On the Pond Daily (6/30): Buxton and Tapia
By Wally Fish
Sunday, June 30th featured a very clear split as the Minnesota Twins system went 4-3. The top portion of the organization – New Britain, Rochester and Minnesota – all lost while Fort Myers, Cedar Rapids, Elizabethton all picked up wins. The GCL affiliate had a scheduled off day and the DSL team dropped a close game through no fault of their starter.
Morneau is starting to flash some of his long lost power. (Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Twins (36-42): 9-8 loss to Kansas City (38-41)
Next to Sam Deduno, RHP Kevin Correia had been the best and most consistent starting pitcher in the Twins rotation. On Sunday however he found the sledding to be rather tough allowing seven hits, three walks and five earned runs while striking out three in 5.0 innings of work. Correia wasn’t alone in his struggles however as the Royals scored off of each member of the Twins bullpen that entered the game.
While the pitching faltered, the offense has plenty of chances to push home more runs than the eight they wound up scoring. 1B Justin Morneau hit his fourth home run of the season and in doing so continued his recent surge with extra base hits in four straight games.
Rochester Red Wings (41-44): 2-0 loss to Syracuse (33-49)
RHP Liam Hendriks (8.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO) had his best start of the season and he needed it after allowing 19 H and 10 ER in his previous 10.0 IP.
C Drew Butera went 2-4 with his first double of the year.
New Britain Rock Cats (39-43): 8-2 loss to Reading (35-46)
RHP Matthew Summers (4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO) continued to struggle since his promotion to Double-A. In 7.0 innings with the Rock Cats the opposition is hitting 0.355 off of him.
Josmil Pinto (2-3, R, BB) and Daniel Ortiz (2-4, 2B) had multiple hits while Eddie Rosario was 1-4 with a doubel – the team’s only other extra-base hit.
Fort Myers Miracle (50-27): 4-1 win over St. Lucie (41-37)
In a game completed early due to rain, LHP Jason Wheeler bounced back from two forgettable starts to throw 5.1 innings of one run, four hit ball. He walked one while striking out three. Fellow lefty Ryan O’Rourke struck out both batters he faced in the sixth to finish off the game and notch save number three of the season.
CF Byron Buxton was a perfect 3-3 at the plate with a double and stolen base. He also scored three of the team’s four runs. Just five games into the FSL portion of his career he already appears to be adjusting to the level. His double was his first extra-base hit since being promoted and Sunday’s game was the first of the five that he didn’t strike out.
1B Kennys Vargas also had a solid day at the dish going 2-3 with a double and two RBI.
Cedar Rapids Kernels (50-28): 6-5 win over Peoria (42-35)
RHP Tim Atherton (3.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO) made his first start of the season after a solid run of success in 20 relief appearances.
The Kernels offense scored two in the bottom of the ninth to win the game and spread nine hits amongst eight members of the lineup. SS Jorge Polanco went 2-4 with two runs, one walk and a strikeout. 3B Travis Harrison (1-4, R, 2 RBI, BB) hit his 24th 2B of the season and Niko Goodrum – playing first base – (1-5, R, RBI, 2 SO) hit his 17th.
Elizabethton Twins (9-2): 5-1 win over Kingsport (3-8)
LHP Randy Rosario (5.0, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO) was once again excellent in his second start with Elizabethton. It’s early but it’s hard to find fault with his 0.90 ERA, 0.70 WHIP and 10-1 SO-to-BB in 10.0 innings.
CF Dereck Rodriguez (3-4, R, 2 2B, SB) and RF Romy Jimenez (2-4, R, HR, RBI) had the two standout days offensively. 1B Bryan Haar and C Mitch Garver chipped in with solo home runs.
GCL Twins (4-4): Scheduled Off Day
DSL Twins (13-11): 2-1 loss to the DSL Giants (13-11)
For the second time in his last three outings 17-year old right Alexis Tapia threw four no hit innings. He’s now allowed just eight hits and two earned runs in 18.1 IP.
The bats were silent for most of the day as the team went 3-28 with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Fort Myers Miracle C Lance Ray activated from the 7-day disabled list.
A.J. Achter assigned to Rochester from New Britain.
Dan Rohlfing assigned to New Britain from Rochester.