29 April 2006

Royals on the Farm 4/28 and 4/29

AAA - Omaha: rainout Friday

*** Friday's game will be made up as part of a Sunday doubleheader.

Round Rock 7, O-Royals 1 (Saturday)

1B Huber 0-3, BB -- .303
RF Guiel 2-3, 2 2B, BB -- .221
SS Blanco 0-3 -- .338
LF Allen 0-4, RBI (18) -- .305
3B Aviles 1-3, 2B -- .242
C Phillips 1-4, RS, 2 SB against, 0 CS -- .254
2B Gotay 0-3, BB -- .241
CF Ambres 0-4, K -- .143

Keppel 5 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, BB, 7 K, 2 HRA, WP -- L, 2-2, 4.75 ERA
Andrade 2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, BB, 3 K, WP -- 2.00 ERA

*** Omaha managed only 4 hits as Round Rock jumped on Keppel early and coasted to the win. Express 2B Brooks Conrad jacked a 3-run homer (#4) in the 1st but Omaha got a run back in the bottom of the inning on an Allen RBI ground out. Unfortunately, 2 of the O-Royals 4 hits were in that inning so it was pretty depressing after that. Round Rock added runs in the 2nd, 4th and 5th off Keppel and then a run off RP Frank Brooks in the 8th to make the final 7-1. Omaha dropped to 12-9. Round Rock starter Chris Sampson retired 13 in a row at one point en route to the win. He's 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA. McEwing was 0-5 to drop to .217, CF Charlton Jimerson was 1-4 to drop to .290, DH Alan Zinter was 1-5 to drop to .321 and LF Luke Scott was 3-5 with his 5th homer to up his BA to .253.

The teams play the doubleheader starting Sunday afternoon. I assume J.P. Howell and Kyle Snyder get the starts for Omaha. In other news, Robinson got the call to KC as Costa was put on the DL with his hammy pull. To make room for him on the 40-man, Stemle was transferred to the 60-day DL with his elbow strain. That's an awful bad elbow strain.

AA - Wichita: rain out Friday

*** Friday's game was made up as part of a doubleheader Saturday.

Midland 2, Wranglers 0 (7 innings)

3B Gordon 1-3, K -- .341
RF Butler 1-3, 2B (7), K -- .333
LF Lubanski 1-2, BB, K -- .247
SS Sanchez 0-3, K -- .282
DH Dee Brown (see below) 0-3, 2 K -- .000
CF Maier 1-3, K -- .271
2B Murphy 0-3, 2 K -- .186

Song 4 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 6 K, WP -- L, 1-2, 4.56 ERA
Hoelscher and DePriest 2 1/3 IP hitless relief

*** The Wranglers dropped another game despite outhitting Midland, 5-4, as the game was shortened for the doubleheader. Wichita got 2 hits in both the 1st and 2nd and Butler doubled in the 4th but that was all the hitting the Wranglers did. A walk, wild pitch and RBI single got Midland on the board in the 4th and two more extra-base hits in the 5th gave the Rockhounds a 2-0 lead. The Wranglers only had 1 baserunner after Butler's double. Wichita dropped to 7-14. Midland SP Jason Windsor went 6 IP with 10 K for the win to drop his ERA to 3.18. C Kurt Suzuki was 0-2 to drop to .354, RF Jason Perry was 0-2 to drop to .410 and 2B Kevin Melillo was 1-3 to improve to .321.

Midland 3, Wranglers 2 (7 innings)

3B Gordon 1-3, HR (6), 2 RBI (12) -- .341
RF Butler 0-3, 3 K -- .323
LF Lubanski 3-4, RS, picked off -- .272
SS Sanchez 0-4 -- .267
DH Brown 0-3 -- .000
CF Maier 1-2, BB -- .276
2B Murphy 0-3, K -- .177
C Tupman 0-2, BB -- .328

Middleton 4 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 2 K -- L, 0-2, 4.00 ERA

*** The Wranglers were being 3-hit entering the bottom of the 6th until Gordon got them back in the game but Wichita couldn't come all the way back. Neither team scored until the 5th when Midland scored twice off Middleton and Rockhounds 1B Brant Colamarino led off the 6th with a homer off RP Cody Smith to give Midland a 3-0 lead. Lubanski singled to lead off the bottom of the 6th and Gordon followed with his 6th homer to cut the lead to 1. Maier singled and 1B Kila Kaaihue walked with 2 out but Tupman grounded into a force out to end the threat. The Wranglers went down in order in the 7th to drop to 7-15. Wichita managed only 2 hits off Midland SP David Bradley over 4 IP. Perry was 2-4 with an RBI to move to .415 and Melillo was 1-3 to move to .322.

The series ends Sunday and I think it's Juan Cedeno's turn for Wichita. In other news, OF Dee Brown was signed by KC and assigned to Wichita while OF Juan Senreiso was sent back to High Desert.

High-A - High Desert: San Jose 6, Mavs 2 (Friday)

1B Brown 2-4, K -- .304
CF Valentin 1-3, BB, 2 K, RS, E (3) -- .351
LF Galloway 1-3, BB, K -- .324
DH Stodolka 0-4, 3 K -- .364
2B Perez 2-4, 2B, RBI, K, 2 E (5) -- .193
3B Lucas 0-5, 2 K -- .228

Cota 4 2/3 IP, 5 R (3 ER), 6 H, 4 BB, K, 2 WP -- L, 1-3, 6.92 ERA -- 1 K???

*** Cota got lit up and the Mavs committed 5 errors in the ugly loss. A Perez error and Cota wild pitch helped the Giants score twice in the 1st. San Jose added a run in the 3rd and another wild pitch helped give the Giants 2 more runs for a 5-0 lead. RP C.J. Woodrow gave up a run in the 6th and the Mavs kept putting up goose eggs until the 9th when Perez hit an RBI double and SS Irving Falu hit an RBI ground out before Lucas struck out to end the game. The Mavs dropped to 13-9 with the loss. Giants P Noah Lowry struck out 9 and allowed only 5 hits and a walk in his rehab start. C Guillermo Rodriguez was 1-3 to drop to .394, RF Brian Horwitz was 1-4 to drop to .347, 1B Julio Cordido was 2-4 to move to .302 and SS Marcus Sanders was 3-5 and a homer short of the cycle to move to .175.

San Jose 6, Mavs 3 (Saturday)

1B Stodolka 1-3, RBI (8), K, SF -- .362
RF Senreiso 2-4, HR (2), RBI, K -- .233
SS Falu 2-5, 2 K -- .229
DH Brown 1-2, BB, RBI (10), SF -- .309
LF Galloway 1-2, 2B, BB, K, RS, HBP -- .329

Christensen 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 8 K, WP, pickoff -- L, 0-1, 4.03 ERA
Weeden 2 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, K -- 4.96 ERA

*** The Mavs scattered 3 runs and 9 hits in losing again to San Jose. Rusty Brown hit a sac fly in the 1st to put High Desert up early but the Giants manufactured 3 runs off Christensen in the 3rd to take the lead. A Stodolka sac fly in the 6th cut the San Jose lead to 1 but RP Brandon Weeden gave up 3 runs in the 8th to make the score 6-2 SJ. Senreiso homered to lead off the 9th and Perez hit a 1-out single but that was all she wrote for the Mavs. High Desert dropped to 13-10. Giants SP Anthony Moreno gave up only an ER over 5 IP to move to 2-0 with a 4.24 ERA. Sanders was 3-3 to move to .212, Cordido was 1-2 to move to .309 and Horwitz was 1-4 to drop to .342.

The teams end the series Sunday. I think SP Patrick Hicklen is up.

Low-A - Burlington: Southwest Michigan 3, Bees 1 (Friday)

DH Thibault 1-3, BB, 2 K -- .290
3B Lisson 0-4, 2 K -- .217
2B Jirschele 1-2, 2 BB, RS -- .167

DiPietro 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 K -- L, 1-1, 4.03 ERA, left game with hyperextended right knee
Oliveros 5 2/3 IP, ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 3 K -- 2.53 ERA

*** The Bees managed only 1 base runner through 6 innings and the D-Rays got to SP Ryan DiPietro early before an injury forced him from the game. The D-Rays got their 2 runs in the 1st and DiPietro hurt his knee backing up home plate. Oliveros came in and held SWM pretty much in check but the Bees couldn't generate any offense. The only damage to Oliveros was a 5th inning homer but the Bees' lone run came in the 9th on a 2-out RBI double by PH John Lowen. The Bees dropped to 9-13. D-Rays starter Jacob McGee went 8 1/3 IP and allowed only 2 hits and a run with 10 K to move to 2-3 with a 2.30 ERA. RF Garrett Groce was 2-4 to improve to .349 and LF James Hall was 1-3 to improve to .308.

