Saturday, August 23, 2008

E-Twins clinch, Apply League All-Star list released

GCL Twins

Elizabethton 12 at Danville 3

W: T. Wright (4-0, 3.20); L: P. Clemens (3-3, 3.39); SV: S. Blevins (1)
HR: None.

The Elizabethton Twins clinched their playoff berth Friday night with a resounding defeat of the Danville Braves.

Chris Shehan singled off Elizabethton starter Thom Wright in the bottom of the 2nd, then stole 2nd. A wild pitch by Wright moved Shehan to 3rd and Mike Elkerson doubled him in to give the Braves an early one run lead.

Nathan Hanson reached on a fielding error in the top of the 3rd. James Beresford laid down a sac-bunt, but a throwing error by Braves pitcher Paul Clemens sent Hanson to 3rd and Beresford to 1st. Dominic De La Osa singled, loading the bases. Nick Romero's follow up single scored Hanson. Jon Waltenbury sacrificed Beresford in, and one out later, a wild pitch by Clemens allowed De La Osa to score. Romero would be left stranded when Michael Harrington was called out on strikes.

Shehan again singled in the bottom of the sixth then stole 2nd base. With 2 outs on the board, Mike Elkerson singled. Elizabethton Field manager Ray Smith called for a pitching change, getting Steve Blevins onto the mound to replace Wright. Jesus Sucre singled off Blevins to plate Shehan, but the former GCL Twin then struck out L. V. Ware, leaving two men stranded.

Hanson took a walk in the top of the 7th with one out on the board. The Braves would bring Brandon Beachy in to replace Clemens, and Beresford greeted the new hurler with a single. De La Osa drew a walk. and a wild pitch by Beachy moved the pair. Romero sacrificing in Beresford to make it 4-2 Twins.

Evan Bigly would reach on a fielding error by Ware in the top of the 8th. Harrintong would single and a fielding error by Camilo Parra advanced the runners. Alex Soto singled out to left to drive in Bigley, and a wild pitch by Beachy put Harrington over the plate. Angel Morales would fly out to right and Hanson would be hit by a pitch before the Braves replaced Beachy with Derick Himpsi, who got Beresford to ground into a double play to retire the Twins.

Shehan would take a triple of Blevins in the bottom of the 8ths and come home on Parra's ground out. Blevins got Shayne Moody to ground out as well then struck out Mike Elkerson to send the Twins up to bat again.

With a 7-3 lead, De La Osa and Romero would take back-to-back walks to start the ninth. Waltenbury ground into a force out, that put runners at the corners. Evan Bigley reached on a fielder's choice, but the Braves could not make the play at the plate, and De La Osa scored. Harrington doubled in the the remaining runners to make it 10-3 Twins. Soto took a walk, and wild pitch by Himpsi put Harrington on 3rd. Morales then walked the bases full. Hanson reached on a force attempt that scored Harrington. De La Osa, batting around the order, took a walk as well to force in Soto to make the game 12-3. The Braves would have to call in pitcher Rico Reid to get Romero to pop out, getting them out of the bases loaded jam.

Romero was 2-for-4 at the plate with a walk and a pair of RBIs. Harrington was 2-for-5 with a double, two runs and two RBIs. De La Osa was 1-for-3 with 3 walks, a pair of runs and a run scored. Soto and Beresford were 1-for-4 each; Soto with a walk, a run and a run scored, a Beresford with a pair of runs.

The win was Wright's fourth, Blevins picked up the save, his first since his promotion from the GCL Twins.

In defeating the Braves, the Twins also allowed Pulaski to clinch, so the 2008 Appalachian League playoff match is now set.

Elizabethton faces Danville one more time on Saturday night with a 7:00 PM start, then hosts Princeton for a three game homestand to complete their regular season.

TriCity Sports
Danville Braves/OSC
MLN Raw Feed

The Elizabethton Twins dominated the Appalachian League's All-Star Team list, filling eight selections. Dan Osterbrock was named Pitcher of the Year. The University of Cincinnati product leads the league with 100 strikeouts and 73 innings pitched and ranks second with seven wins. The 21-year-old southpaw is 7-2 with a 3.08 ERA in a dozen starts, was named Pitcher of the Week on July 7 and has held opponents to a .239 batting average.

Osterbrock struck out 12 batters in consecutive starts on July 24-30. He's fanned at least 10 in five of his last seven starts, allowing 15 earned runs in that span.

GCL alumni Mark Hamburger was named Reliever of the Year; outfielders Evan Bigley and Angel Morales were named to the list as was first baseman Jon Waltenbury in the designed hitter role. Brad Tippett was also added to the All-star pitchers' list.

Elizabethton's Ryan Hedwell was named trainer of the year by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society.

Bigley ranks second in the league with 14 homers and 46 RBIs. He hit .394 in June and cemented his spot on the All-Star roster last week when he hit two homers and drove in five runs against Princeton.

Tippett opened eyes last season for the Twins with an 0.93 ERA. The Australian was 8-3 with a 2.63 ERA in 13 starts this season. Hamburger, a Minnesota native, has 13 saves and 39 strikeouts over 35 2/3 innings.

Morales was the Twins' third-round pick in 2007 and hit .313 in his second Minor League season with Elizabethton. The center fielder, who spent his first professional season with the GCL Twins, leads the Appy League with 15 homers to go with 28 RBIs.

Waltenbury, a 2006 seventh-rounder and member of the 2007 GCL Twins squad, is hitting .331 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs. (TriCities Sports)

DSL Twins 5 at DSL White Sox 1

W: C. Ciurcina (3-2, 3.68); L: Y. Rodriguez (2-2, 2.65)
HR: None.

The DSL Twins defeated the DSL White Sox while the DSL Indians did the Twins a favor, blanking the DSL Yankees2 to leave the Twins alone atop the DSL Boca Chica North Division.

The Twins wasted no time getting on the board as Wilfy Gil reached on a fielding error and made his way to 3rd base. Danny Santana sacrificed him in to put the Twins on the board. A fielding error by Lara would prove costly however, as Santana, who would have been safe at first tried to make it to second, but was take out at the base. Oswaldo Arcia doubled before Jairo Perez reached on a fielding error, moving Arcia to 3rd. Jairo Rodriguez singled Arcia home. A passed ball by Daniel Yepez moved the two runners. Eliel Sierra hit into a ground out, allowing Perez to score and giving the Twins a 3-0 lead.

The Sox took out back in the bottom of the inning with Jeffer Patinod doubling, then coming home on a Angel Ferreiras single.

The Twins answered back in the top of the 2nd however, as Yorby Martinez drew a walk to lead off. Yancarlo Franco would ground into a force out, but Gil was then hit by a pitch, moving Franco to 3nd. Sanatana singled, but Franco would be taken down at home leaving runners on 2nd and 3rd. Arcia singled to bring in Gil. Santana would try to come home as well, but was taken down at the plate, sending the Sox up to bat again.

No worries though. Cesar Ciurcina would hold the White Sox to only 4 hits over five innings while striking out six. Renzi Reveroi took over for the next two allowing 2 hits and walk and striking out 4. Jhonny Garcia struck out 2 in the 8th inning.

Ronny Juma would be on the mound for the Twins in the top of the 9th and would take Manuel Soliman and Martinez out on strikes before walking Franco, who then stole 2nd. Gil then tripled him in for an extra marker before Santana popped out, putting the Twins defensive unit back into play.

