Wednesday, July 3rd saw the Twins system go 3-4 with one game postponed due to inclement weather. Quality starting pitching was scare but some excellent offensive performances made up for the lack of pitching in a few places.
Minnesota Twins (36-45): 3-2 loss to New York (45-39)
RHP P.J. Walters (5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO) made it through five innings with relative ease. He allowed a single in the 1st and a walk in both the 3rd and 4th but worked around those without issue or incident.
The way the Twins have been playing against the Yankees, and Walters’ recent “performance” there was an argument to be made that they should have counted their blessings and turned to the bullpen with a 2-0 lead. Of course the bullpen has been both taxed and ineffective of late, and PJ’s pitch count was in great shape, so running him out there for the 6th inning was also perfectly reasonable.
It just didn’t work out as the first four Yankees to come to the plate went walk, double, double, single and suddenly New York was up 3-2 and Gardy was turning to his bullpen.
Caleb Thielbar (2.0 IP, 3 SO), Casey Fien (1.0 IP, 1 SO) and Glen Perkins (1.0 IP, 1 SO) were flat out dominant. They combined to throw four innings of no-hit, no-walk baseball and kept the team in the game.
3B Trevor Plouffe hit a solo HR (8) in the 5th and Mauer’s 25th double of the year drove in the team’s first run in the 3rd, but that’s all the damage the team could do against the Yanks. Plouffe’s HR was his third this week. Brian Dozier was on base three times (1-3, 2 BB) and his single gave him a hit in five straight games that he’s started (he went 0-1 as a pinch hitter last Sunday).
Since Mauer hit a double it’s about time for a Chasing Vernon update on the Puckett’s Pond Facebook Page!
Rochester Red Wings (43-45): 11-1 win over Buffalo (43-42)
LHP Andrew Albers (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO) turned in organization’s top start yesterday. As you can see by looking up and down this article, he didn’t exactly have to do much to lay claim to that. None-the-less he’s now 8-3 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 86-24 SO-to-BB in 17 starts. The 27-year old has done enough to justify making his major league debut with Minnesota in the coming weeks.
Albers had plenty of support from the bats as Rochester scored in seven of the nine innings played. Every member of the lineup had at least one hit in the process. 1B Chris Colabello (1-4, R, RBI, BB, SO) hit his 21st HR for the team while 3B Deibinson Romero (2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, 2 SO) and C Chris Herrmann (2-4, 2 R, 2B, 3B, RBI, BB) each had two extra-base hits.
New Britain Rock Cats (40-44): 6-1 loss to New Hampshire (40-44)
RHP Virgil Vasquez (6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 SO) was ineffective in 58.0 innings with Rochester and he hasn’t been much better in three starts with the Rock Cats.
The Sano-Morales-Rosario trio went a combined 1-12 in the game as New Britain could only manage 7 hits. Combined with their performance from Tuesday the Rock Cats have struck out an astounding 25 times. Toronto’s farm system has a ton of pitching talent in the pipeline, but that’s simply absurd.
Fort Myers Miracle (52-27): 11-5 win over Bradenton (31-50)
LHP Taylor Rogers (6.2 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO) wasn’t at the top of his game and gave up three runs in the first three innings but he did enough to keep his team in the game and let his offense go to work. 21 hits and 11 runs later, Rogers picked up his 7th win with Fort Myers.
1B Kennys Vargas (1-4, BB) had the “worst” day at the plate for Fort Myers as everyone else in the lineup had two or three hits in the game.
LF Jhon Goncalves (3-5, 2 SO) hit his 16th and 17th doubles of the season and pushed his slash stats up to 0.432/.488/.703 in his last 10 games. He’s an astounding 12-18 with 2 walks and 8 doubles in his last 5 games. If there’s any justice in the world, he should make an appearance in Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet tomorrow.
RF Mike Kvasnicka (3-5, 3 R, 2B, 3B, RBI, SO) hasn’t been quite as hot as Goncalves (who has?) but he’s been making waves of his own with a 0.316/.350/.737 slash line in his last 10 games.
Cedar Rapids Kernels (51-30): 9-2 loss to Beloit (54-29)
Cedar Rapids won 11 straight after the Midwest League All-Star game but then ran into Beloit and dropped both games in the short series. They will have to wait until August (7-9, 14-16) to exact revenge against the Snappers.
In his previous three starts LHP Christian Powell had thrown 18.0 innings allowing 10 hit and 2 runs while fanning 13. The only blemish in those starts were the 12 walks he issued. On Wednesday he only walked one while striking out four but gave up 10 hits and 6 runs in only 5.2 IP.
LF J.D. Williams (2-3, R, 2B, BB) was on base three times from the leadoff spot and also stole his 15th base of the season. 2B Jorge Polanco and 1B Max Kepler each went 2-4 with an RBI. Kepler has now hit in 11 of 13 games with the Kernels and has driven in a run in 8 of 10.
Elizabethton Twins (10-2): game with Johnson City (7-5) postponed
GCL Twins (6-5): 8-2 win over the GCL Rays (3-6)
In a rain shortened game, RHP Nick Blackburn (4.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO) made his second rehab start in the GCL. I recognize that he’s working his way back but seeing a guy with 818.2 major league innings on his resume give up seven hits to a rookie ball team makes me cringe a bit.
C Joel Polanco (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI) had the only multi-hit game for the squad as they spread eight hits rather evenly throughout their lineup. Amaurys Minier (1-4, 2 SO) drove in a career high three runs and also stole his first base as a professional.
DSL Twins (14-12): 12-10 loss to the DSL D-Backs (9-17)
If you’re a fan of high scoring games this was a good one to watch as the two teams combined to put up runs in 10 of the 18 half innings played.
The lineup churned out 16 hits, drew 4 walks and were hit twice giving them 22 baserunners in 49 plate appearances. Everyone had at least one hit for the Twins, five players had two hits each and 2B Rafael Valera went 3-5 with 2 R, 3B, RBI, SB. RF Francis Mateo (2-6, R, 2B, 3B, 2 SO) drove in five runs.
Assigned to Fort Myers (from New Britain) – RHP Matthew Summers: bumped up to Double-A in the latter part of June, he struggled to adjust. In 7.0 innings (3 G) with the Rock Cats he had a 7.71 ERA, 2.14 WHIP and 4 BB to go with 3 SO.
Assigned to New Britain (from Rochester) – RHP A.J. Achter: bumped up to Triple-A on June 30th he didn’t have a chance to pitch for the Red Wings. He now returns to the Rock Cats to add to his 2.21 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 36-19 SO-to-BB in 36.2 IP.
Released by Rochester – C Danny Lehmann (27): the Twins 8th round pick in the 2007 draft out of Rice University, he hit 0.229/.317/.301 over seven seasons.
Assigned to Rochester – CF Jermaine Mitchell (28): the 2006 5th round selection of the Oakland Athletics was playing for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, Lehigh Valley, this season. He was hitting 0.256/.347/.440 in 63 games and has a career line of 0.279/.378/.424 over the duration of his 8-year minor league career.