The loss ended up splitting the series between the two teams. A 4-game home set vs. the Dayton Dragons (9-13, Low-A Reds) was set to start Saturday.

rain out (Saturday)

*** The teams are set for a Sunday twinbill. Pitching matchups: G1: Bees RH David Henninger vs. Dragons LH Phillippe Valiquette. G2: Dragons RH Carlos Fisher vs. Bees RH Carlos Rosa. In other news, DiPietro was placed on the DL with his knee problem and P Michael Penn was called up from extended ST. Penn was an 11th round pick in 2005.

28 April 2006

NPB Notes - Chunichi Dragons

Founded: 1936 as Nagoya Club. The team was known as Sangyo in 1943 and Chubu Nihon in 1946 before becoming the Chunichi Dragons in 1947. From 1950-53 the team was known as the Nagoya Dragons before switching back to Chunichi from 1954 on.
Owner: Chunichi Shimbun newspaper. Bungo Shirai is chairman of the board and Junnosuke Nishikawa is team president.
Home base: Nagoya Dome in Nagoya, about an hour and 40 minutes southwest of Tokyo by bullet train. Chunichi is the region in which Nagoya is located.
Titles: 6 Central League titles, 1 Japan Series title (1954)

The Dragons have had their ups and downs over a long
history with not quite as many mediocre seasons as successful ones, so it's been mostly ups although not in terms of championships. The team's lone title came in 1954 as Shigeru Sugishita had a Sawamura-winning season of 32-12 with a 1.39 ERA and 273 K in 395 IP and won the Japan Series and CL MVPs. Sugishita finished his career with 211 wins for the Dragons and a 2.23 ERA overall. The team didn't win another CL title until 1974 then won two league titles in the '80s ('82 and '88) before undergoing another drought until 1999. The most recent league title came in 2004 when the Dragons lost to the Lions in 7 games in the Japan Series. Despite the occasional championship series appearances, the team has been frustrated in the Japan Series overall. Of all the NPB teams to win the Japan Series, the Dragons are entrenched in the longest drought between championships followed by 8 years by the Nippon Ham Fighters.

The team is probably best known in America for the old LA Dodger-like unis, which have since changed to block letters on the front and a San Diego-like CD logo, and the predictable '92 comedy movie "Mr. Baseball," which featured Tom Selleck traveling overseas to play in Japan for Chunichi. As you can imagine if you haven't seen it, the movie has a lot to do with the culture shock of playing in a different league with different priorities.

Two changes in recent years have injected some rejuvenation into the franchise as the Dragons moved into the Nagoya Dome in 1997 and, since making adjustments in the team's strengths, have won two league titles in the friendly confines. Pictured at top is the celebration of the team's 2004 pennant-clincher with then first-year team manager Hiromitsu Ochiai getting the usual treatment for such an accomplishment. Ochiai is the second change to liven up things in Nagoya as he followed up his league title with a 79-66-1 record in 2005 to finish second in the CL, 10 games behind Hanshin. Ochiai is a former NPB standout who won PL triple crowns with Lotte in 1982, '85 and '86 and won 5 batting titles, 5 home run titles and 5 RBI titles in his career, including HR and RBI titles for the Dragons in 1990 and '91. He also holds the PL single-season RBI record with 146 in 1985.

Besides Ochiai's two great seasons, Chunichi has had a handful of other standouts at the plate. LF/1B Shinichi Eto won two batting titles for the Dragons in 1964 and 1965, 1B Kenichi Yazawa duplicated the feat in '76 and '80 (the latter in a Comeback of the Year situation after an Achilles tendon injury) and American import Alonzo Powell won three straight batting titles (the first foreign player to do so) for the Dragons from 1994 to '96. Current star hitters for Chunichi are headlined by OF Kosuke Fukudome, who helped lead Japan to the WBC title and won the 2002 CL batting title en route to being named to the Best Nine for the first time. He hit .313 and slugged .604 in 2003 before a finger injury helped limit him to a .277 BA and .569 SLG in 2004 as he was forced out of the Japan Series in a crucial misfortune for the Dragons. He came back to hit .328 and slug .590 in 2005 while winning his 3rd Gold Glove. He has also had OBPs in the .400s in 2003 and '05 and is only 29 years old, so he's in his prime. Through 4/27 he is hitting .319/.395/.667 in '06 for Chunichi with 7 HR and 13 RBI to lead the team in those two categories. Former American journeyman OF Alex Ochoa is in his 4th year for Chunichi and has hit .286 with 60 homers over 3 seasons. Ochoa is hitting .314/.360/.557 thus far in '06 with 4 HR and 10 RBI. Another American masher joined Chunichi in 2005 as two-time CL home run champ 1B Tyrone Woods came over from Yokohama. He hit .306 with 38 HR and 103 RBI for the Dragons in '05 and has started slowly in '06, hitting .246/.372/.446 with 4 HR and co-leading with 13 RBI. He does lead the team with 13 BB. Veteran OF Kazuki Inoue is doing well in '06 after hitting .302 with 10 HR in 2005. In 9 games played, he's hitting .353/.389/.471 for the Dragons thus far.

Pitching has been somewhat similar for Chunichi throughout its history as from time to time certain pitchers have stood out for the Dragons. Hiroshi Gondo won 65 games combined in '61 and '62 for Chunichi but nearly 800 IP in those two years took their toll and he was done by the age of 30 in 1968. He won the '61 Sawamura and was also ROY that season. He retired with a lifetime WHIP of 1.10 and ERA of 2.69. P Tatsuo Komatsu won two victory titles in the '80s for the Dragons along with K and ERA titles for the '85 pitching triple crown and Sawamura. He won 102 and saved 73 games for Chunichi over a 15-plus year career. P Masahiro Yamamoto was possibly the pitcher of the '90s for Chunichi with three victory titles and an ERA title in '93 (2.05). He won the Sawamura in '94 when he went 19-8. At age 41 he is still pitching for the Dragons this season and has a career WHIP of 1.21. Through 15 IP this season he has a 6.46 ERA and batters are hitting .303 off him, so his age is showing somewhat. 101 Ks this season would give him 2,000 for his career and he entered the season with 180 wins. The most recent pitching standout for Chunichi has been Kenshin Kawakami, who won the CL MVP and victory title in 2004 with a 17-7 record and 3.32 ERA. At age 30 in '05 he followed up his MVP season with an 11-8 record and 3.74 ERA. He is back on his game so far in '06 as he entered play Friday with a 3-0 record and 1.62 ERA and team-leading 35 K in 39 IP. P Kenichi Nakata is following up an 8-3, 3.63 ERA rookie year from '05 with a 2-0, 2.11 ERA season thus far in '06 as batters are only hitting .171 off him through his first few starts. Dominican import Luis Martinez was 8-4 with a 3.38 ERA in '05 for Chunichi and is following it up with a 3.38 ERA thus far this year, too. RP Hitoki Iwase has proven to be a standout NPB closer for the Dragons as he was Fireman of the Year in '05 with 46 saves and a 1.88 ERA. American Eddie Gaillard was also a Fireman of the Year for the Dragons in '00 and '02 before moving on to Yokohama. The 31-year-old Iwase has 7 saves but a 4.66 ERA thus far in '06, although batters are only hitting .216 off him. The Dragons, through Friday, are 11-7-1 and 4 games back of Yomiuri in the CL race. They're wrapping up April with a 3-game set at the Giants and already dropped the first game of the series today.

