The Cedar Rapids Kernels are in the midst of their All-Star break so they were again out of action Wednesday night. This didn't stop the Twins from announcing that one of their top prospects, Max Kepler, would be joining that club. He had been at extended spring training working to recover from an elbow injury. The power hitting outfielder will take over a corner outfield spot since Byron Buxton is manning center field in Cedar Rapids.
Liam Hendriks was also reinstated from the disabled list and this meant another move had to be made. Right-handed pitcher Virgil Vasquez was sent from Rochester to New Britain as the corresponding move. It has been a rough season so far for Hendriks and it would be nice to see him put together some strong starts in the second half of the year.
Here's a look at Wednesday night's action in the Twins farm system.
Rochester Red Wings 7, Scranton/WB RailRiders 10
Liam Hendriks returned to the mound Wednesday after missing over a month with right elbow inflammation. In his first start since May 9th there was certainly rust to work through. Over four innings, he surrendered seven runs on nine hits including two home runs. Of his 77 pitches, 47 were for strikes but he limited his walks to two.
The bottom four hitters in the Red Wings line-up each had an RBI. Doug Bernier went 3-for-5 with four RBI and a triple. Dan Rohlfing, James Beresford, and Drew Butera all knocked in a run. Jeff Clement and Chris Herrmann each added a double.
The Red Wings had plenty of opportunities with runners in scoring position. Over the course of the night, Rochester went 5-for-15 with men in scoring position. The club also left 11 runners on base. Antoan Richardson stole his 14th base since joining Rochester and he now has 27 steals between Double-A and Triple-A.
Rochester started the year 2-11; hot play in recent weeks has gotten the Red Wings closer to the .500 mark (36-38). The team has won six of their last eight games and they are within striking distance of a wild card spot. A win tomorrow splits the two-game set with Scranton/WB.
New Britain Rock Cats 1, Erie SeaWolves 2
After starting his Double-A career 1-for-17 with a single, Miguel Sano finally notched his first home runs since being called up to New Britain. His long ball broke a scoreless tie to put the Rock Cats ahead in the top of the seventh inning. Sano's home run wasn't enough though, as the SeaWolves scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning and they held on for the win.
It was another tough luck loss for Pat Dean as he suffered his third consecutive defeat. In two of the three outings, he's surrendered two runs or fewer and pitched into the seventh inning. The Rock Cats offense hasn't offered much support when he has taken the mound.
Matt Hauser did a fantastic job in relief of Dean. He recorded the last four outs of the game on four strikeouts. Since his promotion to New Britain, in five relief appearances and 7.1 innings, his ERA stands at 1.23.
Following the previous night's four hit game, Danny Santana had a couple hits and his fifth double of the year. Eddie Rosario went 1-for-3 and has hit safely in five of his six games since joining New Britain. Daniel Ortiz was the only other player to record a hit.
Fort Myers Miracle 5, Palm Beach Cardinals 8
Jason Wheeler failed to pitch through the fifth inning for the first time since May 21 and the Miracle weren't able to dig themselves out of an early hole. It marked only the second time this season Wheeler was saddled with a loss. He threw 4.1 innings, gave up eight runs and got knocked around for seven hits.
The Miracle bullpen did a fairly good job in relief. Nelvin Fuentes, Jose Gonzalez, and Corey Williams pitched 4.2 innings and allowed two base runners while striking out seven. Fuentes entered in a tough spot with the bases loaded and he allowed all the inherited runners to score. From there, he was able to settle down and the zeros started to pile up.
Kennys Vargas continued his power hitting ways with a double and two RBI. He finished the night 2-for-4 and he has had multiple hits in his last two games. Candido Pimentel and Mike Kvasnicka added a hit apiece. Stephen Wickens went 2-for-3 as he continues to get closer to a .250 batting average.