the top half of the first, the Saints quickly erased the deficit on a Mark Contreras two-run blast, his 11th of the year. In the third, Damek Tomscha doubled with the bases loaded and brought everyone home, pushing the St. Paul lead to 5-1. Contreras wasn’t done adding for St. Paul as his sac fly in the 5th inning allowed Tomas Telis to scamper home. Jose Miranda then continued his hot hitting and contributed an RBI single to score Roberto Pena. Up 7-1 in the 7th inning, Jimmy Kerrigan blasted his 13th home run of the season and was followed by a Tomscha dinger making it back-to-back jacks. After a Louisville run scored in the 8th inning, the Saints added further distance. Gilberto Celestino crushed his second dinger for St. Paul, a three-run shot, and the final tally sat at 12-2. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 7, Midland 6 Box Score On the mound for Wichita was Bryan Sammons. He lasted 4 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on four hits and four walks. Sammons struck out six in the contest. Trailing 1-0 after the top of the first inning, the Wind Surge answered in a big way. An Austin Martin double was followed by a B.J. Boyd single to plate Wichita’s first run. Andrew Bechtold drove in Boyd on a sacrifice fly before Jermaine Palacios sent a ball over the wall for his 14th home run of the year and pushed the lead to 4-1. Spencer Steer lifted his ninth homer for the Wind Surge (19th overall) in the 3rd inning and gave Wichita a 5-2 lead. After Midland took the lead in the 5th inning, Steer drove in Martin on a sacrifice fly in the 8th inning to tie the game at six. In the bottom of the 9th inning, the newly-acquired Martin stepped to the dish and drove in Leobaldo Cabrera with a single to right field to walk things off for the good guys. Martin had two hits in this one and was joined by the game’s designated hitter, Trey Cabbage. John Bonnes was also in attendance for this one. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 8, Cedar Rapids 5 Box Score Tyler Watson made the start for Cedar Rapids tonight and lasted just 3 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs on four hits while striking out two and walking two batters. It was a tough night for a guy who’s been great in 2021. Cedar Rapids got on the board first with Alex Isola recording his 12th double of the season to drive in Edouard Julien. A DeShawn Keirsey homer then answered a Quad Cities two-run blast in the 2nd inning to bring things back even. Getting down 8-2 by the the inning, Cedar Rapids had quite the hill to climb. Yunior Severino chipped away with a two-run double in the 6th inning, and Max Smith homered on a solo shot in the 7th inning. That three-run deficit was as close as they’d make it, however, and 8-5 is where this one ended. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Dunedin 5, Fort Myers 4 (F/7) Box Score Scheduled for a pair of games Wednesday after a postponement on Tuesday, Casey Legumina took the mound in game one. He worked two innings allowing one run on one hit and one walk while striking out two batters. Fort Myers saw the bullpen give up a total of four runs in relief, but just a single run was earned. Ruben Santana gave the Mighty Mussels their first tally on a 3rd inning sacrifice fly to score Willie Joe Garry Jr. Trailing 5-1 entering the home-half of the 6th inning, Aaron Sabato blasted his fifth homer of the season, a three-run shot, to bring the Mighty Mussels back within one run. That’s where the rally ended, and Fort Myers came up short. Game 2: Fort Myers 6, Dunedin 5 (F/7) Box Score These two clubs tried making up for the weather issues last night, but a full second tilt wasn’t in the cards. Sean Mooney worked 2 1/3 innings and gave up two runs, just one earned, on a hit and three walks. He also struck out three batters. Down first again in this one, Sabato blasted his second of the evening, a two-run shot this time, to give Fort Myers the lead. Trailing 3-2 in the 3rd inning, Misael Urbina roped his fourth homer which scored Justin Washington and put the Mighty Mussels back on top. Sabato followed with a sacrifice fly to provide some breathing room. After the Mighty Mussels lead disappeared, Will Holland put them back on top for good with a solo shot, his seventh of the season, and the 6-5 lead held in the nightcap. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Orioles Orange, FCL Twins Postponed - Rain TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Andrew Albers (St. Paul) - 7.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) - 2-5, R, 6 RBI, 2 HR(6), 2 K PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-5, R, RBI #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-3, R, K #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR(2), BB, K #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #9 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) - 2-5, R, 6 RBI, 2 HR(6), 2 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, R, BB, K #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #14 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-5, 2 K #15 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR(4), BB, 2 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, R, 2 RBI, HR(9), K #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 3 K #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) - N/A (foot injury) #19 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - Injured List (elbow) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - Did not pitch THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Louisville @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) - RHP Drew Strotman (7-2, 3.73 ERA) Midland @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (3-2, 3.59 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Ben Gross (4-0, 2.48 ERA) Dunedin @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Landon Leach (0-0, 3.38 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  9. TRANSACTIONS INF Tzu-Wei Lin transferred from 7-day IL to 60-day IL Saints Sentinel St. Paul 3, Omaha 1 Box Score Andrew Albers: 5 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: Drew Maggi (11) Multi-hit games: Tomás Telis (2-for-4, 2 RBI) The Saints took down the Omaha powerhouse on Saturday. Andrew Albers was brilliant in his start. The 35-year-old lefty almost completely shut down an offense powered by some serious prospect talent. I hope that some grateful teammates took him out for a nice steak dinner afterwards. Drew Maggi continued his power surge as he blasted his 11th homer of the year in the 6th inning. The blast gave him a new career high in home runs in any given season over his extensive minor league career. He may end up with the Twins if (when) Andrelton Simmons is traded. The big hit of the night came off the bat of Tomás Telis. His 7th inning single added two extra-crucial runs for the Saints. Jovani Moran threw a pair of scoreless innings with three strikeouts. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he is not pitching for the Twins by September at the latest. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 5, Arkansas 4 Box Score Adam Lau: 3 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: Jermaine Palacios (12) Multi-hit games: Roy Morales (2-for-5, R, RBI), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4), D.J. Burt (2-for-4) Wichita played an absolute dog fight of a game on Saturday. Adam Lau kicked off the game with an impressive start. He was not meant to get many outs, but the ones he got were efficient. It’s hard to criticize a guy who allowed just two baserunners over 11 outs. The offense was there for Wichita early as Roy Morales singled home the first run of the game in the 3rd inning and Jermaine Palacios bashed a three-run homer in the 5th. If Palacios is not the outright most surprising minor leaguer of the year, he’s at least in the conversation. He quietly returned to the Twins after the Rays were unable to work their magic on him. 2021 has been nothing but a rake fest as he came into Saturday with a 120 wRC+. It has been a good year for Palacios. It was looking like Wichita could set the game to cruise control on their way to an easy W, but things did not shake out that way. Some shenanigans in the 7th inning by Arkansas knotted the game and suddenly upped the stakes. The game went into extras where the Wind Surge were able to take advantage of Manfredball an honest runner in scoring position with a sacrifice fly by Aaron Whitefield. Zach Neff and Ryan Mason combined forces to hold the Travelers scoreless in the bottom of the inning, and Wichita was able to walk away with a win. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 10, Beloit 4 Box Score Ben Gross: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: Michael Helman (9), Matt Wallner (6) Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, RBI), Michael Helman (3-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, RBI, BB), Kyle Schmidt (3-for-5, R), Gabriel Maciel (3-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-5, RBI) Something, something, beware the 7th inning, something, something. Ben Gross, was, uhh, gross in his start on Saturday. The righty struck out eight batters over five shutout innings and was generally the man in charge. I mean, how can a pitcher not succeed when he has such an appropriate last name? He proves the theory of nominative determinism. The Kernels supported Gross early as Gabriel Maciel knocked home the first run of the game in the 2nd inning, and Michael Helman added on in the 5th frame with a solo shot. Oh, but did things ever get wacky after that. The Snappers responded in the 7th inning with four runs off a sacrifice fly and a bases-clearing double. Suddenly, the game was tilted four to two in favor of Beloit. The Kernels were having none of it. In the bottom half of the inning, a wild pitch brought the game to within a run. Maciel then doubled home two runs to gain the lead before Edouard Julien doubled home two more runs for posterity sake. Matt Wallner homered in the 8th inning just for giggles (and for scoring, I guess). Daniel Ozoria singled home yet another run, and Julien walked in the tenth (and final) run for good measure. Eight hitters for the Kernels reached base multiple times on Saturday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 1, Daytona 4 Box Score Orlando Rodriguez: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (2-for-3, RBI, BB) Fort Myers attempted a tribute to the Twins on Saturday, as they also could not find much offense on the day. Starter Orlando Rodriguez did his job well as he allowed just a pair of earned runs over his five innings of work. He walked three, which is a bit much, but he also struck out seven batters, which is also a bit much. So it evened out in the end. The offense just could not find anything, however. Will Holland and Nick Anderson were both able to work a pair of walks, and Yunior Severino got on base three times. Outside of them, the box score is quite dusty. Aaron Sabato and Misael Urbina both had especially rough games as they combined for seven strikeouts without a hit. You tend not to win many games when your three and four hitters put up lines like that. Matthew Swain and Steven Cruz combined for three shutout innings in relief of Rodriguez. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 7 Box Score Juan Mendez: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Kala’i Rosario (2) Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins lost on Saturday, but not without a vicious comeback attempt. The game was even through four as Juan Mendez did his best to support his team on the mound. He would end with the best line of any FCL Twins pitcher on Saturday. A double by what I can only assume is someone’s superhero alter-ego, a man named Blaze Jordan, kicked off a run of, well, runs for the Red Sox. They would plate seven over three innings in what ended up being the dagger. The FCL Twins did not go gentle into that good night. Kala’i Rosario blasted a 9th inning grand slam that, while awesome, was not enough to turn the game around. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Ben Gross Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, K #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 0-4 #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – 0-3, 3 K #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 0-3, BB, 3 K #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-5, HR, 2 R, RBI #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-4, 3 K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-4, 4 K #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-1, K #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Daytona @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) LHP Zarion Sharpe Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) RHP Cody Laweryson Wichita @ Arkansas (1:10 PM) RHP Jordan Balazovic St. Paul @ Omaha (4:05 PM) RHP Griffin Jax
  10. The night of last Wednesday, August 10th, started with Brian Dozier and the Twins hanging five runs on Dallas Keuchel, but ended with a steady stream of rain that washed the game out and those five runs away. Due to the rainout forcing the Twins and Astros to play two games the following day, the Twins issued a release at 10:57 pm announcing that they planned to select the contract of Andrew Albers from Rochester to serve as the 26th man for the second game of the day Thursday, as baseball rules allow. But the first game of the day was a disaster and immediately following the game, the Twins announced that Buddy Boshers was headed to the disabled list and Andrew Albers would have his contract selected and replace Boshers on the active roster. There would be no 26th man for the doubleheader because Pat Light, who was going to be called up from Rochester, had a flight get cancelled. Albers wasn’t particularly good, getting hit around for 11 hits. But he served his purpose, pitching six innings to save an already-taxed bullpen. Two days later, Albers was designated for assignment. We all know what that means - when a player is DFAd a 40-man (and 25-man spot - if the player is on the 25-man roster) opens immediately and the player goes into “DFA limbo” for up to 10 days. Typically the limbo ends when the player is traded, sent through release waivers and released, or sent through outright waivers where he is either claimed (buh-bye) or clears and is “outrighted” to the minor leagues. So imagine my surprise when the beat writers started reporting that Albers was “optioned” to Rochester. Wait. What? An “optioned” player is on the 40-man roster. An “optioned” player is just coming off the 25-man roster. Albers was on neither. Or was he? Well, what happened is that Albers had to pass through a different set of waivers called “optional waivers.” A place that players go when they have an option left, but when three calendar years have passed since their big-league debut. The Twins didn’t need the 40-man spot, but they needed a roster spot so bad that they had to DFA Albers while the formality of the “optional waivers” processed. Albers goes back on the 40-man too. So what the heck? I recalled reading this article about the Indians DFA'ing (but not really DFA'ing) Carlos Carrasco and it got my mind spinning…. was this the same thing? It certainly appeared to be. But I still find myself asking a few questions: When the Indians did this with Carrasco their release said they “designated Carrasco for assignment Sunday for the purpose of optioning him to Class AAA Columbus.” The Twins, however, said they were designating “left-handed pitcher Andrew Albers for release or assignment.” Why not be up front in the release? Semantics, I guess, considering they were going to option him… which is an assignment. Why did the Twins change course and add Albers to the 25-man roster when DL'ing Boshers instead of just leaving Albers as the 26th man and adding Light the next day? Does it have to do with the fact that Albers couldn’t simply be sent down immediately after the game because he’d have to clear optional waivers? (In that case, DFA him right away.) Or did the Twins front office not realize they’d be hamstrung by adding Albers? (Which would be hard for me to be mad at anyway, because I didn’t know the rule.) Was there concern that Albers wouldn’t clear outright waivers? Or that he wouldn’t accept his assignment? (He’s been outrighted before, so he could elect free agency.) Maybe the Twins had no intention of sending Albers back down right away, but had to in light of Milone’s injury? At any rate, Andrew Albers remains on the 40-man roster on optional assignment to Rochester. Of course, it’s not really going to matter anyway in a couple of months, when Albers is sent through outright waivers to clear up a space on the 40-man. But I’ll tell you what, the series of transactions led this geek to do a lot of head-scratching.
  11. Re-posted article: Following the 2011 Twins minor league season, I named Andrew Albers the Minnesota Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. Because of that, I wrote the below story about him that appeared in the 2012 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. Like so many other Twins this season, including Chris Colabello and Caleb Thielbar, Albers' story to the big leagues is terrific. After this article was written, much more happened in a successful 2012 season. In 2013, he represented Canada in the WBC, and he's been Rochester's best starting pitcher all season. Enjoy the story below, most of which is in his own words: Less than a month before Twins minor league training camp began, Andrew Albers was sitting in Arizona, hoping for an opportunity with an affiliated team. He was 25-years-old and wondering how long he would continue to play baseball. Since signing with the Twins shortly before camp, things have been going very well for Albers. The story is incredible, but let’s start from the beginning. Albers was born in North Battleford, Saskachewan in 1985. Understandably, he was not a Twins fan as a child. “Twins fans may not like this, but when I was growing up in Saskatchewan, I was a big Blue Jays fan. That was back in the day of the two World Series Championship teams. I used to love the players on those teams. Guys like Devon White, Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, Juan Guzman, Pat Hentgen, and the list goes on.” Like most Canadian children in the ‘90s, Larry Walker was also a major influence while he was growing up. Albers played some hockey as a youth. When he turned 12, he realized that he wasn’t a great hockey player. “So, once I got to high school, I retired from my brief hockey career and began to play volleyball, basketball and badminton in high school. I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to play some different sports and enjoyed what each one had to offer. Plus, I feel like it gave me an opportunity to improve my overall athletic ability which certainly helped with baseball and with all sports. In addition, it allowed me to not get burnt out from only playing baseball all the time.” There is no high school baseball in Canada, so he only played baseball in the summers. “We were a AA town, and the best teams were usually AAA caliber. My summer midget team (15-18 year olds) played in a senior men’s league around the province of Saskatchewan. So I played in that league for three years and got to pitch against all kinds of senior men’s teams. Then we always had some other tournaments and Provincial playoffs that went along with that season. Our baseball seasons were fairly short and spanned from about the end of April to the middle of August.” Albers is proof that if a player can play, a scout will find him. In 2004, Albers was drafted in the 12th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. Instead of signing, he went to the University of Kentucky. “For me, it was a matter of maturity. I don’t think I was mature enough coming out of high school to go into professional baseball. I knew I had a good situation if I chose to go to the University of Kentucky. I was going to have great coaching and was going to have the opportunity to play in one of the nation’s top baseball conferences. I also knew that I had to get a lot stronger and had never lived on my own, so I thought college would be a better fit for me. It would also allow me to work on getting my degree in case baseball did not end up working out for me. I have never regretted my decision to go to school.” At Kentucky, he played for coached John Cohen and Gary Henderson (pitching coach). “Coach Henderson was very influential on me growing, both as a person and as a baseball player. He was such an outstanding coach that helped me learn so many things about the game and about myself. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am without Coach Henderson.” At Kentucky, he was a starter as a freshman and a junior, and pitched out of the bullpen his sophomore and senior seasons. Albers helped his team to an SEC championship in 2006. In 2008, they played in a regional tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Following his senior season, the San Diego Padres selected Albers in the 10th round of the 2008 draft. His transition to professional baseball did not go smoothly. “I came down with an elbow injury almost immediately, and as a result was unable to compete much that first year. It made for a long few months in Peoria, Arizona, because I was continually rehabbing my elbow and was frustrated that it wasn’t getting any better. I was also in Rookie ball as a 22-year-old playing against a lot of players fresh out of high school and just over from LatinAmerica. When he came to spring training in 2009, his elbow was still injured despite resting and rehabbing throughout the offseason. “I came to spring training with the attitude that either I was going to throw until my elbow started feeling better or I was going to blow it out.” Unfortunately, the elbow got worse, and in April of 2009, he had Tommy John surgery. In August, he was unable to regain his range of motion and needed to have a second surgery to remove some scar tissue from his elbow. He continued to rehab, but in spring of 2010, he was released by the Padres. He was released the day after he threw to live hitters for the first time since his surgery. He returned to Canada and tried out for Quebec Capitales of the independent Can-Am League. Although his elbow was still not feeling healthy. He wasn’t certain how it would hold up over the full season. In training camp, he tore a ligament in his ankle doing PFPs (Pitcher’s Fielding Practice). He returned a week later, pitched in an exhibition game and made the team. He proceeded to go 3-0 with 17 saves and a 1.40 ERA in 40 games. In 57.2 innings, he gave up 41 hits, walked 16 and struck out 59. “During my time there, I learned a lot about who I was as well as about various things related to the business of baseball. For me the entire season was about trying to get another shot at affiliated baseball and seeing how my arm would respond. The more I was able to pitch, the better my arm began to feel. I was having an outstanding season for the Capitales and was hoping eventually someone would take notice. However, that was not in the cards and I did not receive an opportunity to get on with any affiliated teams that season. It helped me to learn not to worry about the aspects of this game that I cannot control. I only need to worry about the parts of the game that I can control. That is,how I go about my daily business, how I prepare for a game, my response to external factors and the adversity that players face. I think that was a big step for me and it allowed me to quit worrying about all the other things outside of performing on the diamond. It was a matter of having faith that one way or another everything would work itself out. Whether that meant I would be playing baseball or not, I had the faith in God that He would point me in the right direction. From a player standpoint the season was also an important stepping stone for me. It allowed me to pitch against wooden bats for my first full season and to see what worked against hitters with wooden bats was important for me. The season also gave me a chance to work on my change-up and continue to try and improve my other deliveries.” That brings us back to spring training of 2011. After having a terrific season in Quebec, Albers was able to line up some tryouts. In his own words, “The teams that I lined up tryouts with were the Angels, Rockies and Brewers, all of whom had their spring training down in Arizona. I had been throwing back home during the winter in my old high school gym using an archery target as a mound to throw off of, just throwing against the wall. I figured if I was going to give these tryouts an honest chance that I had better get outside a few times and throw off of a real mound before I went down trying to earn a job in Arizona. So I called up my old college pitching coach Gary Henderson, who is now the head coach at the University of Kentucky, and asked him if I could come down to Lexington for a couple weeks and use some of their facilities to throw, and maybe get a catcher to throw to, as well as face some hitters. He said that would be fine so I drove from home (North Battleford, Saskatchewan) to Phoenix, AZ (about 30 hours) and left my car with some family members who had headed to Arizona for the winter. From there I flew over to Lexington. While I was in Lexington, I had thrown a couple of bullpens and coach Henderson asked me how everything was feeling. I told him everything was good, arm felt nice and strong and the elbow was feeling good. So he suggested that he would try and get a couple of area scouts out from the Twins to come watch me throw to some of UK's hitters. I told him that would be great if he could set that up for me. So he called up Earl Winn and Tim O'Neil who were gracious enough to come watch me throw to some hitters in Lexington. When I was talking to Tim and Earl after my session they told me they had liked what they saw and would see what they could do about getting me an invitation to spring training. Unfortunately there were a lot of little details that needed to be ironed out. The Twins wanted me to pass a medical exam from their doctors to make sure that my elbow was ok. My independent ball contract would have to be bought out if they were to invite me to spring training. They wanted to see all of my past medical history with the Padres. Finally, being Canadian, I was going to need a visa if I was going to play for the Twins. So we were talking back and forth over the next week and just couldn't line everything up so Tim suggested that I go to Arizona and go to these open tryouts and if nothing came about to call him back. So I flew back to Phoenix, and had the Angels tryout lined up for the next day but it ended up getting cancelled at the last minute. So it was down to the Brewers and the Rockies. So I went to the tryout with the Brewers. It was a closed bullpen session. I felt like I threw the ball pretty well but unfortunately, I did not impress them enough to receive an invitation to spring training. I then went to the Rockies tryout two days later. It was an open tryout and there were about 50 guys there, pitchers and hitters. The tryout was throwing 15 pitches to three different hitters, and then it was over. It went very quickly and once again, I did not impress enough to receive an invitation to spring training. I called Tim back and told him about the tryouts and how I was still looking for a spring training invite. He got on the phone and was talking to some of the higher-up members of the organization. He told me the Twins may be interested in flying me down to Fort Myers, so I could see their team doctor and throw for some more people before they made a decision on whether or not to invite me to spring training. He said that it probably wouldn't happen for another couple days though. So as I was sitting in my hotel room, I came up with a different plan. I really just wanted one more shot at affiliated ball. Just wanted a chance when I was healthy to see how far I could go and see at what level I was able to compete. So I called Tim back and explained to him that I would drive from Phoenix to Fort Myers (about 37 hours) and see the doctors and throw for whoever wanted to come watch me throw. Then if the Twins were willing to offer me an invitation to spring training, they could reimburse me for my travel. If not, I would just drive home from there. (Fort Myers to North Battleford is about a 47 hour drive). So he made a couple phone calls and called me back that night and told me that would be fine. So I hopped in my car the next morning and made the cross country drive over to Fort Myers. Once I arrived in Fort Myers, I saw the team doctor. He checked my arm and said everything looked fine. Then I threw a bullpen for Raz (Twins minor league pitching coordinator Eric Rasmussen) and a couple of other coaches. Luckily they liked me enough to offer me an invitation to try and make a club in spring training. I was really excited when I heard the news that they were going to give me a chance at spring training. That was all that I could have asked for.” The 25-year-old was thrilled for the opportunity and ready to make the best of it. However, in minor league camp, he was working on the rookie ball roster which meant that he would not be starting the season with a full season team.After talking to Rasmussen, he learned that was because his visa had not yet arrived. The Twins needed to wait for that in order for him to play. When Alex Wimmers and Miguel Munoz went on the Disabled List a couple weeks into the season, Albers and Matt Schuld were promoted to Ft. Myers. In 22 games with the Miracle, he went 4-1 with four saves. In 52.1 innings, he gave up 48 hits, walked seven and struck out 46. “My plan was to just go out and be aggressive and pitch to my strengths. I guess I surprised myself a little bit with the first half that I had. Everything kind of went my way, and I caught some breaks and got a little lucky. The defense was outstanding with the likes of Brian Dozier, James Beresford and Aaron Hicks up the middle. Those three guys can make up for a lot of mistakes that I make as a pitcher.” He was then promoted to Double-A New Britain where he pitched in 13 games. He went 4-1 with a 2.91 ERA. In 43.1 innings, he gave up 44 hits, walked seven and struck out 34. “Overall, the Eastern league was certainly filled with teams who had better lineups than in the FSL. However, I still found that it came down to me being able to make quality pitches. When I was able to work down in the zone, ahead in the count and make my pitches I was successful. It was just when you fell behind and had to groove a fastball to the guys in the Eastern league instead of hitting a sharp single, they were able to find a gap or put it out of the ballpark. So for me, it was all about being aggressive and trying to work ahead. When I was able to do that, I was able to get them a little off balance with my off speed pitches and get outs.” On the season, Albers made 35 appearances, seven of which were starts. “There is the obvious difference of having a set routine as a starter and never knowing when you're going to pitch as a reliever. I also change my approach on the mound depending on if I start or come out of the ‘pen. As a starter, it is important to try and go deep into ball games and try to keep your pitch count down. In order to do that, you have to be very aggressive and throw a lot of fastballs early to try and get early contact and quick outs. You also have some time to find your secondary stuff. If it isn't there in the first and second innings, you usually have some time to figure out what adjustment needs to be made and make it within the next couple of innings.” “As a reliever, it is a totally different mindset. You have to be ready to go immediately, especially as a left hander because you might only be in the game to face one hitter. You have to try and find all of your pitches in the bullpen and have confidence in them when you go into the game. As a reliever your pitch count is irrelevant, you pretty much just need to find a way to get guys out. It doesn't matter how you do it either. Also if you're pitching late in the game, you don't have the luxury of giving up an early run. Every run is important and you can't give in to hitters late in games. This usually results in me throwing more off speed pitches instead of just fastballs.” Overall between Ft. Myers and New Britain, Albers went 8-2 with a 2.16 ERA. In 95.2 innings, he walked just 14 and struck out 80. However, that wasn’t the end of his tremendous 2011 season. Following the minor league season, Albers