Japan Baseball Daily (excellent reference site)
JapanBall's Chunichi page
Fukudome on BR
Mr. Baseball on IMDB

Royals on the Farm 4/27

AAA - Omaha: O-Royals 10, Round Rock 1

1B Huber 0-3, 2 BB, K -- .317, didn't miss a game from dislocated pinky
SS Blanco 0-0, 3 HBP!, BB, RS -- .354, only 5th time in league history a player hit 3 times
CF Robinson 3-5, 3B, RBI (12), 3 RS -- .367
DH Allen 3-5, 2B, 3B, 5 RBI! (17), RS -- .321, having a fine season thus far
RF Guiel 0-2, 2 HBP, BB, K, 2 RS -- .200 but still getting on base well
2B Gotay 1-5, RS, 2 RBI, K, E (1) -- .250
LF Ambres 0-3, 2 BB, RS -- .152

Bass 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 4 K -- W, 1-2, 4.50 ERA
RP Joe Nelson IP, H, 2 K -- 0.93 ERA, back from KC

*** Blanco and Guiel matched a league record with 5 combined HBPs, but there was no brawl involved, and the Royals rolled past Round Rock. Omaha jumped on Express SP Jason Hirsh for 3 in the 1st on a Gotay RBI ground out after a leadoff triple by Robinson and a 2-run single by C Paul Phillips. Omaha tacked on 2 in the 4th on a 2-run single by Allen to take a 5-0 lead and poured on 5 more runs in the 5th off former Omaha pitcher Justin Huisman, who was picked up by Houston after being cut by KC just a week or two ago. Robinson hit an RBI ground out, Gotay hit an RBI single and Allen cleared the bases with a bases-loaded triple to give Omaha a 10-0 lead. Huisman accounted for one of the HBPs for both Blanco and Guiel. Bass cruised through 7 IP before giving way to RP Ed Yarnall, who promptly blew the shutout by giving up a run in the 8th. Nelson came in for the 9th and gave up a leadoff single but set the next three batters down quietly to end the game. Omaha is 12-8 and still a game back of Nashville. Huisman's ERA ballooned to 10.38 with the outing for Round Rock. He can't be happy about Omaha doing that to him. Another old Royals buddy, 3B Joe McEwing, was 0-3 with the lone RBI for the Express. He's hitting .244 and also made his 5th error in the field. Astros CF prospect Charlton Jimerson was 0-4 to drop to .292 and DH Alan Zinter was 1-4 to drop to .348.

The teams are set to square off again tonight. Pitchers: Express RH Chris Sampson (2-1, 2.57) vs. Omaha RH Bobby Keppel (2-1, 3.55). In other Omaha news, RH Ryan Baerlocher was added to the roster from extended spring training. He's a returnee from the '05 O-Royals.

AA - Wichita: Wranglers 5, Midland 4

3B Gordon 3-4, HR (5), 2 RBI (10), 2 RS, K, E (1) -- .341, he's been consistent
LF Butler 2-4, RBI (15) -- .333
CF Lubanski 1-4, 3B, RS, 2 K -- .240
C Tupman 0-3, K -- .339
RF Maier 1-4, RBI (19), CS, picked off -- .268, keeping up the RBI production
SS Sanchez 2-4, K, 2 RS -- .294
2B Murphy 0-4 -- .196

Herndon 5 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 7 H, 2 BB, 3 K -- W, 2-1, 5.59 ERA
Markray 2 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K -- 3.07 ERA
Nunez 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 0 H -- SV, 2, 4.66 ERA

*** Wichita won its third straight as the Wranglers were fueled by Gordon's bat and some handy relief work from Thad Markray, Nate Hoelscher and Leo Nunez. Sanchez, Gordon and Butler hit consecutive singles in the 1st with Butler's driving Sanchez home and Maier following with an RBI ground out to give Wichita the early 2-0 lead. Midland manufactured a run in the 2nd but Gordon hit a 2-run homer in the 3rd, his 5th, to extend the lead to 4-1 Wichita. Midland matched that output in the 4th to cut the lead to 4-3 but the Wranglers got another run in the 4th on a 1-out sac fly by 1B Kila Kaaihue after a leadoff triple by Lubanski. Midland again got the run back in the 5th to cut the Wrangler lead to 1 but Markray and Hoelscher allowed only 3 hits and 2 walks thereafter into the 9th when Nunez came in and got the final two outs via pop out to end it. The Wranglers are 7-13 and 6 1/2 games back of first. Midland 2B Kevin Melillo was 2-5 to improve to .321, RF Jason Perry was 3-5 to improve to .424, and C Kurt Suzuki was 1-3 with 2 BB to drop to .365.

The series continues tonight in Wichita. Pitchers: Wichita's Seung Song (1-1, 4.71) vs. Midland's Jason Windsor (2-1, 4.03).

High-A - High Desert: Mavs 5, Stockton 3

3B Lucas 3-4, HR (1), 2 RBI (10), 2 RS, K -- .243
LF Valentin 2-4, RBI (10) -- .352
C Duenas 2-4, PB (6) -- .233
DH Stodolka 1-4, BB, 2B (12!), RS, 2 K -- .392
CF Melgarejo 1-5, 2B, 3 K -- .295
1B Brown 1-4, BB, 2B, RBI, RS -- .293

Buckner 5 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, K -- ND, 3.25 ERA, so-so start
Plummer 3 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, BB, 5 K, WP -- W, 4-1, 4.85 ERA
DeHoyos IP, nothing -- SV, 4, 0.93 ERA

*** The Royals organization trumped the A's for one day as both Wichita and High Desert took down the Oakland affiliates. It was a comeback victory for the Mavericks as Stockton scored 2 in the 2nd and 1 in the 3rd off Buckner to give the Ports a 3-0 lead that stuck into the 5th. Lucas finally broke the Mavs' scoreless spell off Ports SP Scot Drucker with a leadoff homer in the 5th for his 1st at HD and the Mavs tied the game with 2 in the 6th on RBI singles by Valentin and Lucas. Plummer kept Stockton in check into the 9th when the Mavs pushed 2 runs across on a 2-out RBI single by SS Irving Falu and an RBI double by Rusty Brown to take a 5-3 lead. DeHoyos got through the 9th in short order to pick up his 4th save. The Mavs are 13-8 and still atop the division by 1/2 a game. Both Buckner and Drucker took a no-decision in the game as it was decided by bullpens. SS Cliff Pennington was 0-4 for Midland to drop to .113, CF Richie Robnett was 1-5 to drop to .247, 1B Nathan Espy was 1-3 to drop to .421 and C Landon Powell was 1-3 to improve to .321.

The Mavs move on to San Jose for 3 with the defending champ Giants (12-7, High-A guess who) starting tonight. Pitchers: Giants LH Noah Lowry rehabbing vs. Mavericks SP Luis Cota (1-2, 7.17). Stodolka is leading the team in both BA and OPS as well as doubles and is tied for the team lead in walks with 9. He has K'd 12 times. Geraldo Valentin is also playing well -- second in BA and tied for 2nd in RBI with 10. OF Brian McFall leads the team in HR and RBI with 4 and 12 but is only batting .193.

Low-A - Burlington: Southwest Michigan 4, Bees 2

C Thibault 1-4, RS -- .288
3B Lisson 0-3, 2 K, SB (5) -- .231
SS McConnell 1-4 -- .138
CF Duarte 1-3, 3B, RBI -- .211

Kniginyzky 6 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K, WP -- L, 2-1, 2.90 ERA
Garcia 2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, BB, K -- 0.87 ERA

*** The Bees offense was again anemic as the D-Rays pulled out a win. Burlington got on the board first in the 2nd on a sac fly by 1B Miguel Vega and Kniginyzky was perfect through 3 before Southwest Michigan broke the ice in the 4th to tie the game. Burlington regained the lead in the 5th on a Duarte RBI triple but the outfielder was thrown out at home while attempting to score on a pitch that got away from D-Rays C Matt Spring. Spring homered to lead off the 5th for SWM and tie the game once more and Southwest Michigan moved ahead in the 6th with 2 runs to take a 4-2 lead. Burlington made a little noise in the late innings but made no serious threats to score. The Bees are 9-12 and 3 games back of first. SWM SP Michael Wlodarczyk went 7 strong innings to improve to 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA as he and Kniginyzky dueled. Both Spring and OF James Hall were 1-3 to improve to .308 and .307, respectively. The D-Rays survived a 4-error night.

