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Twins' Rogers sharp in Fall League action

Club's No. 13 prospect allows no runs, two hits in five innings for Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Twins prospect Taylor Rogers has pitched more in 2015 than he ever has before, but you wouldn't know it from watching Tuesday's outing.

The left-hander put together a strong start, but the Scottsdale Scorpions fell 10-4 to the Salt River Rafters at Scottsdale Stadium.

Rogers, the No. 13 prospect in Minnesota's organization, gave up two hits in five scoreless innings of work. In total, he threw 63 pitches, 38 strikes.

"I thought it was pretty good, I was able to work pretty quickly," Rogers said. "Fastball was there early so I was able to mix in the secondary stuff later on and it worked out."

Rogers' had full command of his pitches from the onset, and the left-hander was able to fall into a nice rhythm early in the game, retiring nine in a row from the first to the fourth.

"Starting with the fastball, once that's in place you can really get in a rhythm and start to feel good about yourself," Rogers said. "I mixed in my secondary stuff and just felt good about what I was doing."

Rogers, whom the Twins selected in the 11th round of the 2012 Draft, had all his off-speed pitches working Tuesday, which is a good sign for the lefty, as that's exactly why he's in the Arizona Fall League.

Rogers made a career-high 27 starts and pitched a career-high 174 innings for Triple-A Rochester this year. However, despite the heavy workload he came to Arizona for more time on the mound.

"I think I'm more here to work on my changeup development than anything," Rogers said. "I don't think I need more innings, just to develop the changeup more."

But after throwing all those innings, how does his arm feel?

"Not too bad, actually," Rogers said. "A lot better than I thought [it would]. I think it's good to see how my body reacts when you get up there, 180 innings or so, just learning more about myself."

While Rogers was carving up the Salt River lineup, Rockies prospect Kyle Freeland was doing the same to Scottsdale.

Freeland, Colorado's No. 9 prospect, allowed just one run on three hits in six innings and kept his team in the game.

As soon as Rogers was lifted, Freeland's teammates rewarded his efforts and the Salt River offense broke the game open.

Nationals prospect Spencer Kieboom delivered the initial blow with a three-run homer to give the Rafters the lead, but he was far from the only contributor.

Salt River scored three runs in the sixth, four in the seventh and added two more in the eighth.

In addition to Kieboom's blast, Dominic Smith and Raimel Tapia had RBI doubles while Jack Reinheimer and Daniel Palka -- both members of the D-backs organization -- contributed RBI singles.

While Tuesday's game didn't go Scottsdale's way, the outing was a positive one for Rogers, who is looking to build off the lessons he learned and the momentum he created for himself in his first year of Triple-A.

"It's a long season and you get to see the same teams a bunch, so I learned a bunch on the scouting report side of things and video standpoint," Rogers said. "I hadn't really had a lot of that in my career so that was good to see that side of baseball."

William Boor is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.
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