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  • Sunday Funday in the Minors

    Although the Twins-Mets game was ‘weathered out’ on Sunday, it was another busy day in the Twins farm system. Two games went to extra innings and ended with a walk-off hit. Cedar Rapids finished two more games in Clinton before 5:00 meaning they completed four games in just under 24 hours. Each of those four games was decided by one run. Then there is the question that we’ve been asking each of the past several days, Did the Miracle win again? Let’s just say a fairly prominent prospect helped the team that won in an impressive way. Who won? Who did well? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading to find out!

    Rochester Red Wings 2, Pawtucket Red Sox 5 (11 innings)

    Box Score

    After playing two, seven-inning games on Saturday, the Red Wings had to play 11 more innings on Sunday. After combining for just six hits in those 14 innings Saturday, the Red Wings managed just five hits on Sunday. Clete Thomas got things going the right way. He hit a home run to lead off the game. He was 2-4 with a walk. Chris Colabello continued his torrid start that will hopefully bring him to Minnesota in the near future. He went 2-2 with two walks and two doubles.

    Andrew Albers made the start and threw five shutout innings. He gave up four hits, walked none and struckout five to reduce his ERA to 0.93. Daniel Turpen came on for the 6th inning and gave up two runs on three hits and two walks. Luis Perdomo relieved Turpen in the seventh with a runner on but did not allow him to score. He worked three perfect innings. Tyler Robertson threw a 1-2-3 tenth. Anthony Slama came in to start the bottom of the 11th. He walked two batters, and with two outs, he gave up a walk-off, three-run homer to former Royals outfielder Mitch Maier.

    New Britain Rock Cats 6, Portland Sea Dogs 5 (10 innings)

    Box Score

    The Rock Cats jumped out to a fast lead, but in the mid-innings, Portland tied the game at five. There was little offense until the 10th inning when the Rock Cats pulled out a dramatic win. Curt Smith singled and went to third on a double by James Beresford. Next up was Danny Ortiz. The .400 hitting outfielder singled in the game-winning run.

    Blake Martin started for the Rock Cats. The lefty was solid through four. However, he ended up giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk in 4.2 innings. He struckout three. The bullpen came through. AJ Achter went 3.1 scoreless innings. He walked one, but gave up no hits and struckout two. Marty Popham went two scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

    Antoan Richardson went 2-3 with a walk. James Beresford went 2-4 with a walk and a double. Ortiz went 2-2 (he came in late in the game as a pinch-hitter). Josmil Pinto was 1-3 with two walks.



    Ft. Myers Miracle 5, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2

    Box Score

    The Miracle have won in just about every way over their 9-0 start. On Sunday, they were down 2-1 heading into the 7th inning. Twins Daily’s AJ Pettersen tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center to score Jhon Goncalves with the tying run. Angel Morales worked a walk and Eddie Rosario was hit by a pitch. That brought up Miguel Sano. He launched a long, towering three-run homer to left field to give the Miracle a 5-2 lead, a lead they would hang on to. The Miracle improve to 10-0, the best start in their history.

    Sano went 3-4, and the home run was his third of the season. Morales remained hot. He was 2-2 with two walks.

    DJ Baxendale made the start for the Miracle. The righty went the first five innings and gave up two runs (1 earned) on four hits and two walks. He struckout three. Chad Rodgers came on and threw two shutout frames. After getting the lead, Ryan O’Rourke continued his great start with a scoreless eighth inning. Zack Jones came on for the ninth and recorded his fourth save. He hit 99 mph again (one of which hit an opposing player) and struckout two.

    Game 1 - Cedar Rapids Kernels 2, Clinton LumberKings 3

    Box Score

    The Kernels began the game with five straight hits, yet due to some base running issues, they managed just two runs. That would be all they would score in the game as they fell in Game 1 by a single run. Adam Walker went 2-3 with his second double. In that first inning, Jorge Polanco and Dalton Hicks had back-to-back run-scoring doubles. Byron Buxton was 1-2 with a walk.

    Tyler Duffey took the mound for Cedar Rapids. In his first start a week earlier, he threw seven perfect innings. He was perfect in the first inning. In the second frame, he gave up a walk, but it was quickly erased with a double play. In the fourth inning, he gave up his first hit of the season before giving up a two-run homer to Guillermo Pimentel that tied the game at two. Duffey lasted until there were two outs in the bottom of the sixth. He left with two runners on base. Lefty Matt Tomshaw came in and got the final out on a strikeout, but not before the go-ahead run scored on a bloop single to right field.

    Duffey gave up the three runs on six hits and two walks. He struckout four.

    Game 2 - Cedar Rapids Kernels 7, Clinton LumberKings 6

    Box Score

    The Kernels were able to hold on for the one-run win. In doing so, the Kernels were able to take three out of four in Clinton in less than 24 hours.

    Dalton Hicks gave the Kernels a lead with a long, three-run homer, his second of the season. He also added his seventh double. Jorge Polanco was 2-4 with two RBI. Travis Harrison went 1-2 and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Byron Buxton went 2-4 with his third stolen base.

