Coming into Sunday, the final day of the first half of the Midwest League season, the Cedar Rapids Kernels had won just three of their last ten games. Meanwhile, the Beloit Snappers had won eight of ten. Both teams had clinched a playoff spot, but each was a possible winner of the division crown. For the Kernels, they had to win AND the Snappers needed to lose. So, what happened? Well, you’ll need to read below for the answer. Another question to ask: did Byron Buxton and/or anyone else play their last game for Cedar Rapids?
With that, check out what happened in the Twins' minor league system on Sunday:
Rochester Red Wings 6, Gwinnett Braves 3
The bats showed up for the Red Wings on Sunday. Chris Colabello, Jeff Clement and Dan Rohlfing all homered in a four-run fifth inning to give Rochester all the runs they needed. Colabello was 2-4 with his 21st
double and the homer was his 14th
. Clement’s homer was his 10th
. Rohlfing went 2-3 with a walk. The homer was his second of the weekend. He also stole his first AAA base. Chris Herrmann added his sixth home run. Deibinson Romero went 2-4 with his third double. Doug Bernier hit his eighth and ninth doubles.
Cole De Vries got the win. He went 5.1 innings and gave up three runs. He allowed eight hits, walked none and struck out five. Blake Martin gave up two hits over 2.2 scoreless innings, striking out two. Michael Tonkin struck out two in a scoreless ninth.
New Britain Rock Cats 2, Harrisburg Senators 5
The Rock Cats had plenty of hits but were unable score enough to win. DJ Baxendale started. He gave up four runs on six hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out one. Bobby Lanigan gave up one run on a walk and two hits in the 7th
. Dakota Watts and Dan Turpen each worked a scoreless inning.
Danny Ortiz led the way with a 3-5 day. Kyle Knudson was 2-3 with a walk. Jordan Parraz, Nate Hanson and Reynaldo Rodriguez were each 2-5. Miguel Sano was 0-3 to drop his batting average to .091 through his first five games with the Rock Cats. He is 1-11, but he has six walks and just three strikeouts.
Ft. Myers Miracle
All-Star break’s last day. The Miracle start their second half on Monday night, with Tyler Duffey on the mound.
Cedar Rapids Kernels 9, Peoria Chiefs 10
Needing a win and a Snappers loss to win the first-half division title, the Kernels didn't have a good game, but they did have a chance at the end. The hitters showed up. The best news came in the form of the return of Niko Goodrum. The all-star shortstop has missed about two weeks after suffering a concussion; he went 3-4 with a walk and his 13th
double. Dalton Hicks has been on fire. Sunday, he went 3-4 with his 21st
double and his 12th
home run (homering for the 3rd
straight game). He also drove in six runs and ended the first half with 63 RBI. Jorge Polanco and JD Williams each went 2-4. Was it Byron Buxton’s final game with the Kernels? We’ll likely find out on Tuesday night or Wednesday, but if so, he ended his stay in the mid-west with two hits. The Kernels scored nine runs.
Mason Melotakis got the nod on the mound. He gave up five runs on six hits and three walks in 6.1 innings. He struck out two. Tyler Jones came on and took it to the ninth.
The Kernels held a 9-5 lead heading to the ninth. Beloit was down a run in the ninth inning of their game. Things were looking positive. Jones was able to get just one out in the ninth though and was charged with two runs. Josue Montanez came on and gave up two hits and hit a batter. He left and was replaced by Alex Muren who got the final two outs, but not before Peoria had scored five in the inning and taken a 10-9 lead .The Kernels were unable to score in the bottom of the 9th
. The drama was for naught anyway, as Beloit had won in walk-off fashion to win the Western Division’s first-half title.
The Midwest League All-Star game is Tuesday night. The second half will begin on Friday.
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