was named to Team Canada and participated in the World Cup tournament in Panama. Fellow Twins prospect Tom Stuifbergen led the Netherlands to the World Cup championship. He threw 17 scoreless innings and was named the tournament’s top pitcher. If there were a runner-up for Top Pitcher of the tournament, it would have been Albers who threw 15 shutout innings. “For me the World Cup was a great experience. It was my first time getting a chance to play on my national team, and I was very honored to get the opportunity to play for Team Canada. I had a tryout when I was younger but had come down with tendinitis and was unable to even really tryout. So going into the games I felt like I had something to prove and had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I was surprised when they told me I would be starting the first game of the tournament against Puerto Rico. I was thankful to get the opportunity though and went out with my same game plan. I was aggressive early with fastballs and luckily they hit the ball where my defense could make plays behind me, which they did. I also threw three innings against the Netherlands, threw two against Chinese Taipei and started against South Korea. It was a fun tournament for me because it felt like I could do no wrong. My defense was outstanding behind me, and I just tried to force guys to put the ball in play early and it worked extremely well. Balls just seemed to keep finding gloves so I just continued to be aggressive and pound the zone. Pitching is a lot of fun when things go the way they did in the World Cup. The group of guys that I got to play with was outstanding as well. We meshed really quickly and got along well. It was fun playing baseball where the only thing that mattered was winning and your stats were irrelevant. I just wanted to do what I could to contribute to helping us win ball games. Fortunately, I was able to do that.” From the World Cup, Albers and Team Canada participated in the Pan Am Games. “The Pan Am Games was the experience of a lifetime. I pitched two innings in relief against Puerto Rico. I got myself into a huge jam in myfirst inning in the games but was able to induce a big double play ball to get out of it. Then I didn't pitch again until the final. When Ernie (Whitt) our manager decided to go with me for the final, I was really looking forward to the challenge. We had won a huge game against Mexico the night before where the fans had created an electric atmosphere. That game was great in itself. As I prepared myself for my start, it was weird to think about the journey I had made over the last eight months. Having gone from being almost out of baseball, to getting the chance to pitch in Canada's first ever gold medal game at a senior men's international tournament. It was a neat feeling. The game itself went really well. I made a mistake to (Brett) Carroll in the first and caught a little too much of the plate with a change-up and he made me pay for it with a double down the line. I was able to limit the damage and manage to work through five pretty clean innings after that. They were going to pull me after the sixth, but my catcher and I convinced Ernie and Greg (Hamilton) to leave me in for the seventh. I proceeded to give up a line drive single to Matt Clark, and after a sac bunt, another line drive single to Chad Tracy. Luckily he hit it so hard that Clark couldn't score from first. Ernie came out to talk to me and asked how I was doing. I told him I had one more batter in me. He chose to leave me in to face Tommy Mendonca. It was a huge at-bat and getting him to punch out after a battle was once of the best feelings I've experienced in baseball. After that they pulled and brought in Scott Richmond who was just outstanding in finishing the game off.” “It was so awesome to play that kind of role in the gold medal game for Canada. It's neat to think that I get to be a part of Canadian baseball history as the winning pitcher of what is at the moment our only gold medal in senior international competition. So that's a neat feeling. I was just so thankful that Ernie Whitt and Greg Hamilton had enough confidence in me to give me the ball and then to stick with me even when things didn't go so well. Now, getting to look back on that accomplishment, it is something I will hold dear for the rest of my life. I will never forget standing on the podium receiving our gold medals and having beat Team USA in such a huge game was really special. It will be an experience that is tough to beat.” It’s been a pretty crazy 2011 for Andrew Albers. The story is remarkable. He went from trying like crazy to find an affiliated team to give him a spring training invite to my choice for 2011 Twins Minor League relief pitcher of the year. He represented Canada in international competition and was very successful. He heads into the2012 season knowing that he will be going to spring training with the Twins. So what has he learned about himself along this journey? “I found out that I could still pitch. I had been through a bit of adversity and come out better from it. I learned that I didn't have to live and die with every game and that there are a lot more important issues out there than winning or losing a baseball game. I think being out of the baseball world and not having a job in affiliated ball allowed me to gain a new perspective on different areas of my life. I began to enjoy baseball a lot more and was able to relax more on the mound instead of putting so much pressure on myself to perform every time out. I think that attitude has greatly contributed to my success.” - 2012 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook
  12. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Pawtucket 4 (11 Innings) Box Score The Red Wings collected seven hits but no player had more than one. In the second inning, Wilfredo Tovar doubled after a Daniel Palka walk to put two runners in scoring position. Carlos Paulino singled in both runners to give Rochester an early 2-0 but the offense went quiet from there. Andrew Albers did his best to put himself in position for his tenth win for Rochester. Albers went 6.2 innings, scattering seven hits and striking out four. It was the fourth straight start where he pitched at least six innings. Neil Ramirez and JT Chargois kept the game tied at two but Sean Burnett took his third loss after allowing a walk-off two-run shot in extra-innings. Rochester dropped to 60-45 with the loss, their third straight defeat. The Red Wings sit 6.5 games behind Scranton/WB for first in the International League North. They are also just three games back of the wild-card spot. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 9, Tennessee 13 Box Score The Lookouts tried their best to overcome a deficit that stretched to 12-0 at one point but the comeback fell short. Aaron Slegers got hit hard over two innings as he allowed six earned runs for his fifth loss. Brandon Peterson didn't fare much better by allowing four runs in his two frames. Ryan Eades slowed some of the bleeding but still gave up two runs across three innings. In the last two innings, Tyler Jay allowed the final run. With two outs in the fifth frame, Zach Granite smacked his fifth triple. Ryan Walker followed with a single to put Chattanooga on the board. Mitch Garver doubled to push across the second run of the inning. Trailing by a score of 13-4, the Lookouts pushed across five runs in the ninth. Granite, Garver, and DJ Hicks all doubled in the frame but a Stuart Turner double play effectively ended the threat. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 7, Palm Beach 1 Box Score T.J. White wasted little time putting the Miracle up in this contest. He took the first pitch of the game and cranked a 381-foot home run to give Fort Myers a 1-0 lead. White finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs. Four innings later Joe Maloney started a three-run inning with a with a solo-blast of his own. Trey Vavra and Chris Paul joined the hit parade with multi-hit nights. This offensive output was more than enough to back-up a terrific start from Randy Rosario. For only the fifth time this season, he pitched more than six innings. He allowed one earned run over 6.2 innings with three strikeouts and three walks. Luke Bard and Nick Anderson pitched 2.1 shutout innings, each allowing a hit and combining to strike out three. After losing four straight games last week, the Miracle have now won three of their last four and tomorrow they will go for a three-game sweep of Palm Beach. The club (18-5) currently sits 2.5 games behind Jupiter for the second-half title. E-TOWN E-NOTES Elizabethton 0, Pulaski 7 Box Score The E-Twins offense had a hard time getting things going against the Yankees pitching staff. Elizabethton collected three hits, went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, and struck out 14 times. Travis Blankenhorn went 2-for-4 with a double. Bryant Hayman added the other hit, a double, while Amaurys Minier reached base twice on walks. Domenick Carlini was handed his fifth loss after allowing three runs on seven hits. He struck out seven and walked one in five innings of work. Hector Lujan gave up four runs in his three frames while striking out two and walking two. With the loss, the E-Twins five game winning streak is over. The team dropped to 15-17 on the season but they have still won seven of their last ten games. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 5, GCL Orioles 4 Box Score The GCL Twins took a 5-1 lead into the eighth frame before seeing the GCL Orioles claw their way back into this one. Miguel De Jesus put the Twins in position to win by pitching into the sixth inning without allowing a run. Overall, he tossed 5.1 shutout frames with six strikeouts and three walks. Moises Gomez allowed the tying run to score in the seventh inning but earned the victory by stopping the scoring there. He allowed one run on two hits over 1.2 innings. Onas Fanfar pitched the final two innings and allowed three runs (two earned). Offensively, Tyree Davis led the charge by going 2-for-3 including his sixth double. Akil Baddoo drove in a pair of runs and scored a run. Aaron Whitefield reached base three times, stole two bases, and scored twice out of the lead-off spot. The team combined to go 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position while leaving seven runners on base. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Randy Rosario, Fort Myers Miracle Hitter of the Day – TJ White, Fort Myers Miracle WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Pawtucket (6:05 CST) - RHP Jose Berrios (10-4, 2.31 ERA) Chattanooga vs Tennessee (6:15 CST) - LHP David Hurlbut (7-5, 3.56 ERA) Fort Myers vs Palm Beach (6:05 CST) -TBD Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez (2-11, 5.73 ERA) Elizabethton at Pulaski (6:00 CST) - RHP Tyler Wells (1-1, 4.80 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Tuesday’s games.