Edison Alvarez used three quick outs to end the game.

If the Twins can defeat the Indians on Saturday at Baseball City, or if both the Twins and the Yankees2 drop their final games, the Twins, who have won their last six, will clinch their playoff berth.


Miracle rained out, Rock Cats slip by Aeros

New Britain Rock Cats

Friday's game between the Fort Myers Miracle and the Lakeland Flying Tigers has been postponed. The two teams will attempt to play a doubleheader on Wednesday, in Fort Myers, beginning at 5:05 PM.

Thundershowers through out the day made field at Joker Marchant Stadium unplayable.

The Miracle now travel to Clearwater although I'm sure they'd find place called "clear weather" more to their liking. The three-contest set against the Thresher is their last road series of the regular season. Lefty Spencer Steedley (1-3, 7.83) will take the start against Threshers right hander Drew Naylor (2-7, 5.63).

Akron 2 at New Britain 3

W: K. Aselton (6-6, 4.78); L: R. Edell (6-8, 3.96); SV: R. Delaney (3)
HR: NBR: D. Winfree (19).

The New Britain Rock Cats took a one run lead over the Akron Aeros in the bottom of the fifth, and hung through 3 1/2 more innings to pick up a win at New Britain Stadium.

The top of the 4th saw the Indians AA farm team jump to a two run lead. Stephen Head singled on a line drive and Matthew Whitney doubled. Back-to-back singles to Bronson Sardinha and Damaso Espino brought in the pair of runners. Nathan Panther would move the pair left on base with a sac bunt, but Jarad Head popped out and Josh Rodriguez struck out to retire the side.

Kyle Aselton would work six innings for the Rock Cats, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and a pair of walks while fanning 4 to pick up the win.

David Winfree doubled in the bottom of the inning. Following a strike out to Dustin Martin, Danny Berg would reach on a throwing error as Winfree advanced to 3rd. Toby Gardenhire would go down on strikes, but Rocky Palacios singled to score Winfree.

With two outs on the board in the bottom of the fifth, Danny Valencia would double Aeros' starter Ryan Edell. Winfree then launched his 19th home run of the season over the center field wall to give the Rock Cats two more runs.

Zach Ward would work 1.1 innings of relief for the Cats, giving way to Jose Mijares in the top of the 8th. Mija would strike out Panther in the top of the 9th, but walked J-Head. Rodriguez struck out swinging as well. The Cats then put Rob Delaney on the mound for the final pitch, as he got Brandon Pinckney to fly out to pick up only his 3rd AA save.

Winfree finished up 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and a pair of RBIs. Matt Tolbert, Steve Tolleson, Valencia, and Martin were all 1-for-4, Tolleson and Martin with doubles, Valencia with a double and a run. Palacios was 1-for-3, with a RBI.

The two teams rematch on Saturday for a 7:05 game.

Rock cats/OSC

* In Triple-A play, the Rochester Red Wings topped the Pawtucket Red Sox 5-1 at Frontier Field. Former Miracle Garrett Jones knocked his 21st home run of the season over the left field wall in the top of the 5th.

* Burlington again came way with a win against the Beloit Snappers, a 4-2 victory. Shooter Hunt surrendered all 4 runs on six hits and five (!) walks while fanning 3 over four innings. It was his 3rd loss in a Snappers Uniform. (Bees)

* Team USA gave up six runs in the 9th inning, leading to a 10-2 loss in Olympic play for the boys wearing the Red, White and Blue. This lands them in the bronze medal game against Japan, which is scheduled for 10:30 PM on Friday Night. (USA Baseball)

* The Jays clinched the their playoff berth by routing Tampa 11-0 on Friday. A.J. Wideman worked six innings for the Jays. Despite their playoff record against the Fort Myers Miracle, Dunedin has never won a FSL championship. (

* Danny Valencia, Steve Tolleson, Dustin Martin, Rob Delaney, Anthony Slama and Tim Lahey will all play for Red Wings' field manager Stan Cliburn in this year's Arizona Fall League. Cliburn was earlier named manager of the Twins affiliated Pheonix Desert Dogs.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rain forces game cancelations in final week of GCL play

Fort Myers Miracle

Continued thundershowers in the wake of Hurricane Fay saw the start of cancellations for Gulf Coast League teams as they enter their final weekend of play.

Games between the GCL Blue Jays and GCL Tigers, and GCL Yankees and GCL Phillies were both cancelled.

The double header between the Indians and Braves was postponed at was the game between the GCL Marlins and the GCL Nationals. The game between the Orioles and Reds Sox was suspended, and is scheduled to resume on Wednesday, August 27, which would make back-to-back double headers for Boston, as they are schedule to play two against the GCL Twins on Tuesday.

The Dodgers and the Cardinals got 8 innings in, with the Dodgers leading 11-2 at the time, claiming the win in the rain shortened contest.

In Bradenton, the GCL Reds defeated the GCL Pirates, holding them to a one game lead over the Twins. The Phillies are leading in the North Division and the Dodgers in the East, but Nationals are just half a game behind.

The idle Twins continue to lead the wild card race by a wide margin. Right now, it looks like the Twins will end up playing the Pirates in the single-game elimination round of the GCL playoffs.

After two days off, the boys should be ready to rock the Pirates tomorrow morning in Bradenton!

Joe Testa's second start for the GCL Twins did not go as well as his first. Testa started Wednesday's game in Lakeland against the Flying Tigers and gave up 6 runs, five earned on 6 hits and 3 walks while fanning 3.

Even so, the rookie's done will after taking a walk across the parking lot.

There was still a nice article - or at least a part of it, in the Brick Township Bulletin about him.

"I jumped over two levels — Advanced Rookie and Low A," Testa was quoted as saying the article. "It's exciting, and I got my first start."

It should be noted however that in these cases where a prospect is moved in an emergency call up situation, they rarely stay at the same level for the following year.

Yangervis Solarte stayed with Fort Myers for quite a while at the mid-season mark before being reassigned to Low A Beloit to finish off the year. Jeff Manship, who started his career with the Miracle in 2006, was sent to Beloit in 2007 to begin the season.

Still Testa pitched well, but will have to learn to switch up his pitches more. While the fastball and the cutter worked the first time out, the seasoned FSL pitchers will tell you that at least 3 pitches are needed - including the off speed change up - to be successful at the High A level.

Photos of Testa making his FSL debut are available now on our sister site at

Fay dropped a lot of rain on southwest Florida, but left little damage or flooding in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral areas. My mother seemed let down that wasn't wading around in water up to my waste after seeing the devastation in other parts of the state on TV.

However, we're all fine, as is the ballpark and we're all ready to play a little hardball, just as soon as the Thunderstorms stop.

For former GCL Twin Loek van Mil, pitching in the Olympics was a huge honor. However, the tall Dutchman didn't even get into one game, as he suffered a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament during a bullpen session in China. He left the site of the Olympics to return to the Twin Cities to be checked by team doctors.

Van Mil had been with the Low A Beloit Snappers before leaving for the Olympics. He enjoyed a a good deal of success in the league after being prompted to throw as hard as he could, increasing his velocity to 94-95 miles an hour from his previous 87 miles per hour.

The 7'1" right hander received a good deal of media coverage with the Snappers this year as the tallest player in professional baseball. A strange twist of fate landed him on the team with shortstop Chris Cates, who at 5'3" is the shortest player in professional baseball.

