02 September 2005

Royals on the Farm 9/1

AAA: Omaha pulled a half-game closer to the division lead with a 4-3 win over Iowa Thursday as the O-Royals came back from a 1st-inning deficit. SP Danny Tamayo gave up a 2-run blast in the 1st to let Iowa take a 2-0 lead but Omaha scored runs in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th on solo homers by DH Scott Walter (his 8th coming fresh off the DL) and RF Jaime Jones (his 4th) and an RBI single by 2B Justin Gemoll. Iowa scored in the 7th to tie the game but 3B Chris Truby came through with a 2-out RBI single in the 7th to give Omaha the lead at 4-3. RPs Jaime Cerda and Santiago Ramirez held it down for the win. Tamayo went 7 1/3 IP and allowed 3 R (2 ER) on 5 hits with 4 Ks to improve to 9-8 with a 5.28 ERA; Cerda got his 7th hold with 2/3 IP of 1 hit with 2 Ks to drop his ERA to 5.51; and Ramirez got his 16th save with a hitless IP that included a K to drop his ERA to 5.29. SS Andres Blanco was back in the lineup and went 1-3 with a walk to improve to .274; LF Chad Santos was 0-3 with a walk to drop to .263; and C Jared Price was 1-3 to improve to .231. 1B Calvin Pickering was 0-3 with a walk to drop to .262 and stole his 1st base of the season and first since 2000 in organized American baseball. Blanco made his 9th error in the win.

Omaha is 71-69 and 1 game behind Nashville with 4 games left in the season. Omaha starts its final series of the season tonight at Oklahoma (77-62). No announced starters. In other O-Royals news, 1B Justin Huber got a September call-up. Don't they know Omaha's in a playoff race? I'm only half-kidding.

AA: Wichita salvaged a chance to end the second half at .500 as they creamed Tulsa, 11-3, Thursday thanks to a big night from CF Mitch Maier. 3B Brennan King got the scoring started in the top of the 1st with a sac fly and DH Cory Aldridge followed with a 2-run shot (his 27th) to give Wichita a 3-0 lead. SP Derrin Ebert gave up a 2-run homer in the 1st to close the lead to 1 but the Wranglers added a run in the 2nd on an RBI triple by RF Shane Costa. The Wranglers scored again in the 5th on an RBI double by SS Brett Groves but Tulsa matched it that inning to make the score 5-3 Wichita. The Wranglers broke it open in the 6th on an RBI single by 1B Josh Pressley and loaded the bases with 2 outs. Maier stepped up and hit a grand slam (his 6th homer) to make the score 10-3 and then threw in a solo shot (#7) in the 9th to pile on another run. Ebert went 6 2/3 IP and allowed 3 ER on 6 hits and 2 walks with 5 Ks to improve to 7-3 with a 4.89 ERA; and RP Drew Endicott went 2 1/3 IP and allowed a hit with 2 BB and a K to drop his ERA to 1.50. 2B Ruben Gotay was 3-4 with a walk, double and 2 RS to improve to .229; Costa was 3-4 with a walk, triple, RBI and 2 RS to improve to .282; Pressley was 2-5 with an RBI and 2 RS to improve to .311; LF Billy Butler was 2-5 to improve to .330; and Maier was 2-5 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 2 RS to improve to .256.

Wichita is 32-35 and out of the playoff hunt with 3 games to play. The final series at Tulsa continues tonight. Ryan Baerlocher (7-5, 3.18) will start for Wichita.

High-A: High Desert had to wait an hour longer to start Thursday's game with Lake Elsinore because of bus problems for the Storm and then blew a 4-1 lead in an 8-5 loss to the Storm. Lake Elsinore pushed across a run in the 3rd but High Desert matched it that inning on a solo homer by CF Chris Lubanski (his 28th) and scored 2 more in the 4th on an RBI double by C Adam Donachie and an RBI single by 2B Walter Sevilla for a 3-1 lead. Another run in the 6th on a solo homer by DH Alan Moye (his 23rd) gave High Desert a 4-1 lead but the Storm rallied for 2 in the 7th off SP Billy Buckner and RP Eric Ackerman to close the gap to 1. The Storm tied it in the 8th on a solo homer and then scored 4 more runs that inning to take an 8-4 lead. 3B Adam Keim led off the bottom of the 8th with a solo homer (his 25th) but the Mavs couldn't get anything going. Buckner went 6 2/3 IP and allowed 3 ER on 4 hits and 4 walks with 6 Ks to move his ERA to 4.78; Ackerman blew his 3rd save and took the loss with an IP of 3 ER on 4 hits to drop to 3-2 with a 5.70 ERA; and RP Brian Steffek went 1 1/3 IP and allowed 2 ER on 2 hits and 4 walks with a K to move his ERA to 6.14. LF Pete Maestrales was 1-5 to drop to .320; SS Angel Sanchez was 2-5 to improve to .308; Lubanski was 1-4 with a walk, HR and RBI to drop to .299; 1B Kila Kaaihue was 0-5 to drop to .307; RF Bernard Stephens was 1-4 to make his BA .299; and Donachie was 1-3 with a walk, double and RBI to improve to .296.

