The Threshers rebounded this afternoon with a gutty 5-4, 11 inning win over the Fort Myers Miracle. For 8 innings, it looked like another 4-hit loss with a decent outing by starter Colin Kleven. But the team staged a two-out rally in the 9th inning to tie the game and eventually won the game in the 11 innings.
Kleven was greeted in the first inning by a Jorge Polanco triple on the second pitch of the game. The Twins #8 prospect scored on a single by the next batter. Kleven responded by retiring the next 3 batters, one via his first of five strike outs. He continued pitching well over the next 3 innings, facing the minimum, allowing 1 hit and recording 2 more strike outs. Kleven pitched into trouble in the 5th inning when he hit a batter after recording his 4th strike out. The Miracle executed a hit-and-run and scored the runner with out a throw on a double. Afterward, his only walk of the game, a sac fly, and his 5th strike out ended the 29-pitch inning. Kleven responded with a tidy 9 pitch 6th inning to close out his afternoon with the following line –
6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, and 1 wild pitch
Colin Kleven has been pitching well after rough outings in his first 2 starts. He has pitched 6 or 7 innings in 4 of his last 5 starts. Today’s walk was only his 8th in 50.2 innings this season.
Shawn Camp made his first Threshers’ appearance in relief of Kleven today. He was greeted with a home run by the Twins #13 prospect, Adam Walker. The ball was crushed and landed on the left-centerfield berm. Camp pitched 2 innings, gave up a single that was erased on a steal attempt by Gabriel Lino, and struck out 3 batters.
Meanwhile, the Threshers’ offense looked as lethargic as it had Tuesday night when it was shut out. They could only manage 4 hits, no walks, and struck out 10 times against the Miracle’s starter, left-hander David Hurlburt. His previous game high was 5 strike outs this season. The Threshers did manage to scrape out a run when K.C. Serna led off the 7th inning with a bunt single. He reached second base when Lavin’s double play ball was mis-handled and the Miracle could only record one out. Serna took third on a passed ball and scored on Chris Swauger’s sac fly.
The Miracle’s closer came on to pitch the 9th inning. He easily retired Roman Quinn and K.C. Serna. And was well on his way to retiring Pete Lavin when the umpire ruled catcher’s interference on a pitch that would have put Lavin in an 0-2 hole. Swauger followed with a line drive single to left. Art Charles came to the plate and battled the right-handed pitcher for 8 pitches. He drove the 9th pitch of the at bat into the right-centerfield berm to tie the game at four runs apiece.
Lee Ridenhour came on to pitch 2 excellent innings. He faced the minimum 6 batters and struck out 3, induced 2 ground ball outs (first-to-pitcher), and a soft liner to Quinn. Jordan Guth pitched the 11th inning. He allowed a single, 6-4-3 double play, single, single, and stolen base before getting the third out on a ground ball to Angelo Mora.
The Threshers’ kept the pressure on putting two on in the 10th inning before a double play ended the inning. In the 11th innnig, Swauger and Charles worked one-out walks. Logan Moore had entered the game as catcher when Lino had been lifted for a pinch runner after a 9th inning single. He came to the plate with two on and one out and answered with an RBI single up the middle that Polanco couldn’t quite get to.
This was a great performance by the Threshers. The Miracle bullpen couldn’t record a strike out after the starter left the game. They gave up 3 walks. Meanwhile the Threshers pitchers only walked one batter and combined to strike out 11 batters. They threw a lot of first pitch strikes and pitched ahead to most batters. It was good to see the offense come alive and reward good pitching.
Roman Quinn had a rough day at the plate. Facing another left-handed starter, he struck out swinging his first three at bats. He went 0-4 with a HBP. Defensively, he handled all 4 of his chances. He started 2 double plays, handled a soft liner that required him to move up 2-3 steps to catch the ball about knee-high, and handled a routine ground ball and throw to first. The throw was a little high, but Charles stretched without leaving the bag.
Gabriel struck out swinging 3 times before his single following Charles’ home run. He deliverd a perfect throw to Mora to catch a potential base stealer. Mora was able to catch the ball in front of the bag and didn’t have to move his glove to apply the tag.
Art Charles showed some good range at first base. He was involved in four 3-1 or 1-3 plays.
In addition to Polanco and Walker, the Miracle’s #11 prospect, Travis Harrison played left field. Their #1 prospect (and BA’s #1 outfield prospect), Byron Buxton, didn’t play. He is on the DL. The Threshers are scheduled to face two more lefties in the remaining games of this series. Manager Nelson Prada started Nick Ferdinand and Lino in place of Brian Pointer and Moore.
Can’t wait to see them build on this win tomorrow!