TMLN: Deeds Having Great May

In this edition of Twins' Minor League Notebook, the Red Wings drop a 7-3 decision against Buffalo despite a three-hit performance by Luis Maza, Adam Harben pitches well in the New Britain 3-1 loss to Connecticut, Fort Myers continues their winnings ways behind Kyle Aselton, and Beloit gets rained out.

Rochester Red Wings: The Wings lost their Thursday game to Buffalo 7-3, as they dropped to second place in the International League North behind Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre. Pete Munro (3-2) got the start for Rochester and he proceeded to allow runs in the first three innings. In three of his seven starts this season, Munro has allowed at least four runs, though he had been pitching better in recent weeks. In his last two starts, he posted a 1-1 record, and had allowed only three earned runs in 12 innings of work. Matt Ford made only his second appearance in the past week, but pitched well, tossing 1.1 innings of shutout relief. Though the lefty has struggled against left-handed batters this season, he has done well against righties, holding them to a .233 batting average. Jason Miller was the final pitcher of the contest for the Wings, as he failed to allow an earned run for the first time in his last three outings. He has been terrific for the Wings this season, posting a 2.20 earned run average while allowing runs in only three of his 11 appearances.

Second baseman Luis Maza picked up his first multi-hit game since April 30, as he stroked three hits to lead the Wings' offensive attack. It has been a rough start to the season for Maza, who many consider to be the top second base prospect in the Twins' organization. After batting .203 in April, he is only batting .250 in May, though the three-hit game may bring his bat to life. Chris Heintz went 1-4 on the day, raising his hit streak to three games. After batting .366 in ten April games, Heintz is only batting .263 this month, although his batting average is still .333. Jason Kubel picked up his third hit in the last two games, although he is only batting .233 for the month. Thursday also marked the first time in the last four games that he failed to drive in a run.

New Britain Rock Cats: Adam Harben (0-1) picked up his first loss of the season on Thursday, as the Cats fell to Connecticut 3-1. He pitched considerably better than he did in his last outing, when he lasted only two innings on May 6. Usually possessing great control, Harben has struggled with the strikezone during his first season in the Eastern League, and with his four walks last game, he now has more walks (18) than he does strike outs (16). It has not been a good month for the young right-hander, who posted a 0.42 earned run average in five appearances during April. One of the better pitchers in the Florida State League last season, Harben should bounce back. John Thomas, who was making only his second appearance since being called up from Fort Myers this week, allowed an earned run in 2.1 innings of relief. He has looked good since his promotion, and adds a quality left-handed arm out of the bullpen.

Second baseman Felix Molina continues to stroke the ball this month, as he put together his second straight multi-hit game. In nine May games, Molina is batting .345, and has at least one base hit in all but two. He has been clutch all season for the Rock Cats, as he has posted a .359 batting average with runners on. Douglas Deeds played the role of pinch-hitter in this game, and was successful, going 1-1 with a run. Deeds has been red-hot this month, as he now has a four-game hitting streak to go along with his .349 average in nine games. Denard Span also picked up a hit, while walking once. He now has a three-game hitting streak, although he is batting only .262 this month.

Fort Myers Miracle: The first-place Miracle trotted out another pitching prospect on Thursday, and got another great result, beating Daytona 6-3. Kyle Aselton (3-1) has now won three of his last four starts, after going 6.2 innings and allowing only one earned run. One reason for his success in 2006 has been his ability to pitch in the clutch. With runners on, Aselton is holding batters to a .209 batting average, and with runners in scoring position, they are only batting .206. Ryan Callahan took the ball in relief, pitching 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. He has been unbelievable at home this season, posting a 0.90 earned run average in five appearances. Timothy Lahey pitched the final inning of the game for the Miracle, but he continues to struggle this month. In four appearances, Lahey has posted a 16.20 earned run average, and batters are hitting .538 against him.

Alexi Casilla continues to be a sparkplug at the top of the Miracle lineup, as he went 2-5 in this one. The leadoff man has now picked up multi-hit games in eight of his last ten games, and is currently batting .415 in May. He also stole two bags for the second time in his last three starts, and has now scored six runs in the last five games. Brock Peterson went deep in this one, giving him four on the season, and his third of May. He is batting .303 for the month, and has raised his average from .241 to .264. Garrett Guzman picked up two runs batted in in the contest, giving him seven in the last three games. Though he is batting only .200 for the month, he has driven in nine runs, and he now has 26 runs batted in for the year. On April 23, Kyle Geiger was batting .156, but all of that is in the past now. The catcher has turned his season around this month, batting .320 in seven games. He currently has a five-game hitting streak, and is batting .235 on the year.

Beloit Snappers: The Snappers' game against West Michigan was rained out on Thursday, and the game will not be made up. Beloit opens up a series against Kane County starting on Friday at home.

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