TMLN- Three Loses, One Washed Away

In this edition of Twins' Minor League Notebook, Saturday brought nothing but trouble for the farm system, as three teams lost, and one got washed away. Rochester lost in the bottom of the 11th inning to the Norfolk Tides, the Rock Cats allow a walk-off home run to end their day, Anthony Swarzak pitches well in the Fort Myers Miracle loss, and the Snappers get rained out.

Rochester Red Wings: The Red Wings dropped an 11 inning affair to the Norfolk Tides on Saturday 4-3, and have now lost their last three games. J.D. Durbin got the start for the Wings, and had his best appearances of the season, as he allowed only one earned run through 6.1 innings of work. He has definitely pitched better on the road this season, as he has a 0.90 ERA, as opposed to a 8.59 ERA at home. Though he has a 4.17 ERA on the year, he is holding batters to a .185 average this season, and Saturday was the first game this season that he did not allow a walk. Kevin Cameron picked up his second blown save of the season, as he allowed an earned run in his one inning of work. It was only the second time this season that he has allowed an earned run, a span of nine games. It was also the first time in six games that he did not get a decision, as he had posted three wins and two saves in his previous five appearances. Patrick Neshek was dominant in his three innings of relief, striking out six, and allowing no hits. Neshek had been struggling a bit, as he had allowed runs in his two previous outings, but he looked to be back on track on Saturday. In 15 innings this season, he has struck out 30 batters, and has seemed dominant at times. Beau Kemp (2-1) picked up his first loss of the season, as he allowed a run for the third time in nine appearances this season. He has now allowed a run in his last two appearances, and has walked at least one in his last three.

Jason Kubel led the way for the Wings in this one, as he posted two hits and an RBI in the losing effort. In his eight games with Rochester, Kubel has posted four multi-hit games, and he bumped his average up to .303 on Saturday. Terry Tiffee also bumped his average up to .300 land on Saturday, as he stroked two hits as well. Tiffee now has seven multi-hit games in 19 appearances this season, and he has hit safely in five of his last seven games. Luis Maza, who has been mired in a season-long slump, scored two runs for the Wings on Saturday, but his average sits at .187 for the season. However, he has hit safely in his last four games, and has scored four times in that span as well. The Wings play the Tides again on Sunday, as game two of a four-game set. Mike Smith (0-1, 3.48) gets the start for the Wings, as they try to get back on the winning track.

New Britain Rock Cats: The Cats lost to the Trenton Thunder 4-2 on Saturday, as Justin Olson allowed a walk-off home run to Shelley Duncan in the bottom of the ninth inning. Errol Simonitsch got the start for the Cats, and pitched well, allowing two earned runs in five innings of work. He also struck out a season-high four batters, and has now allowed fewer than three earned runs in three of his four starts this season. However, he is allowing too many hits this season, as batters are hitting .337 against him for the year. Levale Speigner was great in relief for Simonitsch, as the righty continues to have a great season out of the pen for the Rock Cats. He threw three shutout innings on Saturday, and has now allowed an earned run in only three of his eight appearances this season. He has especially been dominant to lefties in 2006, holding them to a .160 batting average on the year. Justin Olson (0-2) picked up the loss in this one, as the walk-off shot he allowed was his first home run allowed this season. He has been in a funk during his last two outings, allowing two earned in both of them, while pitching a combined 1.2 innings of work.

The Cats struck for two runs in the top of the third inning on Saturday, and that was basically all the offense they would muster up in this one. Daniel Matienzo drove in both runs in that inning, as he posted his third multi-RBI game in his last six appearances. He also has now hit safely in five of his last six games, despite owning a .231 batting average. Matthew Moses looked good at the plate, posting three hits in four tries, as he continues to be one of the most feared hitters in the Eastern League. It was his first multi-hit games since April 19, as he continues to hit well on the road. He currently has a .394 road batting average, as opposed to .286 at home. Trent Oeltjen picked up two hits in this one for the Cats, giving him two multi-hit games in his last three starts. He has struggled this season, posting a .229 batting average, but he should be able to turn his season around with a fresh new month on the horizon. The Cats are in Trenton again on Sunday, as they try to beat the Thunder for the first time in four tries.

Fort Myers Miracle: Dunedin erased a 2-1 Miracle lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, as they rolled to a 7-3 victory over Fort Myers on Saturday. Anthony Swarzak was more than solid for the Miracle in this one, as he allowed an earned run over six innings of work. This is a good sign for Miracle fans, as it was definitely his best outing of the year. He was coming off an April 23 loss to Dunedin, where he allowed four earned in only 4.1 innings of work. His problem has been getting lefties out, as he is holding righties to a .229 batting average, but lefties are hitting .325 against him. Angel Garcia (2-1) did not look like himself in this one, as he walked all four batters he faced, and wound up with four earned runs allowed in 0.0 innings of work. Coming into the game, Garcia had allowed only one earned run through his first seven outings, and had not walked more than two in any of them. Timothy Lahey allowed two hits in his one inning of relief, although he did work his second straight scoreless outing. Alexander Farfan continues to struggle in the Florida State League, as his two earned in one inning now gives him at least one run allowed in all but one outing this season. His ERA currently sits a 14.81.

Korey Feiner picked up his first multi-hit game since April 17, as he was one of only two Miracle batters to posted more than one hit in this one. With his two hits, Feiner pushed his batting average over the Mendoza Line, and he now is hitting .204 on the year. Brock Peterson hit his first home run of the season, and has now hit safely in his last two games. It has been a rough season for Peterson, who was one of the better bats for the Miracle last season, as he is batting only .216 this year. Luke Hughes had the other multi-hit effort for the Miracle, smacking two hits in four tries. Hughes, who was batting .104 on April 23, has been one of the hottest hitters in the Miracle lineup this week, and he now has three consecutive multi-hit games. He has raised his average to .203, and is currently 8 for his last 16 (.500). The Miracle face Dunedin again on Sunday, as they try to pick up their fourth win in the last five games.

Beloit Snappers: Wet field conditions are ruining the Snappers' series against the Fort Wayne Wizards, as they will now play four games on Monday and Tuesday combined. The continuation of the suspended game will be played first on Monday, followed by Sunday's game, which will be a seven-inning game. On Tuesday, the teams will play two seven inning games, as they try to wrap up the series in both days. Hopefully, Mother Nature will comply, and the Snappers can open their home set against Southwest Michigan on Thursday.

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