24 August 2005

Royals on the Farm 8/23

AAA: Omaha moved to 2-52 when trailing after 8 innings Tuesday with a pair of homers in the 9th to defeat New Orleans, 8-7. A pair of errors by SS Andres Blanco in the 1st helped the Zephyrs notch an early run off SP Kyle Snyder but the O-Royals came back with 3 in the 1st on a 3-run homer by DH Calvin Pickering (his 20th) to take a 3-1 lead. New Orleans came right back with 3 in the 2nd off Snyder but then it was Omaha's turn as the Royals scored 2 in the 3rd on an RBI single by 2B Justin Gemoll and a sac fly by 3B Chris Truby to take a 5-4 lead. The Zephyrs tied it up in the 6th and took the lead with 2 in the 7th off RP Shane Nance. Omaha cut the lead to 7-6 with a run in the 7th on an RBI single by CF Adrian Brown and went into the bottom of the 9th down by the same score. New Orleans closer Travis Hughes came in and served up a leadoff homer to 1B Justin Huber (his 4th) to tie it up, which brought PH Chad Santos to the plate batting for C Tommy Duenas. His 1st pitch to Santos left the yard (Santos' 16th) to give Omaha an 8-7 win. Snyder went 4 1/3 IP and allowed 4 R (3 ER) on 9 hits and 3 walks with 3 Ks to move his ERA to 3.64; Nance went 2 IP and allowed 3 ER on 4 hits and a walk with a K to make his ERA 4.50; and RP Justin Huisman got the win with 2 2/3 hitless IP of 1 walk with 2 Ks to improve to 7-1 with a 3.91 ERA. LF Matt Diaz was 1-4 to drop to .370; Huber was 1-4 with the HR and RBI to drop to .270; and Pickering was 1-2 with a walk, HBP, HR, 3 RBI and 2 RS to improve to .258. Blanco was 1-3 with a double to improve to .225 and his 2 errors gave him 7 at AAA this season.

Omaha is 66-65 and 4 games out of first behind Nashville with 16 games left in the season coming into today. So far the O-Royals have gained 9 1/2 games on the Sounds in the month of August and last couple days of July. A 5-game home set with Oklahoma (71-59) starts tonight. Pitchers: RedHawks RH Josh Rupe (5-6, 6.49) vs. RH Dennis Tankersley (9-6, 4.31).

AA: Wichita got a big 9-8 win over Arkansas with a nice 5-run comeback. A Wranglers run in the 2nd on a solo shot by 1B Josh Pressley (his 20th) was sandwiched between 3-run Travs innings off SP Kyle Middleton as Arkansas took an early 6-1 lead. Wichita started the comeback with 2 in the 4th on an RBI double by LF Billy Butler and an RBI ground out by DH Cory Aldridge to cut the lead to 3 at 6-3 and, with 2 out in the 5th, Pressley cranked a grand slam (#21 for him) to give Wichita a 7-6 lead. Arkansas again took the lead in the 6th off Middleton before the Wranglers tied it in the 7th on an RBI double by SS Mike Aviles. RPs Chris Demaria and Nate Hoelscher took care of the 7th and 8th to keep the score tied at 7 into the 9th. With 2 out in the top of the 9th, Aviles singled RF Wilkin Ruan to third and Pressley followed with another big hit to score Ruan with the lead run. RP Leo Nunez shut the door in the bottom of the 9th for the win. Middleton went 6 IP and allowed 8 ER on 9 hits and 2 walks with 3 Ks to make his ERA 5.17; Demaria went 1 2/3 hitless IP with 3 Ks to keep his ERA at 0.00; Hoelscher went 1/3 IP for the win to improve to 3-2 with a 5.59 ERA; and Nunez got his 4th save in allowing 1 hit with 1 K in 1 IP to drop his ERA to 0.82. CF Mitch Maier was 0-4 with a walk to drop to .242; 2B Ruben Gotay was 1-4 with a walk and 2 RS to improve to .250; Aviles was 3-5 with a double, RBI and 2 RS to improve to .288; Pressley was 3-4 with a walk, 2 HR, 6 RBI and 2 RS to improve to .314; and Butler was 2-5 with 2 doubles to improve to .290.

Wichita is 29-28 and 1 1/2 games back of Arkansas. Pitchers for game 2 with Arkansas: Travs RHP Jered Weaver (2-1, 4.91 ERA) vs. LHP Mike Stodolka (4-9, 5.27 ERA). Thirteen games remain on Wichita's schedule. In other Wrangler news, Huber and Aviles were selected to the TL Post Season All Star Team. Huber was selected as the Texas League's best first baseman and Aviles was selected to the postseason team as a utility player -- I assume for his bat and not his glove.