The teams finish up the series tonight, so yesterday's mention of a possible Burlington sweep was premature in more ways than one. Pitchers: Bees LH Ryan DiPietro (1-0, 3.27) vs. D-Rays LH Jake McGee (1-3, 2.84).

27 April 2006

Royals on the Farm 4/26

AAA - Omaha: off day

The O-Royals start a 4-game set in Rosenblatt Stadium against Round Rock tonight. Brian Bass (0-2, 6.92) is the starter for Omaha. RP Joe Nelson was DFA'd by KC when Runelvys was activated so he'll probably be back in Omaha soon.

AA - Wichita: off day

The Wranglers hope to give the Midland Rockhounds a rude welcome as the teams match up for a 4-game set at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita starting tonight. SP Junior Herndon (1-1, 5.65) takes the hill for Wichita.

High-A - High Desert: Mavs 4, Stockton 3

Valentin 2-5, RS -- .340
Melgarejo 4-5, K, CS -- .304
Brown 3-5, 2B -- .296
Donachie 2-5, E (1), PB -- .261
2B Wilver Perez 2-4, K, RBI, RS -- .180
Lucas 0-4, BB, K, 2 RBI (8) -- .214
Gaffney 0-4, RBI, SF -- .300
Galloway 1-5, K, RS -- .323

Crist 3 1/3 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 5 H, 3 BB, 4 K -- 1.29 ERA
Weeden 2 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, K -- W, 3-0, 3.77 ERA
Moore 2 IP, ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K -- SV, 2, 1.50 ERA

*** High Desert took control in the divisional race with the 4-3 win over the Ports to set Thursday's series finale as the rubber game. Lucas hit an RBI ground out in the 2nd and Perez followed with an RBI single to put the Mavericks up, 2-0. That was the score in the 4th when a Donachie passed ball and catch error helped the Ports put together 2 runs on a single by SS Cliff Pennington to tie the game. A Gaffney sac fly in the 6th gave the lead back to High Desert and Lucas drew a bases-loaded walk to drive home another run in the 7th and make the score 4-2. RP Nate Moore gave up a homer to the first batter he faced but allowed only one more hit in 2 IP to nail down the victory and pick up his 2nd save. The Mavs are 12-8 and 1/2 a game up on the division lead. Stockton starter Ryan Webb took his first loss of the season in giving up 3 ER over 5 2/3 IP to move his ERA to 1.96. Pennington was 1-4 to improve to .119 but made his 2nd error of the season. OF Richie Robnett and DH Nathan Espy were both 3-5 to improve to .250 and .438, respectively. C Landon Powell, another top A's prospect, hit the homer off Moore and was 1-4 to drop to .321.

The teams finish the series tonight. Pitchers:
Mavs RH Billy Buckner (3-0, 2.78), trying to keep his good start rolling, vs. Ports SP Scott Drucker (2-1, 3.57).

Low-A - Burlington: Bees 8, Southwest Michigan 1

Thibault 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI (12), K, HBP -- .290
McConnell 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, K, RS, SB -- .131
3B Lisson 1-3, BB, 2B (6), 3 RBI (18), RS, SF, E (3) -- .242
2B Joshua Johnson 1-3, 3 BB, K, 3 RS -- .208 in leadoff spot, but getting on base at a .381 clip
Santana 0-4, BB, RS -- .270

Nicoll 5 1/3 IP, ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K!, WP -- W, 1-1, 1.80 ERA, first pro win
Damico and Hayes 3 2/3 IP of scoreless relief

*** The Bees jumped on SWM starter Jason Cayton early and Nicoll struck out 7 over 5-plus IP to propel the Bees to the win and set them up for a possible sweep of the D-Rays. Johnson walked in the 1st, was moved to second by McConnell, advanced to third on a fly out and then scored on a wild pitch to get the Bees on the board. The lead was widened in the 2nd as McConnell knocked a 2-run double and Thibault matched the feat to make the score 5-0 Bees. Nicoll allowed only 2 baserunners through 5 IP but gave up a 1-out triple in the 6th and was pulled for Damico, who balked in the run. That was the extent of the D-Ray damage, however, and a Lisson 2-run double in the 8th poured on a couple extra runs as gravy as the Bees took the 8-1 win. The Bees are 9-11 and 3 games back of first. SWM RP William Evers provided 3 IP of hitless relief to drop his ERA to 8.31 as Cayton took his 3rd loss. SWM pitchers gave up 9 walks in the loss. D-Rays LF James Hall was 2-4 with a double and triple to improve to .306 and RF Garrett Groce was 1-4 with a double to drop to .339.

The Bees go for the sweep tonight. Pitchers: Bees RH Matt Kniginyzky (2-0, 2.52) vs. D-Rays LH Mike Wlodarczyk (0-1, 2.21). That's a fun pitching matchup to spell.

26 April 2006

NPB Notes -- Seibu Lions

Founded: 1950 as the Nishitetsu Clippers, became the Nishitetsu Lions in '51, the Taiheiyo Club Lions in 1973 and the Crown Lighter Lions in 1977. They've been the Seibu Lions since '79.
Owner: Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, the former world's richest man -- kind of the George Steinbrenner of Japan, only with more money
Home base: Invoice Seibu Dome, half an hour west of Tokyo
Titles: 20 Pac League titles, 12 Japan Series titles (most recent: 2004)

The Lions are a team trying to come out clean from a scandal after longtime owner Tsutsumi, long known for his iron fist in running his companies, was arrested in April 2005 for insider trading and fraud involving the books of another Seibu company. He was convicted in October and given a big fine and suspended jail sentence. Rumors of the sale of the franchise have circulated but no actual action has been taken. Team officials have denied thus far any plans to sell the team. Tsutsumi resigned as chairman of the board so his status is kind of cloudy at this point. The 2006 season marks the first season coming out of the situation and Seibu's doing all right so far. Entering play 4/27 the Lions are 16-9 and 1 1/2 games up on Softbank in the Pacific League.

The scandal has clouded a winning history for the franchise, which is second in Japan Series titles behind Yomiuri. One of Japan's pitching greats - Kazuhisa Inao - pitched for what was then Nishitetsu and holds the NPB record for wins in a season (42 in 1961) and the Pacific League record for ERA in a season (1.06 in 1956). In his career, "Iron Man" Inao also had season win totals of 35, 33 and 28 games and took 5 league ERA titles ('56-58 *3 championship seasons*, '61 and '66 -- all with ERAs under 2, including a 1.69 ERA in the 42-win season -- the 5 titles are another NPB record). Inao won 20 straight decisions in 1957 (another NPB record) and won 276 games in his career with 2,574 Ks. In one season he pitched 404 innings (PL record) and also had 353 Ks in one season (PL record). Through his career, he wasn't even necessarily the best pitcher in Japan as Masaichi Kaneda was dominating the Central League and eventually ended up with 400 career wins. NPB aficionado Jim Albright of BaseballGuru.com marks Inao as the third greatest Japanese pitcher of all time behind Kaneda and Russian Victor Starffin, who starred for Yomiuri in the late 1930s and through the 1940s. Osamu Higashio helped pitch the Lions to a 1982 Japan Series championship before winning the victory and ERA titles in repeating the feat in 1983. Kimiyasu Kudo, who at 43 now plays for Yomiuri, was perhaps the next big pitcher for Seibu in the 1980s and early '90s as the Lions have consistently had great pitching. Kudo won 3 ERA titles ('85, '87 and '93 *MVP season) for Seibu while teammate Hisanobu Watanabe won victory titles in '86, '88 and '90 and the Lions took each Japan Series from '86 to '88 with Kudo winning two of three series MVPs.

The Lions' latest pitching hope is "gyroball" pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka (pictured above), who has won 3 victory titles and 2 ERA titles in his career. If his name sounds familiar it's probably because he helped pitch Japan to the WBC title in March. He is set to potentially be the next huge export to MLB from Japan. Through Tuesday he was 3-1 with a 1.16 ERA and 35 Ks in 31 innings for Seibu in 2006. Second-year pitcher Hideaki Wakui is also pitching well this season for Seibu as he is 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA over 37 IP and is holding the opposition to a .202 BA. He struggled in 2005 with a 1-6 record and 7.32 ERA. Veteran Fumiya Nishiguchi had a 17-win season for Seibu in '05 but has a 4.37 ERA and 2-2 record through 35 IP thus far in '06. The Lions' rotation has deadly potential and if Nishiguchi and fellow starters Kazuyuki Hoashi and American Alex Graman (a 2006 import from the Yankees organization) can provide good seasons behind Matsuzaka and Wakui, Seibu could be looking at its 13th title run.

