The Twins and the Red Sox had a nice three hour rain delay, and fans were treated to The Sandlot during the delay. There was plenty of excitement in the Twins minor league system as well. One of the Twins' top prospects almost made a little bit of history. One of the Twins minor league affiliates won on a walk off. A couple of non-roster players continued to make their cases for a big league roster spot.
With that, check out what happened with the Twins minor league teams on Sunday:
Rochester Red Wings 11, Lehigh Valley IronPigs 0
In an attempt not to be too obvious about what to write about to this game, I’m going to write it up a little differently. Let’s try writing this like a hockey post-game and name three stars:
Third Star – CF Antoan Richardson – The diminutive leadoff hitter did about as well at his leadoff duties as anyone could hope. The job of a leadoff hitter is to get on base. Richardson was 2-3 with three walks, his third double and his first triple with the Red Wings. He also stole his second base. The former big leaguer should be considered a possible Aaron Hicks replacement when the Twins decide to send him down.
Second Star – 1B Chris Colabello – Normally a day like Colabello had on Sunday would be an easy choice for top performance on his team. Colabello went 4-5 with his 16th
doubles of the year. He was also hit by a pitch. The 29-year-old is now hitting .361/.419/.657 (1.076) through 44 games. He has 17 doubles and 11 home runs. He should be coming to the Twins soon.
First Star – RHP – Kyle Gibson – Through 7 2/3 innings, the former first-round pick did not allow a hit. With two outs in the 8th
inning, he gave up a slicing double down the left field line that landed inches inside the foul line. He gave up a bloop single and a seeing-eye roller through the right side of the infield to lead off the 9th
inning. He proceeded to get a strikeout and a ground-ball double play to end the game. Gibson threw his second nine-inning shutout in his past three starts. He ended with three hits allowed, he walked two and struck out eight to reduce his ERA to 3.25 on the year. Maybe the most impressive thing about his performance was that he needed just 93 pitches to do it! And, like the first two stars, Gibson should be performing in a Twins uniform very soon.
Ray Olmedo went 3-5. Jeff Clement was 2-6 with his fourth double.
New Britain Rock Cats 4, New Hampshire Fisher Cats 7
The return of BJ Hermsen from his intercostal (rib muscle) injury has been slow. In this start, he gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks in five innings. Two of the hits were home runs. Bobby Lanigan came on and was charged with two unearned runs in his two innings. Jose Gonzalez pitched the final two innings. He struck out two and he allowed one run.
A year ago in New Britain, Deibinson Romero hit 23 doubles and 19 home runs. Because of some visa investigations in the Dominican Republic this spring, Romero was unable to get to the States. He had been invited to big league camp for the second time (he was on the 40 man roster several years ago), but he could not make it out of the DR. He was likely scheduled to spend the season in Rochester; instead he was returned to New Britain six weeks into the season. On Sunday, he played in his sixth game with the Rock Cats and went 3-4 with his first home run. It raises his average on the season to .304. Danny Ortiz was 2-4.
Ft. Myers Miracle 0, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2
Matt Summers gave up a single run in the first inning and another in the sixth inning; that was more than enough scoring for the Stone Crabs on this day. Summers went 5.1 innings and gave up the two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out two. Nelvin Fuentes came on and walked one and struck out one in 1.2 innings. Zack Jones struck out one in his perfect inning.
Kyle Knudson led the offense. He went 2-3 with a walk. Levi Michael went 2-5. Kennys Vargas, Andy Leer and Angel Morales each hit a double.
Cedar Rapids Kernels 8, Kane County Cougars 7
On Sunday, the Kernels recorded their third walk-off win in their past four games. Kane County tied the game at 7 in the top of the ninth, but the Kernels quickly came back to win this one. In the bottom of the inning, JD Williams led off with a double. After a pitching change, Byron Buxton bunted him to third base. Though it was a sacrifice bunt, those in attendance, including manager Jake Mauer who argued the call, believed that Buxton beat the throw to first base. With one out and a runner at third base, the Kane County manager did the obvious, calling for intentional walks to Niko Goodrum and Jorge Polanco to load the bases for Dalton Hicks.
Hicks is no stranger to dramatic walk-offs. Recall last year, he came to the plate in the 12th
inning of the Appalachian League championship game and promptly hit a championship-winning grand slam. He didn’t need to be as dramatic this time. He flied out to left field, but it was deep enough to allow the speedy Williams to score from third base.
Jorge Polanco went 2-3 with two walks, his sixth triple and his first stolen base. Hicks went 2-4 with three RBI. Candido Pimentel was 2-4 with his second double and his fifth and sixth stolen bases. JD Williams was 2-4 with his eighth double and fourth home run. Travis Harrison hit his sixth home run. Byron Buxton stole his 18th
base and scored two runs.
Matt Tomshaw started and gave up five runs on six hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out seven. Alex Muren came on and threw two shutout innings. However, in the ninth inning, he gave up a two-run homer that tied the game. He walked none and struck out three.
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