  13. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Syracuse 1 Box Score The Twins could have used Andrew Albers in Boston tonight. Going the distance, Albers allowed only one run on six hits. He struck out five and improves to 9-3 on the season. Albers could very easily fill a rotation spot with the Twins during August and September. Daniel Palka got three hits… but no home runs! He did double and is now batting .319. Adam Brett Walker did hit a home run, his 19th, a 423-foot blast. Byung Ho Park had his 3rd AAA ParkBang as well. Thursday’s was a 3-run shot. John Ryan Murphy got a hit and drove in a run. But he’s only batting .203 and is hitting in the 9-hole. The Red Wings are 58-42 and a game and a half back in the wild card standings. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 0, Jackson 6 Box Score Not a lot to say about the Lookouts game. David Hurlbut allowed six runs on nine hits and three walks in six innings. He struck out one. Hurlbut was relieved by Brandon Peterson, who struck out two in a perfect frame. Ryan Eades finished the game with a strikeout in a perfect inning of his own. D.J. Hicks singled twice. The first baseman accounted for all of the team’s hits. The Lookouts are 52-45. If you’re in the Chattanooga area, they’ll be giving away a Byron Buxton lunch box next Friday and a Buxton bobblehead on Saturday. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Clearwater 3 Box Score Another affiliate with only two hits, but these were more productive. The newly-reinstated Reynaldo Rodriguez provided a solo home run in the seventh to break up the no-hitter. Chris Paul added the second hit, a single that scored Alex Perez, who had walked. The hit almost tied the game as pinch-runner Daniel Kihle, who was running for A.J. Murray, who also had walked, was thrown out at home. Randy LeBlanc struck out six over six innings, allowing six hits and three walks. Three runs scored and LeBlanc lost his fourth game as a member of the Miracle rotation. Todd Van Steensel relieved LeBlanc and pitched two shutout innings. He struck out one. The Miracle are 15-13 in the second half, a game and a half being the FSL South-leading St. Lucie Mets. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 1, Bowling Green 3 Box Score Dereck Rodriguez lost his perfect game in the fifth. He lost his no-hitter in the sixth. He gave up his second run - enough to get hung with the loss - in the seventh. He handed the ball over in the eighth. Despite a good start, Rodriguez dropped to 2-11 on the season, allowing three runs in 7.1 innings. Kuo Hua Lo gave up a hit and struck out a batter in 1.2 innings. Chris Ibarra got two hits. Nelson Molina tripled and singled. Zander Wiel, featured earlier in the day on milb.com, hit his 21st double and walked. The Kernels dropped to 15-12 in the second half of the season. E-TOWN E-NOTES Elizabethton 17, Kingsport 3 Box Score There was a lot of offense for the home team in Elizabethton on Thursday night. Of the nine players in the lineup, all scored and got a hit. The first eight batters all scored twice. Seven of the nine batters had multi-hit games. Four batters drove in multiple runs. Shane Carrier led the charge. An eighth-rounder from Fullerton, Carrier doubled twice and hit a home run. He drove in four runs and scored twice. Alex Kirilloff singled three times to raise his batting average to .346. Andre Jernigan got three hits, including a double. Lewin Diaz also doubled among his two hits while driving in four. Brandon Lopez, Caleb Hamilton and Robert Molina each singled twice. Tyler Wells made the start and pitched five innings. He struck out six while allowing eight hits and a walk. Three runs scored, but Wells picked up his first professional win. Ryan Mason came in and finished the last four innings, picking up the ultra-rare save in a 14-run game. He allowed three hits, pitching a shutout. Elizabethton is 11-16. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Rays 4 (12 innings) Box Score One day after winning a 15-inning affair, the GCL affiliate dropped a one-run game in 12 innings. Despite getting outhit 10 to 4, the Twins were able to push the game to extra innings. Tyree Davis led the offense with two walks and a double. Jean Carlos Arias, Zach Featherstone and Juan Gamez provided the rest of the hits. Featherstone and Gamez drove in runs. Joe Cronin stole his fifth base of the year. Huascar Ynoa struck out three in four innings. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk. Zack Strecker pitched four shutout innings, striking out five. Tyler Fox gave up a run and struck out two in one inning. Garrett Kelly picked up the loss, but struck out five in 2.1innings. He allowed the runner that scored the winning run. Callan Pearce came into the game with the bases loaded but walked a batter before ending the inning with a double play. The GCL Twins are 11-11 TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Andrew Albers, Rochester Hitter of the Day – Shane Carrier, Elizabethton FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs Syracuse (6:05 CST) - RHP Jose Berrios (9-4, 2.42 ERA) Chattanooga at Jackson (7:05 CST) - RHP Omar Bencomo (2-5, 4.50 ERA) Fort Myers at Clearwater (5:15 CST) - TBD Bowling Green at Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - LHP Sam Gibbons (3-3, 6.09 ERA) Elizabethton vs Johnson City (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Twins at GCL Red Sox (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games.
  14. For more information on the Twins minor leagues, please continue reading. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Norfolk 0 Box Score A couple of big hits and some terrific pitching was the recipe for a Red Wings win on Saturday night. Andrew Albers started and worked six shutout innings. He gave up eight hits, walked two and struck out two. DJ Baxendale worked two scoreless innings, striking out one. He has now thrown 10.1 scoreless innings out of the Red Wings bullpen. Ryan O’Rourke struck out one in a scoreless ninth. Carlos Paulino led the way. He went 2-3 and had a two-run single. Daniel Palka added his third Red Wings homer. Wilfredo Tovar (17) and Tommy Field (8) each added a double. Byung Ho Park went 1-2 and was hit by a pitch. https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/754464186659319808 CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 8, Mobile 7 Box Score With the Lookouts down a run going into the 7th inning, Shannon Wilkerson came up and doubled, driving in the tying and go-ahead runs. They were able to hold on for the win. Tyler Jay made his second start for the Lookouts. He gave up five runs (four earned) on four hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out four. Mason Melotakis came on and gave up a run in his inning. Zack Jones worked two innings and recorded four strikeouts. He gave up his first run of the season with the Lookouts. WIth the lead back, it was Trevor Hildenberger who threw the final inning to record his 15th save. He gave up a hit and struck out two in his scoreless inning. Did you ever wonder how Jeremy Nygaard feels about what should be done with Hildenberger? https://twitter.com/jeremynygaard/status/754508423102865408 Dalton Hicks went 3-5 with two RBI. Zach Granite went 2-5 with his 10th double. Niko Goodrum went 2-4. Ryan Walker went 1-3 with a walk and his eighth stolen base. Mitch Garver led the way again. He went 1-2 and was hit by a pitch, walked and hit a big three-run homer in the first inning. It was his ninth homer of the year. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Tampa 1 (13 innings) Box Score Down 1-0 in the 8th, TJ White launched his fifth home run of the year to tie the game. In the 13th, the Miracle scored on an error and held on for the win. Sam Clay started for the Miracle. He gave up no runs on three hits over five innings. He struck out five. The only problem was that he also walked seven batters and just 43 of his 85 pitches were strikes. John Curtiss came on and gave up an unearned run over his two innings. He struck out two. Todd Van Steensel pitched a scoreless inning. Yorman Landa struck out two over two scoreless innings. Michael Theofanopoulos worked three shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked two (one intentional) and struck out five to gain the Win. Joe Maloney went 3-6 with his fifth and sixth doubles for the Miracle. Nick Gordon extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a 2-5 game and his average is now at .304. Tanner Witt went 2-6. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 13, Ft. Wayne 10 (10 innings) Box Score This game definitely started out poorly for the Kernels, but with a big comeback and a lot of hits they put together another win. The Kernels were down 6-0 after two innings and 8-1 after four innings, so it was quite improbable. Sam Gibbons is back in the rotation, though on this night it did not go well. He gave up eight runs (five earned) on six hits in just four innings. Three of the hits left the ballpark. He also walked two and struck two out. Kuo Hua Lo came on and threw three scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out two. Tom Hackimer was charged with two unearned runs over his two innings. He struck out four and got credit for the win. With the lead in the 10th, Williams Ramirez came on and struck out two in a perfect inning for the save. The Kernels accumulated 23 hits in this game. 2016 draft pick Casey Scoggins went 4-7 with his fourth double, three RBI and his first stolen base. Rainis Silva went 4-6. Nelson Molina entered the game after Jermaine Palacios left after being hit by a pitch. Molina went 3-4 with a triple and four RBI. He also stole his fourth base. Luis Arraez had yet another multi-hit game, his 32nd of the year. He was 3-6 with a walk. It was his tenth game with at least three hits. He also stole his first base of the season. Zander Wiel was 3-7. He hit his 18th double as well as his ninth and tenth home runs. Chris Cavaness added two hits as well. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 1, Princeton 5 Box Score Ryan Mason made another start for the Twins. He threw four shutout innings. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out three. Alex Schik came on and gave up three runs on five hits over three innings. He struck out five without issuing a walk. Hector Lujan gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits in the eighth inning. He struck out two. Brandon Lopez was hit by a pitch to start the game. He left the game and was replaced by Ariel Montesino who went 2-3. Alex Kirilloff went 2-4 with his sixth double. Roberto Gonzalez was 2-4 with his first triple. He drove in the lone run for the Twins. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 2, GCL Red Sox 4 Box Score The Twins got a great start but the offense just wasn’t able to come through. Brady Anderson, the non-drafted free agent from Florida Gulf Coast, gave up just one hit over the first five innings. He walked none and struck out three. Next, 2016 draft pick Matt Jones came in for his professional debut. He walked both batters he faced before being removed. Zach Strecker came in and both inherited runners scored. He gave up four hits and two more runs in the inning. Two of the outs came on strikeout. Garrett Kelly pitched the final two innings. He gave up a hit and walked two over two scoreless innings. He struck out three. Jorge Munoz led the offense. He went 2-3 with a walk and his third double. Jorge Andrade added his third double. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Brian Anderson, GCL Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Zander Wiel, Cedar Rapids Kernels SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Norfolk @ Rochester (12:35 CST) - RHP Jose Berrios Mobile @ Chattanooga (1:15 CST) - RHP Felix Jorge Lakeland @ Ft. Myers (3:05 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero Cedar Rapids @ Ft. Wayne (12:05 CST) – RHP Eduardo del Rosario Elizabethton @ Princeton (4:00 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen GCL Twins - No Game Scheduled Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday's games.
