TMLN: Rabe Helps Wings To First Win

The Minnesota Twins farm system played a full slate of games on Saturday, going 2-2 overall. The Red Wings finally got their opener started, winning 12-11, and the Beloit Snappers won a 2-1 pitching duel. The Rock Cats and Miracle both lost, making the Miracle 0-3 on the year.

Rochester Red Wings: The Red Wings won a wild affair in Matt Garza's season debut, surrendering a 9-4 lead in the top of the ninth inning, before scoring three of their own in the bottom of the frame to take the 12-11 win. Garza battled the cold weather all night long, working in and out of trouble in his 3.1 innings of work. The Twins top prospect allowed three unearned run on this night, struggling with his command, while walking five. He also struck out three. Jeremy Cummings was impressive in relief, tossing three innings of two hit ball. Cummings struck out three along the way, before handing the ball off to Mike Venafro. Venafro struggled mightily in his Red Wings debut, allowing five earned runs in only two innings of work. He allowed six hits, striking out one, and seemed to be bothered by the cold. Bobby Korecky came on in a save situation, though he wound up blowing the save. Korecky ended up picking up the win, though he allowed three earned runs in only 0.2 innings of work.

Making a stellar start to his 2007 season was Garrett Jones, who picked up three hits on the night. Jones also drove in three runs, and did not strike out in the contest. Matthew LeCroy also picked up three ribbies in the game, and Josh Rabe had two hits and two RBI. Alexi Casilla swiped his first base of the season, and also scored twice. Thomas Watkins continues to flourish in Triple-A, as he had two hits and two runs batted in on the game. Matthew Moses had a forgettable debut in Triple-A, going 0-4 at the plate with a strikeout, while committing two errors.

New Britain Rock Cats: New Britain showed some courage on Opening Night, battling back late in the game before being defeated by New Hampshire 7-6. Nick Blackburn got the start for the Rock Cats, though he lasted only three innings. In the outing, Blackburn allowed three earned runs on three hits, walking one. Top pitching prospect Anthony Swarzak surprisingly came out of the bullpen in the opener, and struggled mightily. The big righty allowed four runs (three earned) in 2.2 innings of relief, striking out two. Swarzak allowed four hits on the night. Jose Mijares looked sharp in relief for the Cats, pitching 1.1 innings of scoreless ball. Mijares struck out one batter before handing the ball off to Brad Baker, who finished off the game. Baker pitched a scoreless frame, allowing one hit.

Garrett Guzman and Korey Feiner led the way offensively for the Rock Cats, both picking up three-hit games. Guzman hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning, while Feiner score once and drove in two. Top middle infield prospect Trevor Plouffe had a successful Double-A debut, picking up a double and two runs batted in during the game. Plouffe also scored once and played flawless from his shortstop position. Brandon Roberts and David Winfree also scored in the game.

Fort Myers Miracle: The Miracle lost their third game in as many days, as they lost another heartbreaker at the hands of the Sarasota Reds 7-6. Left-hander Alexander Smit got the start in the game for the Miracle, pitching 4.1 innings of four-run ball. He was hit pretty hard in the game, giving up eight hits, while striking out three. Josh Hill was the second pitcher of the night for the Miracle, and he picked up his first loss of the season. Hill allowed three earned runs in 2.2 innings of relief, allowing four hits while striking out two. Yohan Pino was the final Miracle pitcher of the evening, and he was the only pitcher to not allow a run. In one inning of scoreless relief, Pino struck out one and walked one.

Juan Portes was the main bat in the Miracle lineup on this night, as he picked up three hits in the losing effort. The right fielder also drove in two runs, while picking up his first double of the season. Steven Tolleson also doubled in the game, while walking twice and scoring once from the leadoff spot in the lineup. Caleb Moore had a two-hit night, including a double, while scoring one run. Toby Gardenhire had his first multi-hit game of the young season, stroking two hits, while driving in his first run of the season.

Beloit Snappers: The Beloit Snappers finally got a game in, battling bitter cold conditions, en-route to a 2-1 victory. Jeffrey Manship got the start for the Snappers, and showed just why the Twins are so high on him. Manship struck out six batters in 5.2 innings of work, allowing one earned run on four hits. Adam Revelette made a short, but effective debut for the Snappers, striking out the only batter he faced. Dan Leatherman got the win in the game, as he pitched one scoreless inning. Leatherman was the final pitcher of the night for the Snappers, allowing one hit along the way.

Garrett Olson and Greg Yersich had successful Midwest League debuts on Saturday, as they both picked up a hit and drove in a run. Yersich's ribbie would prove to be the game winner, as he scored Johnny Woodard. Woodard went 1-3 in the contest, joining top prospect Chris Parmelee in scoring the only runs in the game for the Snappers. Parmelee also was 1-3. Danny Valencia was the only other member of the Snappers to get a base hit in the game, and he also picked up his first stolen base of the season.

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