Van Mil was a starter for the GCL Twins in 2006. He was moved back to the bullpen to start the 2007 season with short season Elizabethton and has prospered in the reliever's role.

DSL Orioles 6 at DSL Twins 12

W: L. Parra (6-1, 1.48); L: J. Sosa (0-2, 9.43)
HR: None.

The host DSL Twins doubled up the DSL Orioles Thursday morning, take a huge 12-6 win over the visiting team.

The Orioles would get on the board first, taking six runs, only 2 earned, on six hits from starter Adrian Salcedo, who fanned 3 over 2 innings.

A pair of passed balled by catcher Jhonatan Arias and a fielding error by centerfielder Wilfy Gil contributed to the unearned runs.

The Twins would strike back in the bottom of the fourth, with Oswaldo Arcia doubling, and then advancing to 3rd on a fielding error. Jairo Perez sacrificed him in to put the Twins on the board. Jean Carlos Mercedes singled, and Eliel Sierra double to put runners in scoring position. Rafael Sanchez would be called out on strikes, but Juan Blanco reached on a fielding error which also scored Mercedes. Yorby Martinez would single in Sierra before Gil ground into a force out to end the inning.

Danny Santana would get hit by a pitch in the bottom of the 5th. A wild pitch from the Orioles' Julio Sanchez moved Santana to 2nd. Arcia would fly out, but Perez would get plunked by a pitch next. Another wild pitch from Sanchez advanced the pair of runners. Mercedes would take walk to load the bases. Sierra singled to drive in Santana before Isreal Sosa came in to replace the struggling Sanchez, getting two quick outs to preserve the O's lead.

The Twins had other ideas however. Martinez and Gil would draw back-to-back walks to start the inning, prompting another pitching change. This time Jose Sosa took over the mound. Santana greeted him with single which combined with a fielding error, scored Martinez and put Gil on 3rd. Aracia's grounder to center plated Arcia for the tying run. A wild pitch from Sosa advanced the two runners before Perez reached on a fielding error that also allowed Santana to score. Mercedes ground out plated Arcia before Sierra would be hit by pitch. Pinch hitter Jairo Rodriguez singled to load up the bags again. William Princivil would be brought in to get the O's out of their jam, but unleashed a wild pitch instead, sending Perez over the plate. He would then get Blanco out on strikes before Martinez flew out to end the inning with the Twins leading 9-6.

A triple by Santana added another pair of runs in the 7th while a double by Martinez and a pair of wild pitches made it an even dozen in the 8th.

Raynard Doran and Leonardo Parra tossed six hitless innings for the Twins, with Parra picking up the win, his sixth of the season.

With the Win, the Twins tie up the DSL Yankees2 for the top spot in the B.C. North Division. There are two more games remaining as the Twins visit the DSL White Sox on Friday and host the DSL Indians on Sunday to finish off the season.


Fort Myers clubs Tigers, 8-1

Fort Myers Miracle

Fort Myers 8 at Lakeland 1

W: A. Burnett (8-5, 3.92); L: J. Nickerson (11-4, 3.88)
HR: FTM: J. Portes (11). LAK: J. Justice (10).

Edward Ovalle Justin Justice knocked a solo shot fly ball over the right field wall for his 10th home run of the year, but that was all the Lakeland Flying Tigers would get, as Alex Burnett turned in a stellar performance on the mound for the Fort Myers Miracle.

Justice's yarder came in the top of the 3rd. Burnett would scatter five hits and one walk over six innings while fanning a career-high 10 to keep the Tigers caged. Carlos Gutierrez worked a pair of innings in relief, givng up 1 hit and Anthony Slama worked the final inning, allowing one hit and striking out 3.

Fort Myer's was feeling feisty after several days of rest and continued the slug fest the Flying Tigers had started the day before.

Juan Portes led off by hitting a ground rule double to center field. Johnny Woodard singled him in to give the Miracle one.

Danny Santiesteban singled in the top of the 3rd and stole 2nd base. Woodard took a walk before Wilson Ramos' line drive single plated Santiesteban. Edward Ovalle then doubled in Woodard to make it 3-0, Fort Myers.

That's when Hurricane Justin hit, but much like Fay's passage through the Southwest Florida area, he didn't do much damage.

Portes would take the run back in the top of the fourth, hitting a fly ball over the left field fence for his 11th home run of 2008.

Woodard doubled in the top of the 5th. Back-to-back singles by Wilson Ramos and Edward Ovalle brought him home. Zach Simons would be summoned for the bull pen at that point to replace starter Jonah Nickerson. He would get Tintor to pop out and Garrett Olson to hit into a double play to leave the two Miracle runners stranded.

Simons kept the Miracle bats quiet until he was replace on the mound in the top of the eighth by Lester Oliveros. Oliveros allowed a walk to Juan Portes, but did not allow a hit...

Until the ninth inning. Woodard took a double to lead off and Ramos doubled as well. Ovalle smacked his 10th triple of the season out to center field, and Eli Tintor sacrificed him in. That gave the Miracle their eight, as Olson popped out and Lehmann ground out to retire the Miracle.

Juan Portes Louis Ott tripled off Slama to lead off the bottom of the 9th, but Slama found three straight strikes to keep him at 3rd as he ended the contest.

Portes and Woodard were both 3-for-4 with walks, Portes with 2 runs and a RBI, and Woodard with a pair of doubles, three runs and a RBI. Portes would fall a triple shy of the cycle, hitting a single, a double and a home run in the contest.

Wilson Ramos went 4-for-5 at the plate with a run and 2 RBIs. Ovalle had the triple that Portes needed, and went 3-for-5 at the plate, but lacked the home run for the cyle. He'd end up with one run and 3 RBIs. Ortiz as 1-for-4 and shared the game's one hit wonder role with Danny Lehmann who was 1-for-5, as was Santiesteban, who also had a run.

Both Tintor and Santiesteban fell one strike out short of the Golden Sombrero, and left the park without a prize. (Better luck next time, kids!)

The rubber match of the 3-game set will be played Friday at 7:00 PM unless Fay has found some more rain to dump on us. (Don't you just hate weepy little girls?) Freddy Garcia (0-0, 0.00) will start the game for the Tigers on a major league rehab, while Spencer Steedley (1-3, 7.83) will attempt to throw his second straight gem for the Miracle.

News Press
Take I-75 North Blog

* Thursday's GCL game was rained out and will be made up on Tuesday, the final day of the GCL season. The GCL Twins continue to hold on to the wild card slot, while the GCL Pirates defeated the GCL Orioles, to move to 1.5 games head of the Twins in the standings. The Twins play at home Sunday with a double header against the Orioles set for an 11:00 AM start time. (Yes, Brett, I'll be trying to graph the O's. At least a few of the boys.)

* The Rock Cats fell 6-3 to Erie in New Britain. Yohan Pino took the loss. Danny Berg made his AA debut, going 1-for-4 at the plate. Matt Tolbert, on rehab, finished off 2-for-4 with a double and a run.

* The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees slipped by Rochester, 8-7. Alejandro Machado went 3-for-5 at the plate with a run and 2 RBIs for the Red Wings.