  15. To find out how it all went down in the minors on Sunday, keep reading! RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 2 Box Score In the seventh inning Rochester got all the offense they would need to take the lead and keep it, when they scored all three of their runs. Jorge Polanco led off the inning with his seventh AA home run of the year to make it 2-1. Daniel Palka followed with a double and moved to third on a Byung-Ho Park single. They each moved up a base on a passed ball to tie the game at two, before Wilfredo Tovar drove in Park with a double of his own for the lead. Andrew Albers made the start for the Red Wings, and it was of the quality variety. He picked up the win to improve to 7-3, going six innings and allowing two earned runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out six. Marcus Walden pitched two perfect innings, striking out one, and Alex Wimmers picked up his eighth save with a one-two-three ninth, punctuating the end game with a strikeout. Palka was the only hitter in the Red Wings lineup with multiple hits, going 2-2 with a run scored, double, and two walks. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Tennessee 5 Box Score Lefty Tyler Jay was on the mound for the Lookouts in this one, making his AA debut. He ran into some early trouble, but finished five innings and didn’t factor into the decision. Chattanooga’s offense gave him an early 3-0 lead, as a two-run double from D.J. Hicks in the first was followed by an RBI single from Zach Granite in the second. In the Smokies half of the second inning it was a walk and four singles, including three ground balls that found their way through the infield that led to a 3-3 tie. It remained that way until the fifth, when Jay gave up his first AA home run to the leadoff man. All told, Jay allowed four earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out four. The Lookouts again tied the game in the sixth, as back-to-back doubles from Travis Harrison and Leonardo Reginatto made it 4-4. Ryan Eades came on in relief of Jay, and would finish the game but also ended up with the loss when he allowed a solo-home run to the second batter he faced. He went three innings, allowing the lone run on three hits and a walk. He struck out five. Chattanooga’s lineup got multi-hit efforts from Granite (2-3, R, RBI, 2 BB), Reginatto (2-4, 2B, RBI), and Niko Goodrum (2-4, R, 2B). Granite added two outfield assists from center on the defensive side. MIRACLE MATTERS Dunedin 6, Fort Myers 1 Box score Dominican pitcher Fernando Romero made his fourth start with the Miracle in 2016, and scattered six hits over five innings before a fifty-five minute rain delay ended his game. He allowed two runs (one earned), and struck out 3. The Blue Jays got single runs off of him in the first and second innings for an early 2-1 lead, and that would be all they needed as the Miracle offense was held at bay. Fort Myers was outhit in the game just 10-8, but their lone run didn’t come until the bottom of the ninth with the game seemingly out of reach. Alex Perez singled in Nick Gordon, who had doubled two batters earlier. For the game the Miracle were just 1-9 with runners in scoring position, and left only six men on base. Gordon and Joe Maloney were each 2-4. T.J. White added a double out of the leadoff spot. In relief of Romero, John Curtiss and Todd Van Steensel each pitched two innings and allowed two runs. Between them there were four hits allowed, two walks, and they each struck out three. KERNELS NUGGETS Kane County 11, Cedar Rapids 9 Box Score Both the Kernels and Cougars brought their bats in this one, as the teams combined for twenty runs on twenty-seven hits and nine walks. Cedar Rapids got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the first. It was a single, sacrifice bunt, single, RBI single, pop-out, double-steal of home, and RBI single sequence to score them. Zander Wiel and Nelson Molina picked up the RBI’s, and Jaylin Davis got the steal of home. Kernel’s starter Sam Gibbons lost his early lead in the top of the second when he gave up a 2-RBI triple that was followed by a two-run home run. Kane County added two more in the fourth with a based loaded 2-RBI single to make it 6-3 to end Gibbons start. He went 3.1 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out four. Andrew Vasquez came on in relief and stranded two runners, and Cedar Rapids would get those runs back and more in their half of the frame Casey Scoggins reached on an error to lead off, and Jaylin Davis drew a two-out walk to bring up Wiel. His 2-RBI triple was followed by a two-run home run from J.J. Fernandez for a 7-6 score. It would stay that way until the seventh, as Vasquez finished two more scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out two in 2.2 innings. Kuo Hua Lo came on for the seventh, but before the inning was done it was 8-7 Cougars and he had a blown save added to his line. He also pitched the eighth, but allowed two runs on three hits and one walk in two innings. He notched three K’s. Michael Cederoth pitched the ninth, and had a worse go, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits and a walk in his inning. He picked up two of the outs via strikeouts. The Kernels added two runs in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a Brian Olson double to score Davis and Molina, who had singled and walked respectively, but Rainis Silva grounded out to end the game. Jermaine Palacios (3-5, R) and Fernandez (3-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) each had three hits. Zander Wiel was 2-5 with the triple, two runs scored, a stolen base, and three RBI. Molina (2-3, R, RBI, BB), Davis (2-3, 3 R’s, 2 BB, SB) also collected multiple hits for the home team. E-TWINS E-NOTES Greeneville 4, Elizabethton 1 Box Score Amaurys Minier slugged his third home run of the year as part of a 3-4 game at the plate, but the rest of his teammates combined for just three other hits in twenty-nine at-bats. Minier’s home run came in the seventh inning to pull the Twins within one of the Astros at the time. Lewin Diaz and Minier also added doubles. Right-hander Sean Poppen made the start for Elizabethton and went the first five innings. He allowed one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out six. Austin Tribby was the first reliever up, and pitched into the seventh. He allowed one run on three hits in 1.1 innings. All four of his outs came on strikeouts. Quin Grogan went the next 1.1 innings. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out one.Patrick McGuff then made his Appalachian League debut. In his 1.1 innings he walked one and struck out two. The E-Twins fall to 7-10 on the young season and will wrap up their three game series with the Astros in a rubber match Monday night. GCL TWINS TAKES The GCL Twins, like the rest of the Gulf Coast League, enjoyed the afternoon off on Sunday. They get back to action tomorrow morning against the GCL Orioles. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Andrew Albers, Rochester Red Wings (W, 6.0IP, 2 ER’s, 7 H’s, 2 BB, 6 K’s) Hitter of the Day – J.J. Fernandez, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester – All Star break Chattanooga @ Tennessee (6:05PM CST) – Felix Jorge (first AA start) Dunedin @ Fort Myers (10:35AM CST) – RHP Miles Nordgren (first Miracle start) Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (12:05PM PM CST) – RHP Eduardo Del Rosario (0-2, 6.25 ERA) Greeneville @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – TBD GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) – LHP Taylor Clemensia Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  16. HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL STAR The Florida State League announced its All-Star rosters on Friday afternoon. Seven Ft. Myers Miracle players were named to the initial roster. These players were named All Stars: LHP Stephen Gonsalves LHP Tyler Jay RHP Kohl Stewart RH RP Todd Van Steensel RH RP Raul Fernandez 1B Trey Vavra OF Edgar Corcino Obviously Stewart won’t be participating since he was promoted to Chattanooga last week. Gonsalves is the favorite to get the start. The one surprise is that SS Nick Gordon is not on the initial rosters. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Louisville 0 Box Score Eighteen half-innings were played in this game. Runs were scored in just one of them. In the top of the 3rd inning, Kennys Vargas came to the plate with the bases loaded. He uncoiled for his eighth home run of the season, a grand slam. Later in the inning, the Red Wings scored a fifth run on a sacrifice fly from Adam Brett Walker. Vargas went 2-3 with two walks. Along with the homer, he also knocked his seventh double. Jorge Polanco went 3-5. Eddie Rosario went 2-5 with his seventh double. Logan Schafer made his Red Wings debut. He batted eighth and played right field. He went 1-3 with a walk. Andrew Albers was again terrific. The Canadian left-hander threw seven shutout innings. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out five. Marcus Walden and Sean Burnett each worked a scoreless inning to maintain the shutout. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Birmingham 3 Box Score The Lookouts got a real strong start from right-hander Aaron Slegers. He gave up one run on three hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out six. Mike Strong came in and gave up two runs on two hits and two walks in the seventh. His ERA jumps up to 9.95. Corey Williams pitched the eighth inning without allowing a run. The Lookouts managed just five hits and two walks in the game. Dalton Hicks reached base four times. He went 2-2 with two walks. Zach Granite was 2-5 with his sixth double. He also stole his 25th base. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers , Daytona Box Score This game was postponed by rain. The teams will play two games on Saturday afternoon. The Miracle will send out two talented lefties, Randy Rosario and Stephen Gonsalves. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Peoria 13 Box Score Coming off the best start of his career, Miles Nordgren struggled early in this game, but he did show some mental fortitude. In his previous start, he struck out 12 and walked none over seven shutout innings. On this night he gave up eight runs in the first two innings. Yet somehow, he was able to stop the bleeding there and ended up working 5.1 innings. He gave up eight hits, walked two and struck out three. In the sixth, he was relieved by Kuo Hua Lo who got out of that inning. Lo walked two over 2.2 scoreless innings. Cam Booser came in for the first time since his return from the disabled list. It wasn’t good. He gave up five runs on three hits and four walks and recorded just two outs. Sam Gibbons came on and got the final out. Nelson Molina continues to hit. He went 2-4 and drove in two runs. LaMonte Wade went 1-3 with two walks. Daniel Kihle went 2-4, and Alex Perez went 2-5. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Andrew Albers,Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Kennys Vargas, Rochester Red Wings SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Louisville (5:05 p.m. CST) - LHP Jason Wheeler Chattanooga @ Birmingham (6:30 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart Daytona @ Ft. Myers (DH starting at 3:05 CST) – LHP Randy Rosario, LHP Stephen Gonsalves Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) – RHP Cody Stashak Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Friday games.
  17. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 9, Charlotte 3 Box Score Rochester's offense exploded for seven runs in the first four frames as the team collected 12 hits in the game. Every batter in the lineup had a hit with the exception of Max Kepler. Tommy Field led the way with a pair of home runs while finishing 3-for-4 with four RBI. Kennys Vargas belted his fifth home run of the season as part of a multi-hit effort. Stephen Wickens also joined the home run party with a solo shot in the third. Andrew Albers improved to 2-0 as he was able to pitch comfortably with a lead for six innings. He worked out of a few jams as he allowed 10 hits but limited the Knights to three earned runs. He struck out three and walked one. J.T Chargois was asked to get five outs and he did so by striking out five batters. Buddy Boshers and Dan Runzler each added zeros to the scoreboard during their appearances. The Red Wings continue to hover around the .500 mark and now sit at 21-18 after winning three of their last four games. Few teams are gaining much separation in the International League North as Rochester is one of three teams tied for the top spot and no team is more than three games out of first. Roster Moves: Outfielder Robbie Grossman was signed by Minnesota and assigned to Rochester. Right-handed pitcher Jose Berrios was optioned to Rochester. In a corresponding move, left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers was recalled by Minnesota CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 7, Biloxi 9 Box Score The Lookouts tried their best to keep their winning streak alive but an early five-run deficit was too much to overcome. Aaron Slegers got hit around for seven runs on nine hits including two long balls. He struck out three and walked two on the way to his fourth loss. Luke Westphal was called on and allowed two earned runs in three frames. Mason Melotakis and Mike Strong finished the last two innings without allowing a run but they combined to walk three without a strikeout. Zach Granite's speed was on full display in this contest as he reached base three times including a triple and had his 17th stolen base. Joe Maloney went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. Travis Harrison didn't collect a hit but he did get walked three times. Daniel Palka was the only player on the team not to reach base in the game. The loss drops the Lookouts to 18-21 which is good enough for third place in the Southern League North. They are five games behind the Jackson Generals for the top spot. Chattanooga has still won seven of their last 11 and they have a quick turn-around with any early Wednesday game. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 0, Dunedin 4 Box Score Fort Myers was held to three hits as the Blue Jays cruised to an easy 4-0 shutout. Tanner Witt and Edgar Corcino both went 1-for-4 with a double but neither man made it around to score. Austin Diemer had the team's other hit, a single. Overall, the team left four runners on base and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Tyler Jay suffered his third loss but he still pitched great. Over six innings of work, he allowed one earned run on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks. In his last three starts, he has pitched 19.1 innings and only allowed one earned run while striking out 19. John Curtiss gave up three runs in his inning of work to add to the Dunedin lead. Luke Bard struck out two in the eighth frame. With the loss, the Miracle dropped to 22-17 on the season. This was the team's third loss in the last five games but the club still sits atop the standings in the Florida State League South. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 5 Box Score The Kernels found themselves in an early 3-0 hole and they spent most of the game trying to dig their way out. Cody Stashak started for Cedar Rapids and was charged with three earned runs over six innings. He struck out two and walked none. It was the fourth straight start where he has pitched into the sixth frame while allowing two earned runs or fewer. Sam Gibbons surrendered two earned runs as he walked three across two innings. Michael Cederoth struck out two in a perfect ninth. Cedar Rapids went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base. Daniel Kihle was the only batter with more than one hit. He finished the night 2-for-4 with two runs scored. J.J. Fernandez had the team's only extra base hit, a double, but he also struck out three times. LaMonte Wade reached base three times in four plate appearances. Following the loss, the Kernels dropped to 20-17 and sit two games back of Clinton for the top spot in the Midwest League Western Division. The Snappers are only one game behind the Kernels so tomorrow's game is important and Cedar Rapids send Randy LeBlanc and his 0.90 ERA to the mound. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day- Tyler Jay, Fort Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day- Tommy Field, Rochester Red Wings WEDNESDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Charlotte (6:05 CST)- RHP David Martinez (1-3, 5.14 ERA) Chattanooga vs. Biloxi (10:15 am CST)- RHP Ryan Eades (2-2, 5.00 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30 CST)- RHP Keaton Steele (1-3, 4.01 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit (6:35 CST)- RHP Randy LeBlanc (4-2, 0.90 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Tuesday games.