High Desert is 38-29 and has clinched a playoff berth with 3 games to play. The Mavs are up 2 1/2 games on Lancaster with a shot to take the second-half division title with another win. The JetHawks (35-31) come to town to face the Mavs in the final series of the regular season tonight. No announced starters. Home field advantage in the first round of the Cal League playoffs is at stake as HD earns it with another win. They will face Lancaster in a best-of-3 series to start the playoffs Sept. 7.

Low-A: Burlington took a beating from Clinton Thursday, 10-2, to fall into a tie with the LumberKings for last place in the division in the second-half standings. Clinton took an early 2-0 lead but the Bees cut it to 1 in the 3rd on an RBI single by 2B Gary Perez. From there, Clinton rattled off 8 unanswered runs off SP Patrick Hicklen and RP Rayner Oliveros (rude welcome in his A ball debut) before the Bees scored their final run in the 8th on an RBI double by DH Miguel Vega in his first game back off the DL. Hicklen got the loss with 5 IP of 6 R (4 ER) on 10 hits and a walk with 4 Ks to drop to 6-8 with a 4.19 ERA; Oliveros went 2 IP and allowed 4 ER on 8 hits and a walk to establish an 18.00 ERA; and RP Rusty Begnaud went 2 IP and gave up a hit and walk to drop his ERA to 4.26. Perez was 1-4 with an RBI to drop to .271; 3B Edward Lucas was 1-4 to drop to .289; and Vega was 2-4 with a double and RBI to improve to .254. SS Irving Falu made his 20th error.

Burlington is 30-36 and out of the playoff hunt. The Bees start the final series of the season -- a 4-gamer -- at Clinton tonight. Pitchers: RH Luis Cota (5-8, 4.03) vs. Clinton RH Kea Kometani (3-2, 2.28). In other Bees news, the team met its home attendance goal for the season of 70,000 and finished with a final total of 70,807 in 68 games.

Rookie: Idaho Falls took down Casper Thursday in a 5-3 win. The Chukars scored in the 1st on an RBI single by 1B Jase Turner for a 1-0 lead but Casper tied it in the 2nd. Idaho Falls scored again in the 2nd on a sac fly by 2B Joshua Johnson but Casper struck back with 2 in the 3rd for a 3-2 lead. The Chukars tied it in the 4th on a Johnson RBI single and took the lead for good with 2 in the 5th on a wild pitch and a sac fly by C Jeff Howell. SP Bennett Cromer got the win with 6 IP of 3 ER on 7 hits and 2 walks with 3 Ks to improve to 6-3 with a 5.47 ERA; RP Adam Kalkhof got his 1st hold with 2 hitless IP that included 4 Ks to drop his ERA to 3.32; and RP Matt Kniginyzky got his 5th save with a hitless 9th in which he K'd 2 to drop his ERA to 4.85. CF Ethien Santana was 2-4 with a double and walk to improve to .312; SS Chris McConnell was 0-4 with a walk to drop to .329; Turner was 2-2 with 2 walks and an RBI to improve to .270; LF Felix Peguero was 2-3 with a walk, double and 2 RS to improve to .259; Howell was 1-2 with a walk and RBI to improve to .333; and RF Byron Barber was 0-2 with a walk to drop to .309. 3B Brenan Herrera had 2 errors to get to 7 on the season.

Idaho Falls is 12-19 and 4 games out of first with 7 games left on the schedule. The Chukars continue the series with Casper tonight.

The ASL Royals finished the second half at 15-13 and 3 games back of first. Overall the Royals finished 34-22.

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