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  • Twins Minor League Report (4/27): Broomsticks

    Lots of drama today. Fortunately, the drama all ended in celebration. (Even for the Minnesota Wild.)

    The Twins got back to .500 this afternoon after beating the Rangers 7-2. Pedro Hernandez provided a very strong shutout-type effort (5 IP, 5 H, BB, 3 K). The bullpen continued to shine, preserving the shutout while the offense added a handful of insurance runs. Glen Perkins pitched a very low-leverage ninth. He walked the first two batters before getting the next two guys out. He then gave up a (misjudged by Hicks) double and two runs, before striking out the game's final batter.

    Josh Willingham's 6th inning home run gave him his 25th Target Field homer, eclipsing Jim Thome's mark by one and setting a new Target Field record.

    Let's take a look around the farm:

    Box Score

    The spotlight shone on Kyle Gibson today. Gibson, who recorded his first AAA victory since May 29, 2011, pitched 6.2 scoreless innings. He struck out seven. He walked two and allowed two hits.

    Caleb Thielbar struck out three of the four batters he faced.

    Tim Wood made yet another impressive rehab appearance. He retired all three batters he faced on 11 pitches, recording his first AAA save of the season. During the AAA portion of his rehab, opposing hitters are 1-for-16 against him in the five innings he has pitched.

    The offense managed only four hits: Evan Bigley and Joe Benson had consecutive singles in the 3rd inning, but were stranded. Bigley had a leadoff double in the 5th, moved ahead on a sacrifice bunt and later scored on an Eric Farris sacrifice fly. Nate Hanson added a leadoff single in the 7th before being forced out at second to end the inning. That little bit of offense was enough to get the win.

    The victory gives the Red Wings their first four-game winning streak since the four-game period from July 29 to August 5, 2012.

    Liam Hendriks (0-1, 4.63) will be on the mound tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 ET looking to help the Red Wings win their second game in this four-game wrap-around series.

    At 9-14, the Red Wings have climbed out of the cellar. In addition, De Vries, Wood and Deduno (whether it's those three or someone else) will likely benefit the Red Wings as they return to full health.

    Box Score

    Despite being out-hit (13-9) and committing three errors, the Rock Cats escaped with a victory.

    After a 2nd inning James Beresford double scored Danny Ortiz to give the Rock Cats a 1-0 lead, they added to that lead in the 3rd on a Josmil Pinto 3-run home run. Those four runs proved to be enough for the victory.

    B.J. Hermsen made his second start of the year. He lasted 4.2 innings, allowing nine hits and a run. He walked one and struck out two. Not his most effective outing, but he did throw 92 pitches, so that's a good sign.

    Jose Gonzalez (who got the win) was able to get it to the 8th. Edgar Ibarra made a mess and Michael Tonkin cleaned it up for the save.

    Pat Dean (0-2, 4.35) up next for the Rock Cats tomorrow at 1:35 ET.

    Box Score

    Walk-offs are exciting when you're the winning team. A walk-off walk is less exciting, but, hey, it's still exciting.

    Much like the Rock Cats, the Miracle managed only minimal offense. Three hits to be exact. (Yeah, A.J.'s hit-streak is over.)

    Drew Leachman singled in the 5th, but was caught attempting to steal third, end ing the inning. Matt Koch singled to lead off the 8th, was replaced by Stephen Wickens as a pinch-runner and scored on Angel Morales' double. So there are your three hits.

    But wait there's more... (the recap from milb.com)

    Fort Myers Bottom of the 9th

    • Pitching Change: Jacob Partridge replaces Lenny Linsky.
    • Miguel Sano walks.
    • Drew Leachman flies out to left fielder Jeff Malm.
    • Kennys Vargas walks. Miguel Sano to 2nd.
    • Kyle Knudson walks. Miguel Sano to 3rd. Kennys Vargas to 2nd.
    • Andy Leer strikes out swinging.
    • Angel Morales walks. Miguel Sano scores. Kennys Vargas to 3rd. Kyle Knudson to 2nd.

    So there you have it. Literally, a walk-around-the-bases walkoff.

    The pitchers got it done. Matt Summers went seven strong innings. He struck out three and gave up a run on five hits. No walks. Taylor Rogers gave up a hit in the inning he pitched. Cole Johnson got the win for his scoreless inning.

    The Miracle have now improved to 18-4. Tomorrow's scheduled starter, Taylor Rogers, pitched an inning tonight. I believe Tom Stuifbergen missed a start due to illness, so he may be the guy that takes the ball tomorrow at 1:00 ET.

    (Rinaldi Photos)

    Box Score

    Walk-offs are exciting when you're the winning team. The walk-off in this game is of the most-exciting variety.

    Let's get you up to speed...

    Mason Melotakis had a rough five innings. He allowed five hits and gave out four free passes. He struck out seven and left the game down 4-3.

    Manuel Soliman went 2.1 innings, allowing three runs on two hits and a walk. He struck out four.

    In the 8th inning, Tim Atherton came in to the 7-4 game. He got the Kernels out of the inning and also retired the side in the 9th.

    Turning the page to offense...

    Byron Buxton walked and scored on a Jorge Polanco double. In the 4th, Tyler Grimes doubled Adam Walked home (who had walked) and a Buxton sacrifice fly drove Grimes in.

