Twins 2 Royals 1
- The Twins were on the winning end of a tough hard fought 2-1 victory last night over the Royals. Scott Baker got the start for the Twins and I don't know how to describe his start. He was not bad, but he threw so many pitches that he was only able to complete 5 innings. Baker went 5 innings and gave up 1 run on 5 hits along with 2 walks and 1 strikeout to lower his era to 4.99 on the year and improve his record to 6-6. Baker did not have his good stuff on this night, but I was so impressed how he kept battling and battling out there. The Royals kept fouling pitch after pitch off. He had at bats with 7 pitches, 8 pitches , 9 pitches and 15 pitches, but Baker would not give in to the hitter and really showed his mental toughness. There are those out there that question his mental toughness because he doesn't show emotion on the mound, but Baker showed his toughness by battling the heck out of it last night to keep his team in the game even though he did not have great stuff. In the month of June Scott Baker really bounced back from a couple so so months and got back to being Scott Baker. In June Baker was 4-0 with a very Scott Baker like 3.20 era in 6 June starts. That is after he posted a 9.82 era in April and a 4.97 era in May. Baker was good, but the real story of the game was Bobby Keppel who pitched 2.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Is Bobby Keppel the answer out of the bullpen probably not, but he sure has pitched good in his 2 outings. Keppel went 2.1 innings and gave up no runs on 1 hit along with 1 walk and 3 strikeouts. Jose Mijares and Matt Guerrier each got an out to get out of the 8th with the lead still intact. Joe Nathan then came on in the ninth to shut the door for his 20th save of the year and lowered his era to an awesome 1.45. In the month of June Joe Nathan pitched 11.2 innings and June without giving up a run and only 4 hits and picked up 11 saves. All I can say about that is WOW! Joe Nathan is the best closer in the game for my money and he might be having his best season of his career.
- The Twins did not get much on the offensive side last night, but just enough to pull out the victory. Justin Morneau led the attack going 2-3 with his 19th homerun of the year and drove in his 64th run of the year to improve his average on the year to .313. Justin Morneau is quietly putting up MVP numbers again as he is 7th in average, 4th in homeruns, 2nd in rbi's, 4th in sluggin, and 4th in on base percentage. What I mean by quietly is all anyone talks about right now is can Joe Mauer hit .400 while Morneau continues to put up the big numbers and now has hit a homerun in 3 consecutive games and drove in 6 runs in those games. Brendan Harris went 1-4 with his 12th double of the year and brought his average down to .288. Michael Cuddyer went 1-3 with a sacrifice fly to drive in his 40th run of the year and brought his average up to .277. Joe Mauer went 1-4 at the plate and still saw his average drop to .383. When you have an average that high if you don't have 2 hits every game the average will go down. Denard Span, Joe Crede, and Carlos Gomez added hits in the winning cause for the Twins.
- Today, the Twins finish their series with the Royals and their roadtrip off as Glen Perkins gets the start for the Twins.
- The Red Wings had their game with Scranton/WB rained out last night and will be made up later in the year. The Red Wings have today off before beginning a series with Buffalo tommorrow night.
New Britain Business
New Britain 9 Portland 5
- The Rockcats got back on the winning side of things after losing 2 straight to Connecticut with a big 9-5 victory over Portland last night. The Rockcats jumped all over Portland starter Kason Gabbard for 7 runs in the first inning and held on the rest of the way. Ryan Mullins got the start for the Rockcats and I felt did a pretty decent job. Basically, he is what he is and he will on most starts keep you in the game. Last night Mullins went 6 innings and gave up 3 runs on 4 hits along with 3 walks and an impressive 8 strikeouts to bring his era on the year down to 5.07 and improve his record to 5-8. I think Mullins era is inflated because when he gets hit he gets hit hard so there are some not so pretty lines in there so it takes forever to bring it down. Jay Rainville came in relief and really struggled giving up 2 runs on 2 hits in an inning of work along with a strikeout to raise his era to a not very good 5.64. Jay Rainville is a guy that I have been very dissapointed in as he has really struggled this year as he started out in the rotation and now is in the bullpen and the next step is probably being released. It is not all his fault though as injuries have robbed the former 1st round pick of his fastball as he struggles to get his fastball in the high 80's and in professional ball it is hard to get guys out when you don't have a good fastball. Alex Burnett then came in and pitched a good inning of relief on no hits along with a walk and 2 strikeouts to lower his era to 2.33. Anthony Slama worked a scoreless ninth on no hits along with a walk and 2 strikeouts to lower his era to 2.53.
