While the Twins finish up their series with the Royals, there could be some reinforcements on the way. Josh Willingham and Darin Mastroianni are both on rehab at the Triple-A level and this could mean both men are back with the big league club in the near future. A healthy Willingham could be a sight for sore eyes to Twins fans.
Miguel Sano returned to the line-up of the Rock Cats last night after missing four games with a tight hamstring
. He wasted little time making his mark as he fell just a triple shy of the cycle. There were other familiar names and story lines across the farm system.
Here are the highlights from Wednesday night's action.
Rochester Red Wings 5, Durham Bulls 4
Rochester continues to find ways to win games at one of the most important parts of their season. The Red Wings scored runs in the second, third and fourth innings and relied on their pitchers to hold the lead. With the win, the Red Wings have won their first ever series at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in 16 tries. It was also the team's first season series win over the Bulls since 2008.
Josh Willingham and Darin Mastroianni were both on rehab assignment with the Wings. Willingham wasted little time making his presence known as he hit a solo home run in his first plate appearance. Later in the game, the designated hitter drew a walk and finished the night 1-for-3. Mastroianni collected two RBI but he was held hitless before being pulled for a pinch runner in the fourth. (He had hyper-extended his right knee beating out a would-be double play. It doesn't not sound to be very serious.)
Logan Darnell earned the victory but he labored to get through five frames. He spread out three earned runs and six hits to keep the Bulls far enough away. Luis Perdomo and AJ Archter pitched the next three innings and limited the Bulls to one run on three hits. Michael Tonkin was lights out in the ninth as he pitched a perfect frame and struck out two for his ninth save.
New Britain Rock Cats 3, Akron Aeros 7
Multiple hit nights from Danny Santana and Eddie Rosario weren't enough to push the Rock Cats to victory. Santana added his seventh triple as part of a 2-for-4 game. Jordan Parraz smacked a 2-run shot for his tenth long ball of the season. After his monster night last night, Miguel Sano went 1-for-3 with a walk.
DJ Baxendale started the game on the mound but he found a few struggles along the way. He tossed six innings and gave up four runs on nine hits. Along the way, he had four strikeouts and three walks. Matt Hauser didn't do so well in relief of Baxendale. He gave up three runs in his one inning of work. Jose Gonzalez stopped some of the bleeding by giving up no runs over one frame.
Cedar Rapids Kernels 7, Beloit Snappers 4
Cedar Rapids sits near the top in their division for the second half but they were visiting the division winners from the first half on Wednesday. The Kernels used a big five run fourth inning to push their lead to 7-0 before the bullpen had to hang on in the end.
As part of the Kernels big fourth inning, Niko Goodrum hit a three-run home run. He compiled four RBI and finished the night 2-for-4. Jonathan Murphy helped the offense out of the leadoff spot by going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Joel Licon and Michael Quesada each added a double.
Brett Lee had his shortest outing of the season by being pulled after three innings. He didn't give up a run and the Snappers only managed two hits off of him. There might have been some kind of injury or other reason to pull Lee. David Hurlbut was asked to pitch five frames and he didn't do too badly. He gave up one earned run and struck out seven. Madison Boer earned his third save by throwing a perfect ninth inning.
Fort Myers Miracle --, Charlotte Stone Crabs -- (Postponed)
Weather got in the way of the Miracle trying to end their recent losing streak. The club has lost four of their last five games and they are three games out of first place in the second half standings. Since the Miracle already clinched a playoff spot by winning the division in the first half, their current record isn't as important.
Tonight's game will be made up as part of a double header later this month in Port Charlotte. The date and time of this game have yet to be announced. These two teams will continue their series tomorrow night at Hammond Stadium.
Elizabethon Twins 3, Johnson City Cardinals 0
The story in this game was all about Hein Robb. He earned his first victory of the season in dramatic fashion. Before today's game, Robb hadn't lasted further than 7.1 innings and he was averaging under 6 innings per start. Robb was terrific by scattering two hits over nine shutout innings. He struck out nine and didn't walk a batter.
On the offensive side of the ball, the E-Twins didn't put on a clinic but they scored enough to support Robb's outstanding pitching effort. Mitch Garver and Dereck Rodriguez each went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Tanner Vavra notched his first extra-base hit with a double. Romy Jimenez had multiple hits for the first time in his last ten games.
GCL Twins 1, GCL Orioles 2 (10 Innings)
Lester Oliveros continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery. He has yet to give up a run in a game and that streak continued today. He tossed two shutout innings on Wednesday by giving up two hits and striking out one batter. Chih-Wei Hu started the game and surrendered one run on one hit over three frames. Jose Abreu earned his third loss of the year by giving up the go-ahead run in extra innings.
There wasn't a ton of offense to speak of for the GCL Twins. Four of the team's starters were held hitless. Overall, The team compiled six hits over 10 innings with Jorge Fernandez being the only player with multiple hits. He went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a walk. Jonatan Hinojosa had an RBI and he finished the day 1-for-4.