    In the 9th inning, down three, Niko Goodrum walked. DJ Hicks hit a groundball that the Loon shortstop booted. Up walked Adam Walker, the tying run, trying to extend his home-run-streak to four games. And he did. Walker now leads the MWL with six home runs and 25 RBI.

    I wrote this about him in the Prospect Handbook:

    Walker has more raw power than anyone in the system not named Sano. It's a legitimate 70 on the 20-80 scale.
    Recently, he has been proving it every night.

    Atherton continued on the mound, finishing with five K's in 3.1 inning. David Hurlbut got a flyball out to finish the top of the 11th.

    The excitement picked up in the bottom half. Goodrum led off the inning with a single. Polanco bunted him over before Hicks hit a single that advanced Goodrum to third. Adam Walker came up again but was intentionally walked to load the bases.

    Mauer decided to go to the bench and have Travis Harrison hit for Tyler Grimes. Hit he did. Harrison turned on a pitch and it cleared the fence. The Kernels won by WALK-OFF GRAND SLAM!


    Well, after further review, the players went nuts and Hicks and Walker never crossed the plate. Goodrum scored the winning run and, officially, Harrison gets an RBI single. Exciting, yes; but less exciting than a walk-off grand slam... or even a solo grand slam.

    Here's a good write-up on Adam Walker after last night's game.

    Josh Burris joined the Kernels. Chris Mazza headed back to EST. That opens up a spot on the roster.

    Luke Bard tweeted about his flight, but the destination is unknown. Could he be flying into Cedar Rapids or the Cities?

    Tyler Duffey (2-1, 2.29) will be on mound tomorrow at 2:00 CT
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report (4/27): Broomsticks started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      It appears to be a false-alarm on Luke Bard. He was apparently at the Fort Myers Everblades hockey game tonight, which puts him in... Fort Myers.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Kernels walk-off win - Travis Harrison - YouTube

      Video from Harrison's "single".
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I kind of feel bad for Harrison. I mean, players only hit so many home runs. I get the excitement, but jump all over him after he reaches home plate!

      Also, it's great to see Kyle Gibson continuing to get better each time out.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      This is the 3rd day in a row that twins affiliates have gone 4-0
    1. Monkeypaws's Avatar
      Monkeypaws -
      That is the beauty of the Twins' system now: we got our Sano, Buxton, Meyer, Arcia, etc., but there also guys like Walker and other lower level prospects that are kicking arse right now. Some of these less heralded prospects might end up stealing the show.
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      Kernels walk-off win - Travis Harrison - YouTube

      Video from Harrison's "single".
      As you look at the video - Hicks and Walker touch home before Harrison. Hicks leaves the base path (split second ), but Walker waits for Hicks before he touches home. Walker then touches home after Hicks and before Harrison. With only 1 out prior - Maybe HR should have counted. I'm petitioning to get Harrison his HR back. Your thoughts Jerry................ Watch video
      Hicks #36 & Walker #38
    1. mudcat14's Avatar
      mudcat14 -
      Looks like they both left the basepath, but each did touch the plate with Hicks before Walker. Since they didn't leave said basepath in order to avoid getting tagged it shouldn't matter. IMHO a Grand Slam occurred and should be credited. Hopefully the video will make it's way to the league office and it will be restored.
    1. mudcat14's Avatar
      mudcat14 -
      Was Razor Shines the Loons Manager, bitching about the HR/single with the umps after the game, or was there another issue that preceded the walk-off that he was complaining about? Anyone who was there that might know?
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Shines was clearly raising the issue about the walk-off with the umpires. Their conversation went on well after the Kernels cleared the field. The umpires then conferred with one another and then with Shines again to explain what they were going to rule.
    1. DutchFarmer's Avatar
      DutchFarmer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Monkeypaws View Post
      That is the beauty of the Twins' system now: we got our Sano, Buxton, Meyer, Arcia, etc., but there also guys like Walker and other lower level prospects that are kicking arse right now. Some of these less heralded prospects might end up stealing the show.
      Just looked at the OPS for our Ft. Myers squad. Over half of that team has an OPS over 800! What an incredible team (at least as hitters go) this is.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      The only argument he had was if any of the runners didn't touch the next base. Like I said, I'm sure they called it right. Just feel bad because of the non-home run. Not that that is a big deal big picture.

      I really like Harrison's swing. Along with Buxton, the two hitters I'm most intrigued by are Harrison and Walker, in terms of huge power potential.

      As was pointed out above, it's not just about those top 8 or 9 prospects. There are a lot of prospects who have a chance to be big leaguers that aren't even considered top ten types.
    1. Larsbars08's Avatar
      Larsbars08 -
      All it really means to me is that at the end the year, we all mentally add a homerun and 3 RBI's to his total. He still crushed the ball, even if it doesn't go into the official box score it doesn't change Harrison's future potential.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Great report and a great day for the entire system. I hope that Mauer teaches the Kernels not to mob the runner until after he touches home plate.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      I get feeling bad for Harrison. He hit a home run. But after watching the video, I'm more pumped about that group of guys. It's one thing to win on a walk-off homer and have everyone wait to jump up and down at home plate. It's another thing to win on a walk-off homer and have the entire dugout take off to mob the guy before he hits second base. Yeah, maybe they don't entirely understand, but to me, that just shows a group of guys that really like to play together and win together.
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