* The Burlington Bees downed the Beloit Snappers, 6-2. Henry Reyes suffered the loss. Ben Revere had the night off, so Estarlin De Los Santos when 3-for-5 for Beloit with a RBI to make for it. Former Miracle Yangervis Solarte was 2-for-5 at the plate, while former GCL alumni Andrew Schmiesing was 2-for-3 with a walk, a run and a RBI on the night. (Recap)

* Team USA defeated team Japan 4-2 in the 11th inning , concluding the round-robin portion of the competition with a 5-2 record. They advance to the medal round and will meet Cuba in the second semifinal with the first pitch set for 6:00 PM Friday on the Wukesong Main Field. Recap)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tigers tear up Miracle pitching

Justin Justice

Fort Myers 7 at Lakeland 9

W: R. Weinhardt (3-1, 1.84); L: O. Sosa (2-2, 5.57); SV: R. Perry (4)
HR: FTM: S. Singleton (4).

The Lakeland Flying Tigers out slugged the Fort Myers Miracle as they feasted on Southwest Florida's pitching, taking a 9-7 win at Joker Marchant Stadium.

At least the bat of reigning FSL offensive player of the week, Michael Bertram, was relatively quite, as he didn't put anything over the fence. He did finish 2-for-5 however, with a double, a run and run batted in.

The Miracle got on the board first however, as Juan Portes took a single from Lakeland starter Duane Below. One out later, Portes would advance to 2nd on a balk. Wilson Ramos then singled him in, giving the Miracle one.

They made it 2 in the top of the 3rd with Steve Singleton putting his 4th home run of the season over the right field wall.

Rookie pitcher Joe Testa took the start and made it through the first two inning with nothing more than a walk to Brennan Boesch. His luck would run out in the third however.

He lead off with a walk to Brandon Timm and gave up a single to Jeff Kunkel. A passed ball by Wilson Ramos advanced the runners. Justin Justice then tripled to bring in the pair. A Louis Ott single plated Justice. Testa then got Bertram and Cale Iorg out on strikes, but allowed a triple to Boesch that drove in Ott. Jeremy Laster also knocked a triple out to center, to send Boesch over the plate. Jordan Lennerton would ground out however, getting Testa out of the inning.

The Miracle Bats were up the task however, as Whit Robbins walked in the top of the 4th, Edward Ovalle singled Robbins to 3rd and Johnny Woodard walked the bags full. A force attempt failed when Ott misfielded the ball, allowing Garrett Olson to reach and Robbins to score. Eli Tintor doubled two more in. The Tigers would take Below off the mound, bringing Ramon Garcia out of the bullpen. Yancarlos Ortiz ground out, plating Olson in the process to put the Miracle up by one. Juan Portes would walk and Singleton would be hit by a pitch to load up the bases again, but Wilson Ramos ground into a double play, retiring the side.

While it's usually 3-strikes, not 3-triples and you're out, in this came, it was the later as Testa came out and Ozzie Sosa went in for the Miracle. Timm tripled off the Venezuelan, but he'd then get Kunkel, Justice and Ott out on strikes to strand him.

Bertram doubled off Sosa in the bottom of the 5th home and Iorg singled him in, tying up the game. Boesch and Laster both ground out before Sosa walked Lennerton. Timm then struck out swinging.

Kunkel would walk to start the bottom of the sixth and advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch. Justice then walked as well. Jeff Smith didn't wait for Sosa to get this walk-fest into full swing, fetching Jose Lugo from the bullpen. But it was the wrong Jose Lugo! Lugo's throwing error allowed Ott to reach on a sac-bunt, for a bases load situation. Bertram singled in Kunkel. After Lugo got Iorg out on strikes. Boesch would ground into a force out that scored Justice. Laster then ground out,sending the Miracle to the plate again.

It was a somewhat wasted exercise as Robbie Weinhardt kept Fort Myers as quiet in the 7th as he had in the sixth.

Jeff Smith would try David Shinskie next. A fielding error by Ortiz allowed Lennerton to reach. Timm would advance him on a ground out, and Kunkel doubled to send Lennerton home, to give the Tigers nine.

The Miracle would try a brief rally in the top of the 9th, with Tintor tripling off Ryan Perry. Ortiz then singled him, but Perry took Portes down on strikes and got Singleton to fly out. Ramos then struck out to end the contest.

Tintor finished up 2-for-3 at the plate with with a walk, a double and a triple, a run and a pair of runs scored. Portes would end u 2-for-4 on the night with walk and arun. Singledon, Ovalle, and Ortiz were all 1-for-4, Sing with the home run, Ovalle with a run, and Ortiz with a pair of RBIs. Ramos ended up 1-for-5 with a RBI.

Robbins was 0-for-2 with a pair of walks and a run, as was Woodard. Olson was 0-for-4 with a run and a RBI.

Sosa took the loss, his second of the season, ending up allowing 3 runs, 2 earned on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4. Testa would allow 5 runs on 5 hits and two walks while fanning 4 over three.

The two teams rematch tomorrow with Jonah Nickerson (11-3, 3.66) throwing out the first pitch at 7:00 PM, weather permitting. Alex Burnett (7-5, 4.03) will get the ball for the Miracle.

News Press
Take I-75 North Blog

* Danny Berg was promoted to the New Britain Rock Cats on Monday. Joining him was former Miracle and current Minnesota Twin Matt Tolbert to start his rehab assignment. Tolbert had indicated that he'd be joining the Miracle for their last home stand, but Tropical Storm Fay was one of the factors deciding the change of plans. But the same token, Alexi Casilla was sent to Beloit to rehab. He was activated off the DL Wednesday night, while Brian Bass was outrighted to Rochester to make room for him on the Minnestoa roster.

* The Rock Cats are hosting the Tigers AA affiliate, the Erie Sea Wolves. They lost for the first time in six game, 5-2. Dustin Martin, Danny Valencia, Felix Molina and Brian Dinkelman had one hit each for the Rock Cats while Ryan Roberson, Jeff Frazier and Diek Scram had multi-hit games for the Seas Wolves. Frank Mata took the loss, his first at the AA level.

* The Rock Cats extended their affiliation with Minnesota through 2010. The Twins also acquired minor league outfield Joe Gaetti, the 26-year old son of Minnesota Twins' Hall-of-Famer Gary Gaetti, in a deal with Oakland and assigned him to New Britain. He replaced Brock Peterson on the Rock Cats roster.

* The Rochester Red Wings defeated the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Former Miracle Anthony Swarzak is now 4-0 at the AAA level. Luke Hughes and Trevor Plouffe were both 2-for-4 in the game, Hughes with two runs, Plouffe with one.

* The Beloit Snappers were idle last night. Elizabethton topped Princeton in Appalachia League action. First baseman Jon Waltenbury had a pair of home runs in the game, upping his season total to 10. Dan Osterbrock took the win, his 7th professional victory.

* The Miracle host their annual Charity Golf Classic on Sunday, August 24th at Pelican Preserve. For more information or to register for the Charity Golf Classic, please call Terry Simon at 239-768-4210.

* Picture of Joe Testa and Spencer Steedley are now available in our online Photo Gallery.

* And finally the price gougers fine folks at Yahoo have decided to up their website hosting by $4.00 a month for this site. If it wasn't such a PIA to move, I'd find a cheaper alternative. Instead I've shut down my Everblades site - as I wasn't doing anything with it anyway - and my personal site - another project that fell by wayside. The end result is that Yahaoo will get less, not more, money from me per month.

GCL Twins blank GCL Reds

Hyeung-rok Choi

GCL Twins 3 at GCL Reds 0

W: A. Sanchez (3-3, 3.26); L: L. Machuca (1-2, 4.15); SV: K. Mota (11)
HR: None.