As for Lions hitters, perhaps the best of the past was Futoshi Nakanishi back in the Nishitetsu days. Nakanishi won two batting titles, five home run titles and three RBI titles in the '50s in helping the Lions to their three '50s titles. Perhaps the next Lions big bat was Orestes Destrade, who is now known as a former and original Florida Marlin and current ESPN commentator. In the early '90s Destrade won three home run titles and two RBI titles and helped lead Seibu to three titles from '90-'92. Tony Fernandez also played for Seibu at one point and current Met SS Kaz Matsui came to America from his days in Tokorozawa playing for Seibu. For Seibu, Matsui lodged a .309 career BA, .847 career OPS and 150 HR over 9 seasons with 3 SB titles, an MVP in 1998, selection to the PL "Best Nine" each season from '97 to '03 and a selection as best SS of the 20th century by Japanese fans.

The Lions' biggest power threat today is 1B Alex Cabrera, a former D-Backs player who is now in his 6th year in NPB. Cabrera tied Oh's single-season homer record of 55 in 2002 and last season hit .300 with 36 HR and 92 RBI. Through Tuesday he leads the team with 5 HR and is fourth among regulars with a .306 BA. Other Seibu batters to watch are OF Kazuhiro Wada (currently hitting .310 with 4 HR and 24 RBI and the reigning PL batting champ), IF Yoshihito Ishii (hit .312 in 2005) and IF Hiroyuki Nakajima (only 24, hit 11 HR and 60 RBI in '05 and, through Tuesday, is batting .326 with 4 HR and 15 RBI).

NOTE: Got my copy of the 2006 Japan Pro Baseball media guide in the mail Tuesday via JapanBall.com and, I gotta say, it's a cool book to have handy. Wayne Graczyk, who writes for the Japan Times, puts the glossy, full-color guide out yearly and I'm pleased with the purchase. It's got everything from full rosters to past stats to capsules on the foreign players (non-Japanese) in the league. All that media guide stuff is in there, so anyone interested should pick one up.

Pro Yakyu site for 2006 with stats

Royals on the Farm 4/25

AAA - Omaha: rainout

Tuesday's game with Memphis will be made up as part of a May 27 doubleheader. Omaha has Wednesday off and starts a 4-game home set with Round Rock (9-9, AAA Astros) Thursday. Pitchers: Express RH Jason Hirsh (1-1, 5.75) vs. Omaha RH Kyle Snyder (0-1, 4.24). The O-Royals are 11-8 and a game back of Nashville. The extra day means maybe Huber will be back during the Round Rock series.

AA - Wichita: Wranglers 12, Arkansas 3

Gordon 1-5, 2 RS -- .321
Butler 2-4, BB, HR (5), 4 RBI (14), 2 RS -- .325
Lubanski 2-3, 2 BB, K, 2B, RS -- .239
Senreiso 2-5, HR (1), 3 RBI, K -- .267
Tupman 1-4, BB, 2 RS -- .358
Maier 1-3, 2 BB, RBI (18), RS -- .269
Sanchez 0-5, HBP -- .281
Murphy 0-4, K, RS, HBP -- .212, not hitting well thus far at AA

Cedeno 4 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K, WP -- ND, 5.40 ERA
Braun 2 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K -- W, 1-3, 4.50 ERA
Gragg III 2 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, BB, 3 K -- 6.00 ERA

*** The Wranglers strung together their first winning streak, now at 2, with the win over the Travs that also got them their first series win of the season. Things didn't start well as Cedeno gave up a 2-run homer to Travs SS Brandon Wood in the 1st but Wichita bounced back to take the lead in the 2nd on a 3-run homer by Senreiso -- his first AA shot of the year -- after 1-out walks to Maier and 1B Kila Kaaihue. The Wranglers all but put the game away with a 5-run 4th as Gordon reached on a 2-out, bases loaded throwing error by Travs 2B Eric Rodland that allowed 2 runs to score. The extra out hurt Arkansas as Butler blasted a 3-run shot to center for his 5th homer and 11th, 12th and 13th RBI. Cedeno gave up a run in the bottom of the 4th but relievers Braun and Gragg III went the remaining 5 innings without giving up anything. Wichita added 3 in the 6th in another 2-out rally as Butler hit an RBI single, Gordon scored on a wild pitch and Maier drove Butler home with a single to make the score 11-3. Wichita tacked on a run in the 9th on a Tupman double play ball that scored Kaaihue. The Wranglers are now 6-13 -- 6-7 after an 0-6 start -- and still 7 games back of first. I'd point to pitching and defense as the early problem as the Wranglers have allowed 5.52 runs a game compared to scoring 5.26 runs a game through 19 games. 5-plus runs should be enough to win most games. Arkansas SP Chris Hunter walked 5 over 3 1/3 IP and took the loss. Wood was 2-4 (the homer was his 5th) to improve to .321 and DH Mike Eylward was 3-4 to move his BA to .400. 3B Matt Brown was 1-4 to drop to .321.

The Wranglers also have Wednesday off and start a 4-game home set with Midland (11-8, AA A's) Thursday. No announced pitchers on either team's site.

High-A - High Desert: Stockton 5, Mavs 2

Valentin 2-3, HR (2), RBI (9) -- .333
Galloway 2-4, RBI (8), 2 K, E (1) -- .333
Stodolka 0-4 -- .404
Lucas 0-3 -- .227

Hicklen 4 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HRA, WP -- L, 0-3, 10.07 ERA, not handling Cal League pitching well
Barnes 3 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K -- 5.68 ERA

*** Hicklen struggled again and Stockton used two innings of offense to get the series-opening win. Valentin homered in the 2nd to start the scoring and Galloway hit an RBI single in the 3rd to put High Desert up, 2-0. Hicklen made it through the first 2 innings without substantial trouble but Stockton got 2 singles and then a 3-run homer by RF Luke Appert to take the lead in the 3rd. Ports C Landon Powell hit a 2-run dinger in the 4th to account for Stockton's other 2 runs and the Mavs had 2 baserunners on 2 singles from the 4th inning on. High Desert dropped to 11-8 and is a 1/2 game back in the division. Ports reliever Marcus McBeth (good name) shut the Mavs down with 2 K in the 9th for his league-leading 7th save. He has a 0.00 ERA. SP Michael Rogers went 7 IP for his first '06 win. A's 2005 first-rounder SS Cliff Pennington was 1-4 for the Ports and is only hitting .111 thus far. DH Nathan Espy was 2-4 to bump his BA to .364 and Powell was 2-4 to move his BA to .327. A's OF prospect Richie Robnett was 0-4 to drop to .224.

The Mavs and Ports play again Wednesday night. Pitchers: Mavs RH Kyle Crist vs. Ports RH Ryan Webb.

Low-A - Burlington: Bees 2, Southwest Michigan 0 (10)

Lisson 2-4, BB, 2B (5), 2 RBI (15), SB (4) -- .237
McConnell 1-4, BB, 2 K, picked off -- .107
Sabatini 1-3, BB, RS -- .184
Thibault 0-3, BB -- .276

Rosa 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 4 K -- ND, 2.14 ERA, great start
De la vara 2 IP, 0 ER, H, 3 K -- W, 1-1, 4.80 ERA

*** Rosa looks to be recovered after taking 2005 off after arm surgery as he went 8 shutout innings only to get a no-decision as the Bees' offense struggled but pulled out a win in 10. The game was fairly cut-and-dry as both teams got baserunners throughout the early and middle innings but couldn't get a runner home. The Bees finally broke through in the 10th as CF Jose Duarte reached on a throwing error and, with 2 out, McConnell drew a walk to load the bases. Lisson came through again for Burlington with a 2-run single for the Bees' 4th hit of the game and a 2-0 lead. De la vara struck out 3 in the 9th but the first reached on a wild pitch on strike three so he had to coax another batter into a ground out to end the game. It was an all-around great pitching game for Burlington. No walks, 7 Ks, only 6 hits allowed over 10 IP. Burlington moved to 8-11 and snapped a 5-game skid. Four D-Rays pitchers held the Bees in check as the 2 runs were both unearned. SWM RF Garrett Groce was 1-4 to drop to .345 and DH Matt Spring was 1-4 to drop to .306.

