TMLN- Plouffe Heating Up For Beloit

In this edition of Twins Minor League Notebook, the Red Wings pick up their second straight shutout, the New Britain Rock Cats drop an ugly one at home, Fort Myers stays unbeaten, and Trevor Plouffe strokes three hits in a Beloit loss. All that and much more.

Rochester Red Wings: The Wings picked up their second straight shutout on Monday, as they blanked Pawtucket on the road, 5-0. J.D. Durbin got the start for Rochester, and was literally un-hittable, as he held the Sox to no hits in four innings of work. He also struck out five, but his four walks showed he was having some control problems. Henry Bonilla (1-0) picked up the win in relief, tossing three innings of one-hit ball. In his two appearances this season, he has allowed only three hits, and batters are hitting .188 against him. Kevin Cameron finished off the game for the Wings, yielding only one hit in his two innings of work. He has now allowed only two hits during his first two appearances of the 2006 season, a span which includes 2.1 innings of work. In all, the three pitchers combined to strike out 11 Red Sox, while holding them to two hits in the game.

Josh Rabe picked up three hits in three at-bats on Monday, and is now 5-5 during his last two games. The left-fielder also scored twice, smacked his first extra-base hit on the year (double), and picked up his first stolen base. Andres Torres made his first start for Rochester a good one, as he drove in two of the Wings' five runs. He had two hits, a double, and also walked once from his leadoff spot. Shortstop Jason Bartlett had his first RBI of the season, as he erased an 0-3 day on Sunday by going 2-4 in this one. Shawn Wooten also had a multi-hit game, as his two-hit effort gave him three hits in his last two starts. The Wings send Boof Bonser (0-0, 0.00) to the hill on Tuesday, as he looks to capitalize on his success on Opening Day.

New Britain Rock Cats: The Rock Cats lost a sloppy game to the Portland Sea Dogs on Monday, as Errol Simonitsch (0-1) took the loss in the 12-4 affair. Helped out by some errors, Simonitsch allowed five runs (two earned) in his five innings of work, striking out three along the way. It was definitely not the way Simonitsch, who was named to the Twins' 40-man roster recently, wanted to start his 2006 campaign. Tristan Crawford and Chris Schutt combined to allow seven earned runs over the next 3.2 innings, with Schutt allowing five himself. Crawford is having trouble getting the lefties out this season, as they are batting .500 against him, and Schutt has now allowed seven earned runs in 2.2 innings of relief this season. His ERA currently stands at 23.62 for the young season. Jay Sawatski was the only Cats' pitcher to not allow a run in this one, but he only threw 0.1 inning of relief.

Five Cats put together multi-hit games, with Denard Span leading the way once again. He stroked four hits in the game, and has now wrapped seven hits in his last nine at-bats. It was his third multi-hit game in four appearances this season, as he is batting a robust .529 through his first 17 at-bats. Douglas Deeds also put on a stellar offensive performance, as two of his three hits went for extra bases. He hit his second home run of the year, as the multi-hit game was his first of the season. Trent Oeltjen picked up two hits in the contest, walked for the fifth time in three games, and stole his fourth base of the season. He has yet to strike out this season, and is really turning heads with his play. Danny Matienzo picked up his first multi-hit game of the season as well, stroking two hits in four chances, and Jason Grove picked up his first two hits of the season. The Cats face Portland again on Tuesday, as they try for their second win of the season.

Fort Myers Miracle: The Miracle got another strong effort from their pitching staff on Monday, as they defeated the Tampa Yankees 5-1. John Thomas got the start for the Miracle, and was stellar, tossing no-hit ball in his 4.2 innings of work. He also struck out six, and walked one, before giving way to Angel Garcia (1-0), who picked up the win in relief. Garcia went 2.1 innings, struck out two, and allowed one hit, en-route to his first victory of 2006. In his two appearances this season, Garcia is holding the opposition to a .188 batting average, and has an ERA of 0.00. Jonathan Martinez finished off his second game of the season, allowing the Yankees' only run of the night in his two innings of relief. Martinez finished 37 games for Beloit in 2005, saving 20, and is used to being in there with the game on the line.

Every starter in the Miracle lineup had a hit on Monday, with the exception of Luke Hughes. Trevor Plouffe picked up his first multi-hit game of 2006 with a three-hit performance, as he has now recorded a hit in four of his first five games. Garrett Guzman stayed hot, stroking his fourth consecutive two-hit game, en-route to driving in his fourth run of the season. He is now batting .444 from his number three spot, and is hitting .667 with runners on. David Winfree extended his hitting streak to four games, as he doubled for the third time in the last four games. He has also driven in at least one run in the last four games, giving him six on the young season. Alexi Casilla also doubled, as he has now hit safely in all five Miracle games this season, and Justin Arneson picked up his second hit in as many days. The Miracle take on the Yankees again on Tuesday, as they look to improve their record to 6-0.

Beloit Snappers: The Snappers dropped the series opener against Wisconsin on Monday, as they fell to the Rattlers 7-2 at home. Oswaldo Sosa (0-1) got the start for Beloit in this one, and because of a mix of errors in the field and some mistakes on the mound, staked the Rattlers to a 4-0 lead before leaving after five innings of work. He also struggled against the lefties, as they recorded six hits in ten at-bats against him on this night. Alexander Smit took the ball to start the sixth inning, and allowed an unearned run during his 1.1 innings of relief. It was the second straight time he has allowed an unearned run, as his ERA still stands at 0.00. Danny Vais looked good in his 1.3 innings of work, as he was the only Snapper pitcher to not allow a run in this one. David Shinskie finished off the game for Beloit, allowing two earned runs in his one inning of work. They were the first earned runs he has allowed in 2006, as his ERA ballooned to 6.75.

Tarrence Patterson led three Snappers with multi-hit games, as he stroked three base hits on the night. The three hits raised his average from .253 to .357, as he extended his hitting streak to three games. Steven Tolleson picked up two hits on the night, but had two errors in the field, as he continues to get used to playing third base. The hits were his first in his last four appearances, after stroking two hits on Opening Day. Paul Kelly ran his hitting streak to five games, as he has now hit safely in every Snappers game this year. He also picked up his first two walks of the season, as the 19-year old really seems comfortable at the plate. Caleb Moore picked up his second multi-hit game in his last three appearances, as the catcher is now batting .462 on the young season. The Snappers take on Beloit once again on Tuesday, as they look to get back in the win column.

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