Tyler Ladendorf Angelo Sanchez and three relievers held the GCL Reds to a total of 4 hits and a pair of walks over nine innings as the Twins blanked the Reds 3-0 at the City of Sarasota Complex.

All three Twins runs came in the top of the 3rd inning, which started with a Herbert Lara ground out. Aaron Hicks and Juan Sanchez hit back-to-back singles. A walk to Danny Ortiz loaded the bags. Mike Gonzales would sacrifice in Hicks before Hyeong-rok Choi singled to drive in the remaining two runners. Tyler Ladendorf's fly out ended the inning.

Three of the Reds for hits were for extra bases with Mauricio Pimentel tripling the bottom of the 3rd, but the Reds could not convert on any of their chances.

Jean Mijares, Mike Tonkin and Kelvin Mota combined to hold the Reds hitless over the last three. It was Sanchez's 3rd win of the season; Mota earned his 11th save.

The Twins had 10 hits in the game, but the tight Reds defense kept them at bay. A double to Juan Sanchez and a walk to Gonzales had runners at 2nd and 3rd in the top of the 1st, but with 2 outs on the board, Red's starter Luis Machuca would get Rok to strike out.

A walk to Danny Ortiz would be followed by Gonzales getting plunked by a pitch in the top of the 5th. Sanchez had stuck out to start the inning and Rok would strike out before Tyler Ladendorf drew a walk, but Bryan Gardner finish by getting Danny Rohlfing out on strikes.

Ladendorf would single off Efrain Rodriguez in the top of the 8th, and advance to 3rd on a Lara single. The speedy Venezuelan would then steal 2nd but Aaron Hicks would hit into a ground out, again getting the Reds out of a jam.

Kelvin Mota Ladendorf had another strong day at the plate going 2-for-3 with a walk, despite not figuring into the scoring. Hicks and Sanchez both finished up 2-for-5 with a run each, Sanchez with a double as well. Ortiz, Rok, Jakub Hajtmar, and Lara were all 1-for-4, Ortiz with a walk and a run, and Rok with a pair of RBIs.

The Pirates defeated the Red Sox 4-1, so the the win did not pick up any points in the standings for the Fort Myers squad, as they continue to trail the Bucs by one game. The other three teams in the division have been eliminated from the play picture. In the North Division, with seven (six) games left to play, the GCL Phillies lead the GCL Braves by 4.5 games.

In the East Division, the Dodgers and the Nationals are duking it out for the title with identical records. The deciding game between the two was postponed by afternoon showers at Dodgertown.

Fort Myers continues to lead the wild card race.

The Twins return home now to face the Red Sox at the Lee County Sportsplex. Thursday's game begins at Noon. Tuesday game against the Orioles will be made up on Sunday as part of a double header the Lee County Sportsplex, starting at 11:00 AM.

Reds Minor Leagues Blog
Red Leg Nation Blog

Angel Morales

Elizabethton's Angel Morales, an alumni of 2007 GCL Squad, was named the Appalachian Leagues' Offensive Player of the Week. The Puerto Rican center fielder started his week in lackluster fashion going 0-for-7 in the first two games. However, in his next four games, Morales would be dynamic as he has so often been with the E-Twins this season. Morales would club an extra-base hit in each of the team's final four games on the week and at least one homer in the final three games. His best outing came on Sunday, during which he hit a pair of shots giving him seven runs scored for the week. Minnesota's 3rd pick, 122nd over all in the 2007 first year players draft, Morales has done an admirable job crossing the plate with the Twins, especially in August, during which he has scored in all but one game.

DSL Twins 5 at DSL Diamondbacks 1

W: R. Reverol (4-2, 3.21); L: F. Santana (0-2, 6.65); SV: L. Vargas (2)
HR: DSL TWI: O. Arcia (4).

The DSL Twins scored early and put in some great defensive work against the DSL Diamondbacks to pick up another road win, this time 5-1.

Jair Perez lead off with a double in the top of the 2nd, and moved to 3rd on Eliel Sierra's single. A throwing error on a pickoff attempt saw Perez score and Sierra advance to 3rd. Manuel Soliman would pop out, but Lesther Galvan reached on a fielding error, which also allowed Sierra to score. Randy Pina and Carlos Vasquez would both ground out, letting the Diamondbacks have a turn at bat.

Wifly Gil singled in the top of the 3rd, then stole 2nd. A catching error by the Diamondbacks' Adonys Canelo at short advanced Gil to 3rd. Diamondbacks' starter Frank Santana then unleashed a wild pitch, scoring Gil. Yancarlos Franco pop out before Oswaldo Arcia hit a solo shot home run over the center field fence, making it 4-0 Twins. Perez doubled, then stole 3rd. Sierra would draw a walk, and Santana would take a walk to the dugout, being replaced on the Diamondbacks' mound by Eury De La Rosa. Soliman ground into a force out that took Sierra out at 2nd and scored Perez. Soliman would then caught stealing in a pitch off attempt by De La Rosa to retire the Twins.

Eliencer Cardenas worked the first three for the Twins before giving way to Renzo Revorol for the next trio of innings. Lesmir Vargas would take over in the bottom of the 7th and would allow the only Diamondbacks run in the bottom of the 8th. A fielding error in left by Arcia contributed to the run, making it unearned.

It was Reverol's 4th win of the season, and Vargas' 2nd save.

Arcia would finish up 2-for-3 at the plate with the yard ball. Perez was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs. Jhonatan Arias was 1-for-2 at the plate but did not factor into the scoring. Sierra was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run. Gil batted 1-for-4 with a run.

The DSL Twins move into 2nd place in the B.C. North Division, one game behind the DSL Yankees2. I don't know the playoff format for the league, but given the explosion of participants in both the North and South Divisions which left the Venezuelan League nearly bereft of teams, thre is most likely a wild card slot available.

With 3 games left to play, perhaps we shall find out. The Twins host the DSL Orioles on Thursday for a 10:30 AM Dominican time game.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rock Cats Make 2 Roster Moves

Danny Berg

New Britain Rock Cat's Press Release

Rock Cats of the Eastern League announced two roster moves this morning, and one involves the Minnesota Twins sending INF Matt Tolbert to the Hardware City for a Major League rehabilitation assignment. The other move brings 23-year-old C/INF Danny Berg to the Rock Cats from Ft. Myers in the Florida State League.

Related details:

INF Matt Tolbert, a 26-year-old Mississippi State product who was a member of the 2008 Minnesota Twins before being disabled with a torn ligament in his left thumb, will join the Rock Cats today from the Twins extended training facility in Florida. The 6'0"/185-pound Tolbert began the year in Minnesota and appeared in 30 games, batting .265, before going to the DL on May 15th. A 16th Round pick by Minnesota in the 2004 Draft, the hard-nosed Tolbert's versatility allowed him to play three different infield positions during his 2008 stint with the Twins. No stranger to New Britain, Tolbert played in 72 games for the 2006 Rock Cats and batted .258.

C/INF Danny Berg, a 23-year-old native of Melbourne, Australia, is joining the Rock Cats today from Ft. Myers in the Single-A, Florida State League. Currently in his fourth season of pro ball, the right-handed hitting 6'0"/200-pounder has appeared in 67 games for Ft. Myers in 2008. He departs Florida with a .279 BA, which included 8 Doubles, 2 Triples, 6 HRs and 22 RBI. Berg is also a versatile player, capable of serving as the Rock Cats' Catcher, should an emergency arise that makes that necessary.