    Taylor Rogers threw two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk. Manuel Soliman threw the next two innings and gave up no runs despite two walks. Tim Atherton worked the fifth inning and wasn’t helped by his infield. Harrison had two errors and Niko Goodrum and Jorge Polanco each had one. Atherton was charged with four unearned runs in the inning. It could have been worse, but JD Williams threw out a runner at the plate to end the inning. Tyler Jones then gave up two runs (1 earned) in the 6th inning, cutting the lead to 7-6. He pitched a scoreless seventh to record his first save.

    All four games of this series were decided by one run.
    This article was originally published in blog: Sunday Funday in the Minors started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. Madre Dos's Avatar
      Madre Dos -
      I am glad that Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers are finally utilizing all of the great talent that we have sent them from Elizabethton.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Madre Dos View Post
      I am glad that Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers are finally utilizing all of the great talent that we have sent them from Elizabethton.
      Not all of the great talent has been sent yet.

      Chargois, Kepler and Berrios still have their debuts on hold.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Thanks for this great report. Sano seems to be on fire, but Slama seems to be struggling.
    1. Sanibelchuck's Avatar
      Sanibelchuck -
      Am a season ticket holder for the Miracle. This team is fun to watch. 90 degrees in Fort Myers with a nice breeze. Will be at the game Monday night. Miracle take on the Palm Beach Cardinals. Go Miracle!! Great hitting and great pitching equals a win.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I wonder how long a guy like Slama can keep giving it his all, intentionally or not.
    1. TwinsFanInPhilly's Avatar
      TwinsFanInPhilly -
      Sanibelchuck - more first-hand reports from you would be a welcome addition to this site!
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I wonder how long a guy like Slama can keep giving it his all, intentionally or not.
      I asked myself that same question the last two days. I have no doubt in my mind that Slama is giving it his all. None whatsoever. He's as classy as it gets and he does care. It has to be frustrating, and now the fact that he barely hits 89 often anymore, it's hard to not feel for the guy. Would have been nice for him to get more of an opportunity when he still could hit 91-92.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I feel bad for him, frankly. Lots of guys with way worse stuff and way worse results have played for this team. It would have been great to at least have given him some time.

      I have no doubt he's trying his hardest.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Personally, I hope all this success at Fort Myers and Cedar Rapids doesn't make us too eager to promote guys like Buxton for a few months anyway. Hopefully, they keep playing this way and dominating their leagues before getting the call-up.

      One question Seth: Have you heard anything about the health of Morales the last couple of years? I have heard rumors, and I know he was hurt in 2011. But I was as shocked as anyone when he struggled so badly last year, especially with the spring he had. I can't help but I think he had some unreported injury.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Personally, I hope all this success at Fort Myers and Cedar Rapids doesn't make us too eager to promote guys like Buxton for a few months anyway. Hopefully, they keep playing this way and dominating their leagues before getting the call-up.

      One question Seth: Have you heard anything about the health of Morales the last couple of years? I have heard rumors, and I know he was hurt in 2011. But I was as shocked as anyone when he struggled so badly last year, especially with the spring he had. I can't help but I think he had some unreported injury.
      On your first point, I'm in agreement. I would never promote a top prospect for at least two months in those lower levels. At that point, you're in mid-June, might as well let them play in their league's all-star game. The Twins typically do promote several guys at that time.

      I go back to Danny Ortiz two years ago. He posted like a 1.250 OPS in April in Beloit, and he never posted another .700 OPS the rest of the season. Miguel Sano had a terrific April, but he struggled at various times throughout the season. I've said with Buxton that I think there's a decent chance he'll get pushed up to Ft. Myers this year, but I wouldn't do it now. He needs time.

      As for Morales, we're all aware of his elbow problems that cost him most of 2011. They tried rehab for awhile, then he went in for Tommy John. When they got in, they found they were able to fix it with arthroscopic surgery and he played some at the end of the year. I have been given no indication of any injury with him in 2012. He got off to the great start and really just struggled the whole rest of the season. And, he couldn't make contact in Puerto Rico this winter. He's a really good person, potentially too nice. But he's such a great athlete and still not old for the level of competition (he's like 5-6 months older than average for FSL). It's a big year because he can become a minor league free agent following the season.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      The Kernels have announced they'll play a doubleheader Tuesday night against Wisconsin, which will make up one of the two postponed games from last week. The other game will not be made up due to rules limiting teams to no more than three doubleheaders in a 7-day period (Kernels played twinbills Sat and Sun in Clinton). CR and Wisconsin don't face one another the rest of the first half of the season, so they'll each just play 69 games instead of 70.

      It should be interesting to see how Jake Mauer and pitching coach Gary Lucas juggle the rotation. The Tuesday doubleheader will mean the Kernels will have played seven games inside of four days.

      Then again, we're seeing rain in the forecast for CR this week, so who knows how many of these games will get played anyway.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Any idea why Taylor Rogers went just two innings yesterday?
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Let's not overreact to Slama's 'struggles'. These occurred in back to back days and I think Rochester tried to keep Slama out of the 2nd game and didn't use him until it went into extra innings.
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