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Friday Night Lights (Wins, Sano and Speculation)

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The Twins return from a day off. However, they are still in the Pacific time zone, so that means some late games!! For those that didn’t stay up… shame on you (just kidding!), but you missed a good game. With Scott Ullger at the helm, Carl Pavano was caught by Drew Butera, and Pavano responded with six shutout innings. Mariners’ lefty Jason Vargas also held the Twins scoreless through six. The Twins got to the M’s bullpen for three runs in the top of the 7th, thanks to a couple of walks, an error and an infield single by Joe Mauer that gave the Twins the lead.

Because the top of the 7th went over 30 minutes, Ullger went to his bullpen despite the fact that Pavano had thrown just 69 pitches. Brian Duensing was perfect in the 7th. Glen Perkins dominated the 8th, and Matt Capps looked better than ever with two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 ninth. The Twins played with a one-man bench on Friday night because of the 13 man pitching staff, Justin Morneau’s wrist, and Erik Komatsu not getting to Seattle until Saturday.

The Twins got a big win and there was a lot of excitement in minor league affiliate’s games too. Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from Thursday:

ROCHESTER 3, EMPIRE STATE 0


The Red Wings won for back-to-back games for the first time in over two weeks, and yet the story of the game, for the organization, was again Scott Diamond.

The left-hander went the first three innings. He gave up no runs on three hits and two walks while striking out two. With GM Terry Ryan in attendance, speculation is quite heavy that Diamond will be promoted to the Twins and likely start next week. Esmerling Vasquez came in and threw three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out three. Tyler Robertson started the seventh inning and got two outs. He walked one and was replaced by Casey Fien. Fien loaded the bases but was able to get Steve Pearce, who has come up with many big hits against the Red Wings already this season, to pop out to end the inning. Fien pitched the eighth inning as well. Anthony Slama recorded his sixth save. He gave up two hits and walked one but did maintain the shutout.

Matt Rizzotti went 2-4 with his second and third doubles. The first broke an 0-12 streak. JR Towles hit his fourth double of the season in the game. That hit broke an 0-21 streak which went back to April 10. All four of his hits this season are doubles. Aaron Bates was 1-3 with a walk and his third double. Rene Tosoni added his second double. Five of the team’s nine hits were doubles, which is a season high for the team.

NEW BRITAIN 3, PORTLAND 4


The Rock Cats came up just one run short. Logan Darnell started and gave up four runs (3 earned) on five hits. In six innings, he walked one and struck out three. The bullpen was terrific. Lester Oliveros gave up no runs and no hits and walked none in two innings. He struck out five batters. Daniel Turpen continued his great work. He struck out two (And walked none) in a perfect inning.

Deibinson Romero provided the much of the offense. He was 3-3 with a walk. Wilkin Ramirez was 2-4 with his first triple.

FT. MYERS 1, LAKELAND 6


The Miracle fell behind early and weren’t able to come back. No surprise since the Miracle hitters were hitting a combined .197 over their previous 16 games, according to play-by-play man Brice Zimmerman. The team did manage eight hits in this game (.296 in the game). Oswaldo Arcia went 2-4 with his fourth double. Josmil Pinto knocked his seventh double and drove in the team’s lone run.

Jhon Garcia made the start and gave up five runs (3 earned) in just 3.2 innings. He gave up seven hits, walked four and struck out just two. Miguel Munoz had another nice performance in his comeback from elbow problems. He went 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. Matt Hauser threw two scoreless innings. Ricky Bowen pitched the final inning and gave up a run on a hit and two walks.

GAME 1 - BELOIT 6, CEDAR RAPIDS 9 – Completion of suspended game


These two teams sored managed to get into the third inning on Thursday night before rains came and the game was suspended. So they completed the game before the regularly scheduled game.

Matthew Tomshaw had started on Thursday and went 2.2 innings before the rains came. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk. When the game resumed on Friday, AJ Achter took the mound. In three innings, he gave up five runs (3 earned) on five hits. David Hurlbut made his Midwest League debut and gave up three runs on five hits in 1.1 innings. Bart Carter threw a scoreless inning.

Miguel Sano went 2-4 with his seventh home run and three RBI. Adam Bryant and Jairo Rodriguez were each 2-4. AJ Pettersen (4th) and Tyler Grimes (6th) each hit a double. Meanwhile, Drew Leachman made his MWL debut and hit his first home run in the game.

GAME 2 - BELOIT 5, CEDAR RAPIDS 3


Things got a little interesting in the regularly scheduled game. With the score tied in the top of the 9th, Miguel Sano hit a two-run homer to put the Snappers ahead. Although details are sketchy, benches cleared as Sano rounded the bases. Calm was restored and the Snappers pulled out the win.

Steven Gruver has been struggling in his last couple of outings, but on this night, he was pretty good. The lefty gave up one run on five hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out four. Michael Tonkin gave up a solo home run, but of the four outs he got, three of them came on strikeouts. Clinton Dempter went the final 2.2 innings, striking out two, to be credited with the win.

Sano again led the offense. He was 2-4 with his eighth home run and his seventh double. Eddie Rosario was 2-4 with his ninth and tenth doubles. Wang-Wei Lin was 2-4 with his sixth double. Tyler Grimes (7th) and JD Williams (4th) each had a double. Matt Koch was also 2-4.

Sano Update - He is 9-16 in his last four games with 2 doubles, 2 HR and 9 RBI. He was hitting .262, and four games later, he's at .310.

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Players of the Day for Friday, May 4, 2012

Hitter of the Day – Miguel Sano
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Pitcher of the Day – Lester Oliveros
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A Look Ahead – Saturday, May 5, 2012 Schedule

Rochester @ Empire State (2) – RHP PJ Walters and TBD
New Britain vs Portland – RHP David Bromberg
Ft. Myers vs Lakeland – RHP Adrian Salcedo
Beloit @ Kane County – RHP Tim Shibuya

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If you have any questions or comments on the Twins minor league system, players, teams, etc., leave them in the Comments and I’ll try to answer them!
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