Oh, that's just great. Here we are in the playoffs and they're moving players up to a team that's got nothing left to play for. Meanwhile, we can't get any reinforcements that weren't on the roster as of August 15th. Great, just freakin' great. Good luck Bergie! We shall miss you!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Twins beat storm, Pirates in Bradenton

Jose Mijares

GCL Pirates 2 at GCL Twins 8

W: J. Mijares (1-2, 3.93); L: G. Alvarado (4-2, 3.43); SV: M. Mopas (1)
HR: TWI: A. Hicks (4), D. Ortiz (2), H. Lara (1).

Juan Sanchez The GCL Twins used home field advantage at the Pirates complex and 10 hits to win 8-2 against their South Division rival. The game was moved to Bradenton due to the stormy conditions in Fort Myers as the Lee County Sportsplex and the surrounding area prepared for the arrival of Tropical Storm Fay.

The Pirates came out of the gate like a baby hurricane with Adenson Chourio singling off starter Jean Mijares. Ben Gonzalez would strike out, but Chourio stole 2nd and Jarek Cunningham doubled him in. Edward Garcia's ground out advanced the runner and Carlos Silva's ground ball single to center brought him in.

Aaron Hicks homered in the bottom of the inning to cut the Pirates lead in half. Danny Ortiz would follow suite in the bottom of the 4th, to tie up the game. Both balls went over the right field fence, helped by storm brought winds.

Josmir Pinto singled and then moved ot 2nd on Jakub Hajtmar's sac bunt. Juan Sanchez doubled him in. Herbert Lara made use to the wind to put his first home run of the year over the right field fence, scoring two. The Pirates were starting to hate that fence. Following a bunt out to Hicks and a single to Anderson Hidalgo, the Pirates would switch pitchers bringing in Ivan Herrera-Rusova to temporarily quell the Twins' fun.

Mike Gonzales The top of the seventh would see Sanchez double and Lara reach on Cunningham's throwing error. Hicks would take a walk, loading the bags. Hidalgo flew out and Ortiz struck out, but Mike Gonazales tripled to clean off the bases making it 8-2 Twins.

Mijares would work six inning allowing 2 runs, earned on five hits and a walk. Ian Mopas finished off, allowing just one hit and a pair of walks while fanning two over three innings.

Sanchez would finish off 2-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, two runs and a RBI. Ortiz and Gonzales went 2-for-4 at th plate, Ortiz with a run and a RBI as one of the game's three yard birds, and Gonzales with a triple and 3 RBIs. Hicks was 1-for-3 with a walk, a pair of runs, and a RBI. Hidalgo, Pinto and Lara were each 1-for-4, Pinto with a run, Lara with 2 runs and 2 RBI, leaving Hidalgo to be the one hit wonder of the game.

Tuesday's game against the GCL Orioles has been postponed due to Tropical Storm Fay. Wednesday's game again the Reds will be a game day decision based on the condition of the fields following the storm.


DSL Twins 5 at DSL Yankees2

W: J. Garcia (3-0, 2.79); L: J. Arias (5-4, 3.12); SV: E. Alvarez (13)
HR: None.

After three days off, the DSL Twins were a little slow coming out the gate, but finished up strong, pulling out a 5-3 win over the DSL Yankees2 on the road.

Orlando Villaroel took the start for the Twins and saw Eduardo Sosa reach on a fielding error by shortstop Carlos Vasquez. Jhorge Liccien then singled to advance Sosa to 3rd. Kelvin De Leon would fly out before Reymond Nunez reached on a fielder's choice that took Sosa out at home. Henry Pena followed that up with a double however, that plated Liccien, giving the Yankees2 one run. Villaroel would then take Jose Toussen down on strikes to end the innings.

Liccien doubled in the bottom of the 3rd and came home on De Leon's follow up single, which game the home team a two run lead.

Villaroel worked five, allowing the 2 runs, only one earned on 7 hits while striking out 3. Johnny Garcia would take over the mound in the sixth inning.

In the bottom of the 7th Juan Rijo singled then moved to 2nd on Keny Rodriguez's ground out. A wild pitch by Garcia put him on 3rd. Sosa would strike out, but Liccien doubled to drive him in, giving the Yankees2 a 3-0 lead.

Elvin Orozco would take over the mound for the Yankees2 in the top of the 8th. With two outs on the board, Felix Caro and Jhonatan Arias hit back-to-back singles for the Twins. Wilfy Gil's fly ball single then plated Caro, to give the Twins 1 and spoil the Yankees2 shut out bid.

It would be spoiled even further in the top of the 9th, when Oswaldo Arcia doubled and advanced to 3rd on a fielding error by Sosa in center. Jairo Perez would go down on strikes but Eliel Sierra singled, driving in Arcia. This triggered a pitching change with Justo Arias taking the Yankees2 mound. He'd issue a walk to Rafael Sanchez to start. The Twins would insert a couple of pinch runners, with Yancarlo Franco taking over for Sierra and Juan Blanco taking Sanchez's place on the base paths. Jean Carlos Mercedes lined out, but Danny Santana, coming in as a pinch hitter for Caro tripled to drive in two, giving the Twins the lead. Arias's single plated Santana to finish off the scoring.

Edison Alvarez blanked the Yankees2 in the bottom of the inning to pick up his 13th save of the season.

Arias was 2-for-4 at the plate with a RBI, Gil was 2-for-5 with a RBI. Arica, Perez and Sierra were all 1-for-4, Arcia with a double and a run, Perez with a double and Sierra with a RBI.

The DSL Twins host the DSL Rockies on Tuesday for a 10:30 am Dominican time contest. They are tied for 2nd in the North Division, trailing the DSL Yankees2 by one game with five left to play.


Tropical Storm Fay 1, Fort Myers 0

Fort Myers Miracle

Monday's game between the Sarasota Red and the Fort Myers Miracle at Ed Smith Stadium was canceled as weather conditions deteriorated in the area due to Tropical Storm Fay.

Fay is expected make landfall in the Fort Myers area on Tuesday around 8:00 AM. She is expected to be packing winds of up to 95 miles per hour, at Category One Hurricane.

As this was the last game between the two teams scheduled for the 2008 season, it will not be made up. The Reds win the 19-game season series, 11 games to 8.

The Florida State League takes a scheduled day off on Tuesday, the Miracle return on action on Wednesday against the Lakeland Flying Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. First pitch is due for 7:00 PM.

This is the final road trip of the 2008 season. Fort Myers returns home on Tuesday, August 26th for their final regular season home stand.

Tickets for the playoffs are now on sale. All prices remain the same as for regular season seating. Season Ticket holder have until September 2nd to reserve their same location seat for the playoff series. Contact Justin Stecz at (239) 768-4210 to reserve your seat for the first round of the Florida State League playoffs today!

Alexi Casilla to Join Snappers for Rehab Stint

Beloit Snappers Press Release

Minnesota Twins' second baseman Alexi Casilla will be in uniform for the Snappers on Monday as they take on the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Casilla will join the Snappers for a short rehab assignment that could land him back with the big league club as early as Wednesday.

Alexi has been on the 15-day DL since July 29th with a torn ligament in his right thumb. The second baseman originally thought he was done for the year after injuring his thumb against the Chicago White Sox.

