The second half of the minor league season is well under way. Some of the Twins affiliates are trying to find their way into the playoff race. It will be an interesting couple of months leading up to the playoffs.
Let's see how Nick Blackburn did in his first start back at Triple-A. Plus there were some fireworks from Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton on this night.
Rochester Red Wings 1, Lehigh Valley IronPigs 8
Earlier on Tuesday, a roster move had to be made to fit Blackburn into the rotation for Rochester. His promotion from Double-A meant another pitcher had to go the opposite direction. LHP Blake Martin made the trek from the International League back to the Eastern League. In 12 games and 15.2 innings he had a 4.02 ERA, 15 strikeouts and WHIP of 1.53.
Blackburn made his 2013 debut at Triple-A; the start was rocky, to say the least. He gave up six earned runs on 10 hits and barely made it through five innings. It was the most runs he has ever allowed in his 32 starts for the Red Wings. It was the first time the IronPigs won at Frontier Field since August of last year.
An eighth inning double by Chris Parmelee drove in the lone run of the game. Parmelee went 2-for-3 with that double, a single and an RBI. Oswaldo Arcia had been ripping the cover off the ball since being demoted before the All-Star break. He had gone 7-for-11 with two home runs but he was pulled in the second inning after going 0-1 with a strike out.
New Britain Rock Cats 7, Portland Sea Dogs 8
The Rock Cats got out to an early 5-0 lead after multiple run innings in the first and second. Portland came back with a big five-run top of the fourth to tie the game. This turned into a battle of the bullpens and, well, the Dogs had more bark than the Cats.
Miguel Sano continued his hot streak as he hit a home run for the second consecutive night. He has homered in four of his last six games and is up to ten in the 37 games he has played for New Britain. He smacked a double in the earlier innings to help him finish 2-for-4 with two RBI. Josmil Pinto added his 14th home run of the season, a two-run shot.
Former MLB pitcher Kyle Davies made his Rock Cats debut on the mound. He got knocked around for nine hits and five earned runs in 3.1 innings. On a more positive note, he did strike out six batters and he did not walk anyone.
Fort Myers Miracle 4, Brevard County Manatees 10
Byron Buxton hit a home run, legged out a triple and scored three runs but it still wasn't enough. It was the first over-the-wall home run for Buxton at this level. Overall, Buxton went 3-for-4 and he added his fourth stolen base at this level. Dalton Hicks, Matt Koch, and Stephen Wickens all had two-hit games but none were for extra-bases.
Miracle starter Taylor Rogers had a tough time getting out of the middle innings. The Manatees plated six runs, total, in the fourth and fifth frames. He went five innings and gave up six runs on eight hits with three strikeouts. Steven Gruver tossed two scoreless innings. Chad Rodgers got pounded for four runs in his one inning of relief work.
Elizabethton Twins 4, Kingsport Mets 5
The E-Twins did their best to come back in this game, scoring four runs in the eighth inning to take a one run lead. Unfortunately, the Mets had different plans as they stormed back to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth and come out victorious.
Romy Jimenez and Javier Pimentel both went 2-for-4 with a double. It was the seventh double of the year for Pimentel. Zach Granite also had two hits and an RBI. Starter Felix Jorge went five innings and gave up three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts. Brandon Peterson was saddled with the loss after giving up both runs in the bottom of the ninth.
GCL Twins 1, GCL Rays 3
Four defensive errors didn't help the GCL Twins; only one earned run was scored by the Rays. Jonatan Hinojosa had two fielding errors at shortstop, second baseman Will Hurt had a throwing error and first baseman Chad Christensen was charged with an error on a pickoff attempt. Defensive mistakes will often haunt a team.
Hurt tried to make up for his throwing error with a good day at the plate. He went 3-for-4 with a run scored. Amaurys Minier had the only extra-base hit, his fourth double of the season. Damian Defrank started the game and scattered three hits over four shutout innings. He struck out four and walked one. Stephen Gonsalves also pitched 3.1 scoreless innings in relief.