*** Minnesota Twins Minor League Report - April 26th *** From The Sports Network
ROCHESTER RED WINGS - Thanks to an eight-game win streak to start the 2004 season, the Red Wings still remain atop the North Division of the International League, even though they have not won back-to-back outings since April 14-15. The ensuing eight contests have been struggles to say the least, with the two lone wins during that stretch coming by a single run. The team's Sunday date with Scranton had to be postponed due to rain, meaning Rochester will have to wait until Tuesday and the start of a three-game set at home versus Buffalo if they hope to get back into the win column. Chris Heintz was the hero in the team's 3-2 victory over the Barons on Saturday as he knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a ground ball to first base. It was just the third run batted in for the catcher, who has played in only seven games for the club to this point in the campaign. Justin Morneau, named the league's Player of the Week, continues to be the top hitter for the club at .397, thanks to five home runs and 15 RBI, but his production dropped off a bit in recent days with only one run batted in since April 20.
NEW BRITAIN ROCK CATS - After being pummeled by the Akron Aeros on Saturday on the road by a score of 11-2, the Rock Cats took no prisoners in the rubber game of the three-game set on Sunday as they piled on 19 runs in a whitewash of their Eastern League associates. B.J. Garbe hit two home runs and knocked in six runs for New Britain, which produced 19 hits overall on the day. J.D. Durbin went 5 1/3 innings, striking out seven and allowing only five hits in the onslaught. Infielder Billy Munoz went 4-for-5 with five runs scored, three RBI, a double, and a home run. First baseman Ryan Owens also had a big day for the Rock Cats as he finished 3-for-6 with a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI. Munoz leads the squad with four home runs after 15 games, leaving the Rock Cats fifth in the Northern Division with a record of 6-9, but has just eight RBI against a team-worst 19 strikeouts. In the last three games Jason Kubel has picked up six hits, pushing his batting average to an impressive .450, tops in the Eastern League.
FORT MYERS MIRACLE - Fort Myers saw no miracle offense on Sunday as it was shut out for the third straight game in a 2-0 loss to the Tampa Yankees. The team has now gone 28 straight innings without pushing a man across the plate. Overall the Miracle have been shutout six times in 18 games in 2004, resulting in them being just 9-9 and fourth in the West Division of the Florida State League. Versus Tampa on April 21st the Miracle were beaten down in a 17-0 shutout, which means the team has been outscored 31-5 over the last six contests. Catcher Jose Morales, who leads the team in home runs with two, has just three hits in his last six games and has gone without an RBI since April 18.
SWING OF THE QUAD CITIES - Due to the weather over the weekend, the Swing were forced to play a pair of doubleheaders, losing both games to Dayton on Friday and then winning a couple versus Peoria on Sunday, even though every game lasted just seven innings. Outfielder Scott Whitrock posted a pair of RBI in the first game on Sunday, giving him eight for the year, but he is still struggling to get his batting average back to respectability, especially after starting 2004 with just one hit in his first 26 plate appearances. Quad Cities is now one of three teams in the Western Division of the Midwest League at 8-9, tying them for fourth place, just two games out of first heading into the week.