- On a night the pitching was not real great the Rockcats hitters bailed out the pitching as they scored 9 runs on 11 hits. Rene Tosoni led the offense going 2-4 with his 10th homerun and drove in 2 runs to bring his season total up to 47 on the year to bring his average up to .279. Tosoni has really taken a step forward from a good prospect to one of the best hitting prospects in the organization. Toby Gardenhire got a start and made the most of it going 2-4 with his 4th double of the year to bring his average up to .240. Juan Portes went 2-4 to bring his average on the year to .311. Erik Lis went 1-5 and his 6th homerun, a 3 run shot in the first, along with 3 rbi's to bring his season total to 36. Danny Berg went 1-5 with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rbi's of the year. Danny Lehman went 1-4 with his 4th double of the year. Brian Dinkelman went 1-3 with his 18th double along with 2 walks to bring his average up to .298. Brandon Roberts also added a hit in the winning cause for the Rockcats.
- Tonight, the Rockcats continue their series with Portland as they will compete in a doubleheader with Cole Devries scheduled to start in one with Frank Mata scheduled to pitch the other.
Fort Myers Minutes
- The Miracle had their game with Lakeland rained out and will make it up with a doubleheader tonight. Mike Mccardell is scheduled to go in the first game and Tyler Robertson is scheduled to pitch in the second.
Cedar Rapids 4 Beloit 1
- The Snappers wasted an excellent start by Brad Tippett and had the relief pitching let them down in a tough to take 4-1 loss to Cedar Rapids last night to move their record to 2-3. Brad Tippett got the start for the Snappers and was outstanding. Tippett went 6 innings and only gave up 1 run although the run was unearned on 4 hits along with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts to lower his era to 2.89 on the year. Brad Tippett has been by far the most consistant starter for Beloit all year and consistantly gives good starts. I would like to see Tippett maybe get a chance with Fort Myers this summer. Either way he will be with Fort Myers at the start of next season so its not a big deal if he gets promoted this year or they wait until next year. Curtis Leavitt then came on and pitched 2 very solid innings of work without giving up a run to lower his era to 8.10 on the year. Steve Blevins then came in the 9th in a 1-1 tie and lets just say it did not go the best. In 1 inning of work Blevins gave up 3 runs on 2 hits along with a walk and a strikeout to raise his era to 4.46 and lower his record on the year to 2-4. I know it was a terrible outing by Blevins, but he has been so good this year that I have no doubt that he will bounce back next time to have a good outing. That is the key with any reliever and especially prospects. It is not about how you do when things are going good, but how you respond to a rough outing. I have no doubt Blevins will rebound in a big way.
- The Snappers offense did not help the pitching in this one at all as they could only muster 1 run on only 3 hits. Aaron Hicks led the offense by going 1-3 with his 6th rbi of the year and improved his average to .222 in only 27 at bats. I know he is off to a little bit of a slow start with the Snappers, but it won't be long until he takes off and hits like we all know he will. Drew Thompson went 1-2 with his 9th double of the year and improved his average on the year to .198. Ramon Santana added a base hit in the losing cause for the Snappers.
- Tonight, the Snappers continue their series with Cedar Rapids as Dan Berlind will get the start for Beloit.
E-town 8 Bristol 7
- The E-town Twins had a hard back and forth game last night with Bristol and found a way to win it 8-7 with 2 unearned runs in the bottom of the 9th to improve their record to 7-1. Matire Garcia got the start for the Twins and was uncharacteristically wild. Garcia only lasted 2 innings and gave up 1 run on 1 hit along with an incredible 6 walks and 1 strikeout. There is nothing in Garcia's past that says that this is a problem so I have to believe this was a one time thing and Garcia will come back next time out with a much better outing. Brad Stillings then came on and went 3.2 innings and gave up 2 earned runs on 4 hits along with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts to bring his era down to 3.18. Edgar Ibarra then came on and pitched 1.2 scoreless innings on a hit along with 2 walks and a strikeout to bring his era down to 3.86. Kane Holbrooks then came in and pitched 2/3 of an inning and gave up a run on no hits along with a strikeout to bring his era up to 2.70. Billy Bulluck then came on and really struggled in this game. Bulluck gave up 2 runs although only 1 of them was earned on 2 hits along with 2 strikeouts to get his first win of the year and increased his era to 2.25.
- The Twins offense really bailed out the pitching in this one as they put up 8 runs on 9 hits. Jasmil Pinto led the offense by going 3-4 with his 3rd homerun of the year along with a double and drove in his 8th and 9th rbi's of the year to bring hsi average up to .273. Derek Mccallum went 2-4 with his 1st professional homerun to bring his average up to .188. Danny Rams continued his recent string of power numbers as he went 1-3 with his 4th homerun of the year and drove in 2 runs to bring his season total up to 15. Reggie Williams went 1-4 with his first homerun of the year. Chris Hermann and Tobias Streich added a hit apiece in the E-town victory last night.
- Tonight, the Twins continue their series with Bristol as Michael Munoz gets the start for Elizabethton