High-A: High Desert bowed to the almighty bat of Angels' top prospect Brandon Wood in a 6-4 loss Tuesday. Wood was 4-4 with 2 HR and 3 RBI in the win for Rancho Cucamonga. High Desert took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd on a Quake wild pitch but the Quakes took the lead in the 3rd on Wood's 40th homer, a 2-run shot and added a run in the 4th for a 3-1 lead. Rancho Cucamonga added 2 more in the 6th and another on Wood's 41st homer in the 7th after High Desert had closed the gap to 1 with 3 in the 7th on a 2-run shot by DH Brandon Powell (his 17th) and a solo shot by C Adam Donachie (his 11th). Wood's second homer was insurance the Quakes didn't waste as they came away with the 6-4 win. SP Devon Lowery went 6 IP and allowed 5 ER on 10 hits and 2 walks with 5 Ks to drop to 6-2 with a 3.32 ERA and RP Stephen Chamberlain went 2 IP and allowed 1 ER on 3 hits to move his ERA to 7.36. 2B Pete Maestrales was 1-5 with a double to drop to .319; SS Angel Sanchez was 1-4 to drop to .309; CF Chris Lubanski was 1-4 with a double to drop to .292; 1B Kila Kaaihue was 0-4 to drop to .310; Powell was 2-4 with a HR and 2 RBI to improve to .296; and Donachie was 3-4 with a HR and RBI to improve to .292.

High Desert is 34-24 and up 4 games on Lancaster. The Mavs' "Magic Number" is 9 for both the second-half division title and the wild card with 12 games to play. They continue the road Rancho Cucamonga series tonight. Pitchers (from rcquakes.com): RHP Cesar Herrera (6-6, 6.98) vs Quakes LHP Micah Posey (0-1, 8.59). In other Mavs news, Lubanski was Cal League Hitter of the Week for the week ending Aug. 21. Here's his line: 6 G, 31 AB, 5 R, 13 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, .419 AVG, .871 SLG. Lubanski is hitting .345 with 16 homers and 59 RBIs in 56 home games compared to .245 with seven homers and 38 RBIs in 57 road games.

Low-A: Burlington had Tuesday off.

Burlington is 28-30 and 4 1/2 games back of Quad Cities. The Bees have today off and have 12 games left on the schedule.

Rookie: Idaho Falls rallied for 5 runs in the 1st off Missoula starter Jason Neighborgall and never looked back in a 14-6 win over the Osprey. Neighborgall walked the bases loaded with 0 out in the 1st and proceeded to walk 1B Jase Turner to bring home the first run. A throwing error helped the second run score and kept the bases loaded before RF Andrew Larsen and DH Antonio Sabatini drew walks to score the next 2 runs. C Jeff Howell drove the 5th runner home on a double-play ball so the Chukars got 5 runs on 0 hits and Neighborgall was chased. Missoula scored in the 3rd to crack the shutout but the Chukars bounced back with 2 in the 3rd on a 2-run shot by LF Felix Peguero (his 5th) and scored 4 in the 4th on a 3-run shot by Turner (his 9th) and a Larsen RBI double to make it an 11-1 game. The Chukars piled on 2 more in the 5th on a wild pitch and passed ball before scoring their final run in the 7th on another Osprey fielding error. SP Phillip Davidson got the win for Idaho Falls with 5 IP of 1 ER on 5 hits and a walk with 4 Ks to improve to 6-2 with a 3.17 ERA; RP Travis Trammell went 2 IP and allowed an UER on 4 hits with a K to drop his ERA to 7.94; and RP Brandon Brantley went 2 IP and allowed 4 ER on 2 hits and 3 walks with 4 Ks to move his ERA to 9.08. CF Ethien Santana was 0-5 with a walk to drop to .304; SS Chris McConnell was 1-4 with 2 walks, a double and 3 RS to drop to .345; Larsen was 2-4 with a walk, double and 2 RBI to improve to .269; and Howell was 1-5 to drop to .339. Santana stole his 13th base and McConnell made 2 errors to move to 18 on the season.

Idaho Falls is 10-13 and 2 games out of first with 15 games left on the schedule. The home set with Missoula ends tonight.

The ASL Royals couldn't recover from a 3-run A's 3rd and dropped the game, 3-2, to the division leading Athletics. The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the 3rd on an A's fielding error before the A's got 3 off SP Juan Abreu. The Royals couldn't get to the A's pitchers until the 8th on an RBI ground out by DH Alvi Morel and only managed 6 hits in the game. Abreu took the loss with 3 IP of 3 ER on 4 hits and 4 walks with 4 Ks to drop to 2-4 with a 6.43 ERA; RP Tim Rice went 4 IP and allowed a hit and walk with 5 Ks to drop his ERA to 6.30; and RP Drew Coffey went an inning and allowed a hit to drop his ERA to 9.45. LF Jose Duarte was 0-3 with 2 walks to drop to .325; 3B Valentino Arce was 1-3 with a HBP and double to drop to .340; CF Joseph Dickerson was 1-4 to drop to .299; RF Oscar Gonzalez was 2-4 with a triple to improve to .312; and Morel was 1-4 with an RBI to drop to .348. He also stole his 13th base.

The Royals are 11-10 and 4 games back of first with two games unreported on MiLB's site. They play the Pads tonight and have tomorrow off. Five games remain in the ASL schedule.

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