The Bees and D-Rays played an early game today with Chris Nicoll pitching Burlington to an 8-1 win. That game will be recapped in the next report. In other Bees news, LHP Eliszer Garcia
was placed on the DL retroactive to April 17th to make room for Nicoll but then Garcia was activated Monday and RP Adam Kalkhof was released. Kalkhof wasn't pitching poorly -- he hadn't allowed an earned run in a few IP.

25 April 2006

Royals on the Farm -- Huber update

Good news. Huber just dislocated his pinky finger and will be out a few games -- like 2 or 3 according to the team site. I guess CF Kerry Robinson also left last night's Omaha game with chest pains that were later diagnosed as muscle spasms in his rib cage. He is supposed to be back in the lineup today.

24 April 2006

Royals on the Farm 4/24

AAA - Omaha: O-Royals 3, Memphis 1

Huber 1-2, K -- .333, pulled in 5th after getting picked off -- reported injured hand/wrist -- ungood
Phillips 3-3, BB, 2B, RS -- .259
Blanco 1-4, E (8) -- .354, so much for the glove
Robinson 1-2, RS -- .351
Gotay 1-2, 2 BB, K, RS -- .253
Guiel 0-3, BB, RBI -- .206 but OBP around .350
Allen 0-3, BB, 2 K -- .301
Ambres 0-3, outfield assist -- .159

Bernero 4 2/3 IP, ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 K -- ND, 3.86 ERA
Tamayo 4 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, BB, 3 K -- W, 2-1, 1.69 ERA

*** Bernero and Tamayo got the job done on the mound and the Royals scraped out enough offense to get the win but Huber's injury could cast a shadow on the victory. Guiel hit an RBI ground out in the 1st after Robinson and Gotay led off the frame with singles. Huber led off the 4th with a single but was picked off at first and left the game after the half-inning. Aviles singled home the team's second run that inning but Memphis got on the board in the 5th on an RBI double by 1B Brian Daubach. Huber's replacement, Jared Price, doubled home the team's final run in the 7th. Tamayo gave up the RBI double on his first batter faced but settled down after that and didn't allow a runner until the 7th. Memphis never seriously threatened after the 5th. Omaha is 11-8 and awaiting the Nashville result to determine their status in the divisional race. Former O-Royal Dennis Tankersley took the loss to drop to 0-3 but got his ERA under 10 in the process. Memphis RF John Gall was 2-3 to improve to .397 and C Michel Hernandez was 1-4 to drop to .342.

The series concludes Tuesday. Pitchers: Memphis RH Brad Voyles (1-0, 1.50) vs. Omaha RH Brian Bass (0-2, 6.92). More news on Huber to come, I'm sure.

AA - Wichita: Wranglers 5, Arkansas 4 (10)

Gordon 2-5, HR (4), RBI (8), K -- .329
Butler 1-4, HR (4), 2 RBI (10), HBP -- .316
Lubanski 1-5, 2B (4), K -- .221
Maier 4-5, CS -- .267
Tupman 2-3, HR (1), RBI (10), BB -- .367
Murphy 1-5, HR (3), RBI (9), E (2) -- .229
Sanchez 0-4, BB, RS -- .305

Middleton 7 IP, ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K -- ND, 3.97 ERA
Nunez 2 IP, ER, H, 0 BB, 2 K -- BS (2), W, 1-1, 5.00 ERA

*** The Wranglers did all their work by longball Monday night as Murphy hit the eventual game-winning dinger in the 10th after Wichita wasted a good start by Middleton. Gordon homered in his first AB for his 4th of the season to start Wichita with a 1-0 lead. Arkansas tied the game in the 5th but Wichita surged back ahead in the 6th as Tupman led off the inning with his first 2006 homer and Butler blasted a 2-run shot to center that also scored Sanchez to give the Wranglers a 4-1 lead. Middleton cruised through the 7th before giving way to RP Thad Markray for the 8th and the move proved a bad one for manager Frank White. Markray gave up a 2-run homer to DH Mike Eylward to cut Wichita's lead to 4-3 but got out of the inning without further damage. Nunez came in for the 9th and gave up a leadoff homer to RF Jason Aspito to tie the game. It was Leo's 2nd blown save. Murphy came through with a leadoff jack in the 10th to put Wichita back ahead and Nunez set the Travs down quietly in the 10th to end the game. The Wranglers are 5-13 and 7 games back of first. SS Brandon Wood was 0-5 for Arkansas to drop to .311. Eylward was 2-4 to improve to .379 and 2B Eric Rodland was 2-3 to move to .320.

Series finale is Tuesday night. Pitchers: Wranglers LH Juan Cedeno vs. Travelers RH Chris Hunter.

High-A - High Desert: Mavs 3, Lancaster 2

Galloway 1-3, 2B, RBI, K, HBP -- .321
Valentin 0-2 -- .310
Donachie 1-1, BB, 2 RS, HBP -- .237
McFall 0-2, RBI, K, SF -- .217
Gaffney 0-3, 2 K -- .346
Stodolka DNP

Christensen 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, BB, 9 K, HRA -- ND, 3.91 ERA
Plummer 1 2/3 IP, 0 ER, H, 0 BB, 2 K -- W, 3-1, 6.30 ERA
DeHoyos IP, 0 ER, 0 H, BB -- SV (3), 1.04 ERA

*** High Desert got the sweep with a late rally and won with only 4 hits. Christensen gave up a homer to the first batter of the game -- Lancaster CF Chris Rahl -- but didn't give up anything else over 6 1/3 innings. McFall tied the game with a sac fly in the 5th. Christensen gave up back-to-back singles and left with 2 on and 1 out in the 7th. Plummer gave up a fielder's choice run to the first batter he faced and Lancaster took a 2-1 lead. Donachie walked with 2 out in the bottom of the inning and Valentin and McFall reached on consecutive errors by JetHawks 3B Rusty Ryal, who had 3 errors in the game. The other happened two batters before McFall's 5th inning sac fly. Donachie scored on the second error and the game was tied at 2. Galloway came through with a 2-out double in the 8th that scored SS Irving Falu and High Desert took the 3-2 lead. Lancaster got a runner to third with 2 out in the 9th but Ryal grounded out to end the game. Tough game for him -- he was like the Mavs' 10th player. High Desert is now 11-7 and awaiting Rancho Cucamonga's Monday result. Lancaster SP Gregory Smith went 6 2/3 innings and gave up only 2 unearned runs to drop his ERA to 2.84. Rahl was 3-5 with a double and homer to improve to .324.

High Desert moves on to a 3-game set at the Stockton Ports (8-9, High-A A's) Tuesday. It's SP Patrick Hicklen's turn again, I think. He's 0-2 with a 9.77 ERA.

Low-A - Burlington: Peoria 3, Bees 2

Thibault 2-4, K -- .291
McConnell 1-4, RS, K, 2 E (5) -- .091, yet to adjust to low-A
Lowen 1-3, 2B, RS -- .300

Henninger 5 2/3 IP, 3 UER, 5 H, 3 BB, 7 K -- L, 1-1, 3.20 ERA

*** A 3-run inning was all Peoria needed to keep Burlington's woes alive with a 5th straight loss and a sweep at the hands of the Chiefs. Burlington didn't get a runner to first through the first 4 innings and Henninger walked in a run after a fielding error by 1B Miguel Vega loaded the bases in the bottom of the 4th. He then gave up a 2-run single to Peoria CF Davy Gregg to make the score 3-0 Chiefs. Lowen doubled to break up the perfecto to lead off the 5th and CF Jose Duarte drove him home with a single to make the score 3-1. That was the score entering the 9th when McConnell and Thibault led off the inning with singles. PH Mario Lisson drove McConnell home with a ground out but 3B Jeremy Jirschele grounded out to end the game with the tying run in scoring position. The Bees are 7-11 and now 4 games back of first. Chiefs 1B Ryan Norwood was 2-3 with a double to move to .333.