In 62 games this season, Alexi is hitting .313 with 15 doubles, four homers and 39 RBIs. Casilla is slugging .424 with just 25 strikeouts in 243 at-bats.

Along with Casilla joining the squad, the Snappers have placed infielder Paul Kelly back on the disabled list with a knee injury.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Miracle rout Reds in Sara

Steve Singleton

Fort Myers 15 at Sarasota 2

W: M. Fox (7-6, 3.55); L: R. Gonzalez (5-10, 6.85)
HR: FTM: J. Portes (10), J. Woodard (5).

The Fort Myers Miracle made short work of Rafael Gonzalez, taking 9 runs, 8 earned, from the Sarasota Reds starter in route to a 15-2 drubbing at Ed Smith Stadium.

Steve Singleton led off in the first with a line drive to center with one out on the board. Danny Berg Singled and Johnny Woodard took a walk to load up the bags. After a pop out to Edward Ovalle, Eli Tintor drew walk to force in Singleton. Garrett Olson then doubled to clean off the plates before Danny Lehmann ground out to end the inning.

Matt Fox would blank the Reds through seven innings of work, scattering six hits and a pair of walks while striking out 5. Following a ground out to Jose Castro, Carson Kainer would double off Fox in the bottom of the 1st and move to 3rd on a wild pitch. Juan Francisco drew a walk, but Fox took Todd Frazier and Logan Parker down on strikes to leave the Red's runners stranded.

Danny Santiesteban would strike out to start the top of the 2nd. Juan Portes followed it up with a single shot home run over the left field wall, his 10th of the season. Singleton and Berg hit back-to-back line drives to find their way onto base. Woodard's fly ball to left scored Sing, while Ovalle singled out to right, loading the bases. Tintor sacrificed in Berg, and Olson's line drive brought in Woodard. Lehmann single to plate Ovalle before Santiesteban, batting around the order, flew out to end the inning.

Gonzalez was not invited back out to the mound for the third inning, the Reds sent Logan Ondrusek out instead. Gonzales and Ondrusek and blanked the Miracle on August 3rd at Hammond Stadium, but the table were certainly turned in Sarasota.

Portes drew a walk off the tall Texan, and Singleton doubled. Berg tripled the pair in and came home on Woodard's ground out. Ovalle would ground out as well, and Tintor would go down on strikes, leaving Ondrusek relatively unscathed.

The Miracle rested in the fourth, but Singleton's double in the top of the 5th got them sparked again. Woodard would put his 5th home run of the season over the right field wall to score two. Red's manager Joe Ayrault was very unhappy, as the umpire had called what looked to be a strike with a 2-2 count a ball, and the next pitch was the one Woodard crushed over the fence. He was unhappier when Shawn Barber did not see it his way and ejected him from the game.

Ondrusek would follow his manager off the field, with Steve Otterness replacing him in the mound. The Tampa, Florida, native would get through the sixth and the seventh untouched, although he'd plunk Sing with a pitch in the seventh. Woodard singled off him in the top of the 8th, and Ovalle reached on a force attempt, in which 3rd baseman Jason Louwsma failed to field the ball. A sacrifice by Tintor brought in Woodard. Ovalle would make it to 3rd on Lehmann's double, but would left stranded when Santiesteban struck out.

David Shinskie finally found his way onto the Fort Myers' roster after spending some time rehabbing an injury at the Lee County Sportsplex. He'd replace Fox for the bottom of the 8th, and allow a single to Kainer. Francisco ground into a force out and Frazier doubled him to 3rd. Parker would knock a line drive single to right to plate the pair, ending the Miracle's shut out bid.

Zach Stewart would close out the game for the Reds, while Carlos Gutierrez handled the mop up detail for the Miracle.

Singleton finished up the game 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, and 4 runs; Berg went 3-for-6 a the plate with a triple, 3 runs and 2 RBIs. Woodard was 3-for-4 with 4 runs and 4 RBIs, while Olson and Lehmann finished up 2-for-5 each, Lehmann with a double.

Tintor finished up 0-for-2 with walk, a run and 3 RBIs.

The two teams rematch tomorrow, Tropical Storm Fay permitting for a 7:00 PM game. Joe Testa (1-0, 1.80) will take the start for the Miracle against the Sarasota's Daryl Thompson (0-1, 7.71).

Herald Tribune

* The New Britain Rock Cats downed the Cleveland affiliated Akron Aeros, 8-2 in Eastern League play Sunday afternoon. David Winfree, Dustin Martin and Danny Valencia all knocked balls over the wall for the Rock Cats, who have won their fifth straight. The Rock Cats are in fifth place in the Northern Division, 21.5 games behind the division leading Trenton Thunder (Yankees). Both New Britain and the Toronto affiliated New Hampshire Fisher Cats have been mathematically eliminated from their league's playoffs.

* In the International League, the Rochester Red Wings defeated the Syracuse Chiefs 8-5 Saturday night. Former Miracle Luke Hughes put his third AAA home run of the season over the wall in that contest. The two teams play an evening game on Sunday. With the win, Rochester reached .500 on the season. They are in 3rd place in the North division, 14 games behind the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and virtually eliminated from the playoffs.

* The Beloit Snappers fell to the Cedar Rapid Kernals 5-4 on the road. Ramon Santana went yard with his 7th home run of the season for the Snappers. Blake Martin suffered his second loss of the season, pitching .1 inning of relief in the bottom of the 13th inning. Mike McCardell gave up 4 runs, 2 earned on 7 hits and 2 walks in five inning while striking out eight. The Snappers have lost their last three, falling to fifth place in the Western division, six games behind the division leading Burlinton Bees (Kansas City).

* Elizabethon, who was idle on Sunday, leads Kingsport by 5 games with 9 left to play in their season. The E-Twins have won their last four, and will likely face the Pulaski Mariners in the Applachian League playoffs.

* Former Miracle and Fort Myers resident Tommy Watkins was at Saturday night's Miracle game. A member of the AAA Red Wings, Watkins suffered a separated shoulder that ended his season early. Watkins was hitting .219 for the wings through 76 games before his season came to an end.

* With 13 games left to play in the Florida State League regular season, Lakeland (13), Sarasota (14.5) and Clearwater (16) have all been eliminated from the West Division playoffs. Tampa, trailing Dunedin by 11.5 games is the only other candidate left in the West Division as the Miracle have already locked up their playoff berth.

Red Sox slip by Twins in the ninth

Juan Sanchez

GCL Twins 4 at GCL Red Sox 5

W: A. Batista (5-1, 6.41); L: K. Nanney (3-1, 1.76)
HR: None.

Javier Brown I've been boycotting the Red Sox due to the local political problems with a team. Mainly we build then a nice stadium which is only used for about 10 weeks in the spring and eats taxpayer money the rest of the year. We spend a mill or so per year on them for upgrades, and they decide to turn around and move to Sarasota or Orlando.

There's more but that's the sort version.

As a result, I will not journey to the City of Palms Complex this season, although I'm sure that no one over there has missed me, and so I was told by Jim Rantz that I missed "one hell of a game" on Saturday.

The Red Sox would slip by the Twins in the ninth, picking up a 5-4 win. The started out by taking an early lead off Twins starter Edgar Ibarra.

Wilfred Pichardo singled, then stole 2nd. Derrik Gibson singled out to center to score him. He'd steal 2nd as well, but Ibarra would take Casey Kelly out on strikes. Roberto Feliz's double moved Gibson to 3rd, but Ibarra then issued back-to-back strike outs to Chih-Hsian Huang and Andrew Frezza to get out of the jam and keep the Red Sox to a single run.