  18. Continue to read all of the transactions, some potential next moves, and the highlights from all four Twins affiliates. TRANSACTIONS There were also a couple of minor league transactions: In some very good news, Nick Gordon came off of the concussion list and played on Wednesday night. Sean Miller was sent back down to Cedar Rapids with RHP Zach Tillery placed on the disabled list. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 7 Gwinnett 1 Box Score Andrew Albers was signed by the Twins just a couple of weeks ago when three members of the Red Wings Opening Day starting rotation were up in the big leagues. Alex Meyer has been sent down, but now Pat Dean is up with the Twins. On Wednesday night, Andrew Albers had an incredible night helping the Red Wings to their fifth consecutive win. The left-hander needed just 91 pitches to complete nine innings. He gave up just one run on three hits. He walked one and struck out six. He was working his cutter and his curveball to keep batters off balance. The Red Wings had a balanced offense. The top eight batters each had at least one hit. Byron Buxton went 2-4 with a walk and his fifth double. Max Kepler went 2-4 with a walk and his IL-leading fourth triple. Buck Britton went 2-3 with a walk. Wilfredo Tovar went 1-2 with a walk. He stole his 10th base, and he turned in a couple of great defensive plays behind Albers. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Pensacola 6 Box Score David Hurlbut had a rough start to this game. He gave up three runs in the first inning. In all, he gave up four runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out two. Mason Melotakis came on and was charged with one run on two hits and a walk in the seventh inning. Omar Bencomo pitched the final two innings. He gave up one run on one hit and two walks. He struck out two. Dalton Hicks led the offense. He went 2-4 with a two-run double in the game. It was his sixth double of the season. Leonardo Reginnato went 1-3 with a walk and was also hit by a pitch. Daniel Palka was 1-5, but his one hit was his fifth home run. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 5, Bradenton 2 Box Score Tyler Jay had arguably his best start of the season. The southpaw threw seven shutout innings, extending his consecutive scoreless inning streak to 13.1. Jay gave up three hits, walked one and struck out six batters. The performance reduced his ERA to 3.03 on the year. Luke Bard came on in relief and threw a scoreless eighth inning. John Curtiss came in for the ninth and had his first rough outing. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk and recorded just two outs. Brandon Peterson came in and got the final out to record his first save of the season. Chris Paul went 2-4. Nick Gordon returned to the lineup. In his first plate appearance, he was hit by a pitch. He went 1-3 and scored two runs. Max Murphy’s hit was his second Florida State League home run. Trey Vavra went 1-3 with a walk and an RBI. Alex Real was 1-4, but he drove in three runs. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Kane County 0 Box Score The Kernels had six batters with multiple hits and scored nine runs but the story in this game was the performance of Randy LeBlanc. The right-hander threw a complete game (nine inning) shutout. He gave up just four hits, walked two, hit one and struck out six. He needed just 94 pitches. He now has a string of 22 consecutive scoreless innings and hasn’t given up a run in three straight starts. Following the game, I had an opportunity to chat with LeBlanc for his thoughts on the performance. What helped LeBlanc to such success today? He said, “I had good command with my fastball today, especially early in the game. That was definitely the key, but I was able to bury some sliders when I needed to early on for some strikeouts. Getting early contact and letting the defense make plays in the field was the biggest factor. They made almost every play behind me, and AJ (Murray) worked hard (behind the plate) and called a great game. We were on the same page from the first pitch.” The performance gives LeBlanc a 4-2 record with a 0.90 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. Having spent the entire 2015 season with the Kernels (just five starts), he is definitely in line for a promotion to Ft. Myers. (Side Note - I have to believe that when Stephen Gonsalves is promoted to Chattanooga, LeBlanc will find his way to Ft. Myers.) So, what does LeBlanc think of the idea of a promotion? “I’d be lying if I said promotions are not something me, or any other player, thinks about. The goal is to move up in the organization. I’m just trying to give my team a chance to win in each outing. Hopefully we can keep it rolling.” A year ago, LeBlanc pitched well out of the Kernels bullpen. In fact, he had a streak of 26 consecutive scoreless innings. He worked out of the bullpen, and did so happily, but he has always wanted an opportunity to start. “Starting was something we’ve talked about since I first got drafted. I think I’m better suited as a starting, and I have a good idea of what I’m doing since I was a starter for four years in college. But, I’ve told them I’m comfortable starting or relieving. Whatever they need me to do, I’ll do.” Part of that willingness to fill a role comes from the calming influence of manager Jake Mauer. “Jake’s a great manager and has been steady throughout. He’s definitely cool, calm and collected in the dugout and clubhouse. I think that’s why so many guys like playing for him. I’ve definitely enjoyed playing for him this season and last.” The first five hitters each had two hits. Number nine hitter Nelson Molina went 2-4 with his first stolen base. Luis Arraez went 2-4 with a walk and scored three runs. Rafael Valera went 3-4 with a walk and his ninth double. LaMonte Wade went 2-4 and drove in three runs. AJ Murray went 2-4 with a walk. Zander Wiel went 2-5 with his fourth triple. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day –Randy LeBlanc, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Rafael Valera, Cedar Rapids Kernels SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Gwinnett @ Rochester (1:35 CST) - RHP David Martinez Pensacola @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers Bradenton @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) – RHP Keaton Steele Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 CST) – RHP Andro Cutura Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Wednesday games.
  19. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 7, Scranton/WB 5 Box Score Andrew Albers made his return to the Twins organization with his first start for the Red Wings since 2013. The first inning was a little rough as he allowed back-to-back home runs to start the game. He settled down a little from there and finished the game by allowing five earned runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings. Of his 80 pitches, 50 were for strikes and he had one walk. Marcus Walden took over in the sixth and allowed a couple of inherited runners to score. Brandon Kintzler earned his fourth win out of the bullpen after throwing two scoreless frames. Buddy Boshers earned his first save by striking out the side in the ninth. Despite being outhit 12 to 9, Rochester used a pair of three-run innings to separate themselves from the RailRiders. Wilfredo Tovar and Darin Mastroianni both had two hits including a double for each. Tovar had two of the biggest hits for the Red Wings including the game-tying hit in the bottom of the eighth. Kennys Vargas plated the game-winning runs with a single to left. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 0, Montgomery 12 Box Score One hit... that's all the Lookouts could muster up in this one. Like a few other teams in the organization on Saturday, the Lookouts offense was almost nonexistent. Mitch Garver was the lone player to save the team from being no-hit. He went 1-for-2 with a walk. Three batters reached in the bottom of the ninth to load the bases but the Lookouts couldn't push across a run and were shut out for only the third time this season. Omar Bencomo made his first Southern League start and gave up eight runs, four earned, on seven hits with a strikeout and three walks. Mike Strong and Corey Williams didn't fare much better as each of them allowed a pair of runs in their combined four innings of work. All three pitchers allowed a home run and Strong was the only one to strike out more than one batter. Chattanooga finished 3-4 in the last week after Montgomery has taken two of the first three in this series. At this point, the Lookouts are at the bottom of the Southern League North standings but there is plenty of baseball left to play. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 1, Charlotte 2 Box Score Felix Jorge continues to pitch well for the Miracle even though the offense hasn't really supported him in many of his starts. Today, the right-handed hurler pitched six strong innings while allowing two earned runs. He struck three and walked one. In both of his losses this season, he has made it through six frames and allowed a total of four runs. John Curtiss and Yorman Landa kept the team in the game as each pitched a shutout inning but the offense didn't show up. Fort Myers squeaked out four total hits and struck out 12 times. The club was limited to one at-bat with a runner in scoring position. Alex Real plated the only run for the team with a solo home run in the fourth inning. Trevor Plouffe is on rehab assignment with the club and he went 1-for-4 with a strikeout. Ryan Walker and Nick Gordon had the team's other hits. The Miracle pitching staff had recorded 32 straight scoreless innings against Charlotte and that streak extended to 33 tonight before a run pushed across the plate. With the loss, the Miracle dropped to three games over .500 at 13-10. Over the last week, the club has gone 5-2 as they sit near the top of the standings in the Florida State League South. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 1, South Bend 5 Box Score As has been the trend for most of this season, the Kernels offense had a tough time getting moving on Saturday night. Only three players managed hits in the game and the team left six men on base (1-for-4 with RISP). LaMonte Wade reached base in three of his four at-bats. Christian Cavaness went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk. Sean Miller scored the team's only run after he singled and stole second in the fifth frame. South Bend jumped out to an early lead after some wild plays in the first inning. The first three batters reached after a pair of singles and a throwing error by Miller. Starting pitcher Dereck Rodriguez struck out a batter before a couple of doubles and a wild pitch allowed the inning to continue. The Kernels have only lost 10 games and Rodriguez has been charged with four of those losses even though he only gave up one earned run in this game. He struck out four and walked one in four innings. Mile Nordgren did well in relief by pitching three scoreless frames. He had to dance around five hits and a walk but he continued to put zeros on the board. Michael Theofanopoulos struck out four and walked three in two scoreless innings. It was his fifth straight appearance without allowing an earned run. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day- Felix Jorge, Fort Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day- Wilfredo Tovar, Rochester Red Wings SUNDAYS'S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Scranton/WB (12:35 CST)- RHP David Martinez (0-1 4.00 ERA) Chattanooga vs. Montgomery (1:15 CST)- RHP Aaron Slegers (1-1, 3.91 ERA) Fort Myers @ Charlotte (11:35 am CST)- LHP Randy Rosario (2-1, 1.02 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. West Michigan (2:05 CST)- RHP Cody Stashak (2-0, 1.13 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Saturday games.
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