The Bees try to start over as they start a 4-game series at the Southwest Michigan D-Rays (8-10, Low-A guess who) Tuesday evening. Starters: Bees RH Carlos Rosa (1-2, 3.46) vs. SWM RH Greg Rheinhard (0-2, 10.57).

23 April 2006

Royals on the Farm 4/23

AAA - Omaha: Memphis 6, O-Royals 4

Huber 0-4, 2 K, E (3) -- .328
Blanco 1-3 -- .361
Aviles 2-4, HR (2), 2 RBI (7), 2 RS -- .235
Robinson 2-4, 2 RBI (11), CS, picked off -- .347
Guiel DNP
Gotay 1-4 -- .247
Allen 1-2, 2 BB -- .314
Ambres 1-4, RS -- .167
Bell 1-4, RS -- .346

Howell 5 IP, 6 ER, 10 H, 0 BB, 3 K -- L, 3-1, 4.50 ERA
Andrade 3 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, BB, 4 K -- 2.57 ERA
Brooks IP, 0 ER, H -- 0.00 ERA

*** Memphis put together 2 3-run innings off Howell and Omaha couldn't come back. The game was scoreless entering the 4th when Memphis RF Prentice Redman hit a 2-run double and was singled home to give the Redbirds a 3-0 lead. DH Michel Hernandez and 1B John Gall provided RBI doubles for Memphis in the 5th and Redman singled home another run to make the lead 6-0. Aviles hit an RBI single and Robinson hit a 2-run single in the bottom of the 5th to cut the lead in half for Omaha and Aviles hit his 2nd AAA homer in the 7th to cut the lead to 2. Omaha didn't get another baserunner. Andrade and Brooks held the Redbirds down in relief. The O-Royals are 10-8 and a game back of Nashville. Redman was 3-4 to improve to .297 and Gall and Hernandez had 2-hit games to up their BAs to .387 and .348, respectively.

The series continues Monday evening. Starters: Memphis RH Dennis Tankersley (0-2, 7.71) vs. Omaha RH Adam Bernero (0-0, 4.82).

AA - Wichita: Arkansas 6, Wranglers 5

Gordon 1-4, K, RS -- .324
Butler 2-4, 2B, 2 RS -- .320
Lubanski 2-4, 2B, RBI, RS -- .222
Sanchez 1-3, BB -- .327
Maier 1-3, RBI (17!), K, SF -- .229
Tupman 1-4, 2 RBI (9), E (2) -- .348
Murphy 0-5, 2 K -- .233

Snare 4 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 K -- 8.83 ERA
RP Cody Smith 2 IP, 0 ER, H, BB, K -- 2.70 ERA

*** Wichita got down early and didn't get all the way back in dropping their 13th game of the season. Snare loaded the bases without giving up a hit in the 1st via a HBP and 2 BB and Arkansas got 2 runs out of the situation. Butler doubled to lead off the 2nd and scored on a Lubanski ground out to cut the lead to 2-1 but Arkansas scored twice more in the 3rd and again in the 4th to make the score 5-1. Arkansas SP James Holcomb retired 14 straight Wranglers at one point but Wichita broke through in the 7th. Gordon and Butler singled to start the inning, Maier drove Gordon home with a sac fly, Lubanski doubled, 3B Adam Keim singled home Butler and Tupman singled home Lubanski. The Wranglers loaded the bases with only the 1 out but didn't score any more to break what was then a 5-5 tie. RP Derrick DePriest entered the game in the 7th and was solid until giving up a leadoff double in the 9th. He walked the next batter intentionally and the two runners were sacrificed over to second and third. RP Nate Hoelscher came in and intentionally walked another batter to load the bases but, in a microcosm of the Wrangler season thus far, hit Travs RF Jason Aspito with a pitch to bring the winning run home. Wichita is 4-13 and 7 games back of first. Travs 1B Mike Eylward was 2-4 to improve to .371 and SS Brandon Wood was 2-3 to move to .333. The Wranglers' pitchers hit 5 Travs batters with pitches in the game.

Monday, Travs RH Rafael Rodriguez (3-0, 0.53 ERA in the Cal League) makes his Class AA debut vs. Wichita RH Kyle Middleton (0-1, 5.17 ERA).

High-A - High Desert: Mavs 8, Lancaster 2

Stodolka 0-3, BB, K, RS, HBP, picked off -- .419
Brown 4-5, 2B, RBI, RS -- .310
Galloway 3-5, 2 RS, K -- .321
Melgarejo 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K -- .273
Lucas 2-5, RS, K -- .238
Gaffney 2-3, 2 RBI, BB, E (2) -- .391
Valentin 1-3, RBI, BB, RS -- .325

Cota 8 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, BB, 6 K -- W, 1-2, 7.17 ERA

*** The Mavs got Cota's first good start of the year and pounded out 15 hits to set themselves up for a sweep of the JetHawks. Brown knocked home a run on a 1st inning single and Melgarejo drove home a run with a 2nd inning single to put the Mavs up, 2-0. Cota gave up a 2-run, 1-out homer in the 3rd to allow Lancaster to tie the game but the Mavs loaded the bases with no out in the bottom of the inning. C Adam Donachie and Gaffney sandwiched RBI singles around a Valentin RBI ground out and Gaffney's drove home 2 runs. Melgarejo drove Gaffney home with a double and the Mavs were up, 7-2. The Mavs scored again in the 4th as Galloway scored on a fielding error on a ball hit by Stodolka. Cota gave up 1 hit after the homer but then retired 13 straight into the 7th. The JetHawks got one more runner but that was it. High Desert is 10-7 and 1/2 a game back of first. Lancaster managed only the 4 hits off Cota.

The series wraps up Monday. The Mavs send LH Danny Christensen to the hill vs. Lancaster LH Greg Smith.

Low-A - Burlington: Peoria 13, Bees 11

Santana 1-4, BB, K, SB (4) -- .312
Howell 3-4, 2B, RBI, 2 RS, HBP -- .250
1B John Lowen 3-4, HR (2), 3 RBI, 2 RS, SF, E (1) -- .297
Arroyo 3-5, 2 RBI, RS -- .265
LF Antonio Sabatini 2-4, 3B, 3 RBI, outfield assist -- .188
Thibault 2-5, 2 2B, RBI, 3 RS, HBP -- .275
Lisson 1-5, BB, K, RBI -- .222

DiPietro 3 2/3 IP, 8 R (5 ER), 6 H, 4 BB, K -- ND, 3.27 ERA, not a pretty line
Oliveros 3 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, balk -- L, 2-1, 2.87 ERA

*** It's feast or famine for the Bees. After three games with one combined run, they score 11 only to allow 13 to the Chiefs and lose to drop their 4th straight. Two walks and then a Lisson RBI single started the game right for Burlington and a Lowen sac fly made the score 2-0 Bees after half an inning of play. Peoria manufactured a run off DiPietro in the bottom of the 1st but Burlington loaded the bases with 1 out in the 3rd before Arroyo hit an RBI single and Sabatini followed with a 2-run single to make the score 5-1 Bees. The Chiefs fought back with 2 in the bottom of the inning, one on a solo homer, to cut the lead to 2 but Burlington looked to be in good shape after a 5-run 4th. All of the runs came with 2 out as Thibault doubled home a run, Lowen hit a 2-run blast to right for his 2nd of the season, Arroyo singled home a run and Sabatini tripled Arroyo home to make the score 10-3. In a fine example of organizational pitching, Burlington proceeded to give up 7 runs in the bottom of the 4th to allow the Chiefs to tie the game. A Howell passed ball, a fielding error by SS Valentino Arce with 2 out that would have saved 5 runs and a balk on Oliveros were all lowlights of the inning for Burlington. Peoria broke the tie with 2 in the 5th off Sabatini to make the score 12-10 Chiefs. The teams actually went scoreless until the 8th when Thibault led off with a double and scored on a Howell ground out to cut the lead to 1. The Bees got another runner to third but Santana struck out to end the threat. Of course, Bees RP Cody Harkcom came in and allowed an insurance run to Peoria in the 8th. The Bees got a runner to second with 1 out in the 9th but that was as far as he went. Burlington is now 7-10. Chiefs 2B Robinson Chirinos was 3-5 with a double, homer and 3 RBI in improving to .273. C Mark Reed was 2-3 with a walk and RBI to improve to .393.