Juan Sanchez doubled in the top of the 3rd then moved to 3rd on Danny Ortiz ground out. Mike Gonzales' ground out served to plate him, tying up the contest.

Bruce Pugh would replace Ibarra in the bottom of the 4th, and allow a walk to Joantoni Garcia. Christian Vazques walked as well, and a single by Pichardo loaded the bags. A wild pitch by Pugh allowed Garcia to score. Pugh would then be called on a balk, allowing Vazquez over the plate. Pugh would take Gibson and Kelly out on strikes before Roberto Feliz popped out with the Red Sox now leading by two.

The Twins answered back however, with Sanchez doubling. Ortiz would go down on strikes, but Gonzales reached on a throwing error. Gibson's error also allowed Sanchez to score. A wild pitch by Wang-Yi Lin put Gonzales at 2nd. Lin's throwing error then allowed Pinto to reach and Gonzales to score, tying up the contest again. Both Tyler Landendorf and Hyun-wook Choi would fly out to retire the Twins.

Pugh would pitch the next three innings, allowing only 1 hit, but walking 4. He'd fan five before giving way to Khol Nanney.

Anatanaer Batista would work the 8th and 9th for the Red Sox, and would be on the mound when Aaron Hicks doubled in the top of the final stanza. Sanchez sac-bunt advanced him to 3rd, and Ortiz would double him in to give the Twins the lead. Gonzales and Rohlfing both ground out, letting the Sox have a chance at the plate.

Nanney would walk Pichardo, then allow a single to Gibson that moved Pichardo to 3rd. Gibson then stole 2nd. Nanney would get Kelly out on strikes, but Feliz doubled the pair in to end the contest with the Red Sox on top.

Khol Nanney The loss would be Nanney's first of the season, coming on 2 hits and walk, while fanning 3 over 2.1 innings.

Sanchez lead the GCL Twins attack, going 3-for-3 at the plate with walk, a pair of doubles and two runs. Javier Brown was 2-for-3 in the contest. Jonathan Goncalves was 1-for-3 with a double, and Wook was 1-for-4 picking up the one hit wonder of the game title.

Hicks and Ortiz were 1-for-5 with a double each, Hicks with a run, Ortiz with a RBI. Gonzales, who finished up 0-for-3 at the plate, was still productive with a walk, a run and a RBI.

The Twins take Sunday off before taking on the South Division leading Pirates on Monday (weather permitting).

Sox & Dawgs Blog

* Tropical Storm Fay continued to wreak havoc in the Caribbean, and causing the game between the DSL Twins and the DSL Reds to be postponed or canceled. The DSL Twins take Sunday off as well. The take on the DSL Yankees2 Monday for a 10:30 AM Dominican time game.

* The Red Sox agreed to terms at the signing deadline with 4th round pick Peter Hissey (OF), 5th round pick Ryan Westmorland (OF), 13th round pick Tyler Wilson (RHP), 27th round pick Colby Cervenka (LHP), 35th rounder Carson Blair (SS) and 50th rounder Kyle Stroup (RHP). All were assigned to their Gulf Coast League affiliate. The Sox love to spend money, throwing a cool $1 mil at Hissey, and $1.604 mill (with bonuses making it $2 mill) on Wesmorland.

* The Twins on the other hand signed sixth round pick B.J. Hermsen for $650 K. The righthander will not report to Fort Myers until Fall Instructional League, which is to begin around September 22nd. The Twins also agreed to terms with 14th round pick Blayne Weller, a righthanded pitcher from Key West, Florida, High School.

* The Pirates also shored up their squad for the upcoming playoffs. Sandlot Swashbucklers is reporting that the Pirates signed 20th rounder Quinton Miller (RHP) and assigned him to Bradenton. 1st rounder Pedro Alvarez was also inked with a $6 Million bonus, but was not yet assigned to a team at the time the article was written. It is however, unlikely that the former Vanderbilt University 3rd baseman will be joining the GCL team.

Steedley's gem grounds Flying Tigers

Spencer Steedley

Lakeland 1 at Fort Myers 5

W: S. Steedley (1-3, 7.83); L: A. Figaro (0-3, 4.64)
HR: FTM: W. Robbins (6).

Some of the Miracle faithful had questioned the wisdom of moving Spencer Steedley into the rotation. Steedley proved that's where he belongs Saturday night, as he limited the Lakeland Flying Tigers to only a pair of hits and 4 walks while fanning six over six innings.

The Miracle got a boost onto the board in the 3rd inning when Whit Robbins launched his sixth home run of the season over the right field wall. Steve Singleton had batted his way onto base one out earlier, so the home run was good for two. The Miracle would make it stand up until the bottom of the eighth.

Robbie Weinhardt would come in to replace Jay Sborz on the Tiger's mound and Singleton doubled off the newcomer. After Ramos went down on strikes, his second strike out of the game, Weinhardt intentionally walked Robbins. Johnny Woodard would also take a walk to load the bags, although in this case, it was not intentional. Edward Ovalle's double to right brought in two of the three runners, and Garret Olson would sacrifice in the slow footed Woodard to make it 5-0 Miracle.

Anthony Slama would be brought in for the ninth. Slama needs a good long rest as his arm is definitely not what it was earlier in the season. Michael Bertram would single off of him. He'd bounce back and get Jeremy Laster and Brandon Timm out on strikes. Justin Justice's double would put Bertram on 3rd and Jordan Lennerton would take a walk to load the bags. Jeff Kunkel singled to score Bertram, ruining the Miracle's shut out. Slama would finally get Devin Thomas out on strikes to end the game.

Robbins was 2-for-3 in the game with a walk, a pair of runs and a run batted in. Singleton and Ovalle were 2-for-4 each at the plate, Singleton with a double and pair of runs, Ovalle with a double and a pair of runs scored. Olson finished up 1-for-3 with a RBI, and Juan Portes, Ramos and Danny Santiesteban were all 1-for-4, and all one hit wonders. Woodard finished up 0-for-2 with a pair of walks and a run.

The win was Steedley's first at the FSL level.

Tropical Storm Fay is on the way and when the local weather will be affected remains to be seen. The Miracle head over to Sarasota for games on Sunday and Monday. Matt Fox (6-6, 3.81) is due to pitch for the Miracle on Sunday, with the contest slated for a 1:00 PM start.

News Press
News Press: Berg
Take I-75 North Blog
Roger's Minor League Report

* Deolis Guerra needs to go into the bullpen. He has suffered from control problems most of the season. Sure he's 19, but so is Alex Burnett, who's been much more reliable. Guerra looks uncomfortable in a starting role and vulture magic may make a difference for him. Matt Williams was good for four yesterday, and the Twins have had a lot of luck moving Aussie's into starting roles.

* With the win, the Miracle move into 3rd place in the FSL West division, 12 games behind the division leading Dunedin Blue Jays who defeated the Reds on Saturday, 5-1.

* Brian Duensing reports in his blog about beating the Canadians at Beijing. Be sure to check it out as the former Miracle picked up the win and gives a nice pitch-by-pitch recount of his final battle with Stubby Clapp.

* Following the two game gig in Sarasota and a day off on Tuesday, the Miracle play three at Lakeland and three at Clearwater for the final road trip of the regular season. They return home Tuesday, August 26th for a three-game set against the Flying Tigers.