The teams finish the series tonight.
Pitchers: Bees RH David Henninger (1-0, 4.50) against Chiefs RH Scott Taylor, who is making his team debut.

22 April 2006

Royals on the Farm 4/21 and 4/22

AAA - Omaha: Nashville 9, O-Royals 4 (Friday)

Huber 0-4, BB, K -- .347
Blanco 3-4, RBI (11), E (6) -- .352
Aviles 2-4, 2B, RS -- .233
Phillips 2-5, RS, 4 SB against, 1 CS -- .234
Guiel 0-5, K -- .214
Robinson 1-5, 2B, RS, SB (7) -- .304
Gotay 1-5, K, RS -- .250
Ambres 0-3, BB -- .154

Snyder 4 2/3 IP, 8 R (7 ER), 11 H, BB, 4 K, 2 HRA, WP -- L, 0-1, 4.24 ERA

*** Snyder got rocked in two big Nashville innings as the Royals dropped their 3rd straight. Robinson led off the game with a double, stole third and scored on a throwing error by Sounds C Mike Rivera to give Omaha a 1-0 lead but Nashville scored on a Blanco fielding error to even it up after 1. Snyder gave up 2 homers and an RBI single in the 2nd to account for 4 Nashville runs as the Sounds took a 5-1 lead. Omaha got a run back on a Blanco RBI single in the 4th but Nashville rallied for 3 runs with 2 out in the 5th off Snyder and RP Ed Yarnall to take an 8-2 lead. A fielding error by CF Tony Gwynn Jr. allowed the O-Royals to score a run in the 7th but Nashville got the run back that inning on a Rivera solo homer. Omaha added its final run in the 8th on another Blanco RBI single after an Aviles leadoff double but didn't threaten after that. Omaha dropped to 9-7 and 1 game back of the Sounds. Nashville RP Jared Fernandez (knuckleballer) went 5 1/3 innings of relief with only 2 UER given up to keep his ERA at 0.00. Gwynn was 2-4 with a walk to move over .300 to .306. Sounds LF Corey Hart was 2-4 with a walk and RBI to improve to .333 and Rivera was 2-4 to improve to .371. The Sounds survived a 5-error night. Two other Nashville players had 2-hit games.

O-Royals 11, Memphis 5 (Saturday)

Huber 2-5, 2 K, RS, E (2) -- .352
Robinson 4-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 RS -- .338
Allen 4-5, HR (4), 2 RBI (12), K, 2 RS -- .309
Blanco 2-4, 2 RBI (13), 2 RS, E (7) -- .362
Ambres 1-4, BB, K, RS, SB -- .161
Guiel 1-4, HR (6, GS), 4 RBI (17), BB, K -- .217
Gotay 1-5, RBI, RS -- .247

Keppel 8 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 4 H, 0 BB, 5 K -- W, 2-1, 3.55 ERA, nice start

*** Omaha set the tone with a 4-run 2nd and coasted to the 11-5 win. The O-Royals led off the 2nd with 3 singles off Memphis SP John Webb to load the bases and, with 2 out, Blanco hit a 2-run single and Robinson followed with a 2-RBI double to give the Royals a 4-0 lead. Allen extended the lead with a 2-run homer in the 7th and Keppel was cruising until giving up a 2-run double in the 8th after a Blanco fielding error (yet another one this season). Omaha again loaded the bases with 1 out in the 8th and Gotay hit an RBI single followed by a grand slam by Guiel to put the lead at 11-2. RP Dave Elder came on for the 9th and walked the first two batters. Longer story short, he ended up giving up 3 runs thanks in part to a passed ball on C Jared Price, but Omaha came away with the 11-5 win. Omaha is 10-7 and awaits Nashville's result against Oklahoma. Memphis RF John Gall was 1-3 with a walk to drop to .375 and C Michel Hernandez was 1-4 with a double and RBI to drop to .338.

The home set with Memphis continues Sunday afternoon. Starters: Memphis LH Randy Leek (1-1, 3.66) vs. LH J.P. Howell (3-0, 2.65).

AA - Wichita: Arkansas 11, Wranglers 10 (10) (Friday)

Gordon 2-2, 3 BB, 2 2B (8), 3 RS, HBP -- .344
Butler 2-5, BB, 2 RS, E (2), outfield assist -- .284
Lubanski 2-6, RS, picked off -- .196
Tupman 3-5, 2B, 4 RBI, RS -- .357
Maier 1-3, BB, K, 2B, 3 RBI (16), 2 RS, SF, HBP -- .222, averaging an RBI a game
Murphy 1-6, K, RBI -- .265

Herndon 4 1/3 IP, 8 R (7 ER), 12 H, 0 BB, 3 K -- 5.65 ERA
Braun 1 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, K -- L, 0-3, 6.14 ERA

*** The Wrangler pitching staff -- no, actually Junior Herndon and Ryan Braun -- squandered a 6-run 1st as Wichita's 2006 woes continued. Wichita loaded the bases with 1 out in the 1st when Maier and Tupman hit RBI doubles of the 2-run and 3-run varieties, respectively, and Murphy added an RBI single to give Wichita a 6-0 lead. Arkansas came back with a 3-run 1st off Herndon to cut the lead in half but Wichita added a run in the 2nd on a Maier sac fly. Herndon continued to struggle in the 2nd but stayed in the game as he gave up 2 more runs to make the score 7-5 Wranglers. He actually made it thru the 3rd and 4th unscathed but he returned to early form in the 5th as he gave up 2 RBI doubles to allow the Travs to tie the game. RP John Gragg III was brought in and gave up 2 more runs before getting out of the inning. Gordon led off the 7th with a double and the Wranglers loaded the bases with 0 outs. 1B Kila Kaaihue hit an RBI single and DH Juan Senreiso followed with a sac fly to tie the game before Tupman gave the Wranglers back the lead with an RBI ground out to make the score 10-9. Arkansas LF Aaron Peel tripled with 2 out in the 8th as the first batter to face Wranglers RP Ryan Braun before SS Brandon Wood came through with an RBI single to once again tie the game. Wichita got runners to second in both the 9th and 10th but wasted chances and Peel hit a walk-off single off Braun with 1 out in the 10th to end the game. The loss dropped Wichita to 3-12 and 7 1/2 games back of first. Peel was 5-6 in the game and only a homer short of the cycle in improving to .302. Wood and DH Mike Eylward were both 3-5 with 5 combined RBI to improve their BAs to .339 and .375, respectively.

Wranglers 7, Arkansas 1 (Saturday)

Gordon 0-3, BB, 2 K, RS -- .328
Butler 3-4, 2 HR (3), 3 RBI (8), 3 RS -- .310, breakout game???
Lubanski 1-3, RBI, SF -- .203
Maier 1-4, 2B, RS -- .224
Murphy 1-4, HR (2), 2 RBI (8), K -- .263
Sanchez 1-5, RS -- .327

Song 6 1/3 IP, ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K -- W, 1-1, 4.71 ERA
DePriest and Nunez 2 2/3 IP hitless relief, 5 combined K

*** Butler hit his first homer to lead off the 2nd and start the scoring in helping propel the Wranglers to their 4th win. Song gave up a solo homer in the 3rd to tie the game but faced no more trouble. Gordon walked to lead off the 7th and Butler followed with his 3rd homer of the season as Wichita took a 3-1 lead. Murphy hit a 2-run blast in the 8th to extend the lead and a passed ball and Lubanski sac fly provided the final runs to give Wichita the 7-1 win. The Wranglers are now 4-12. Wood was 0-4 to drop to .318 and Eylward was 0-2 to drop to .362. 3B Matthew Brown was 0-4 to drop to .354.

The series continues Sunday afternoon. I think it's Ryan Snare's turn on the mound.

High-A - High Desert: Mavs 6, Lancaster 1 (Friday)

Stodolka 3-3, 2 2B (8), BB, 2 RS, CS -- .417
McFall 2-4, HR (4), 3 RBI (11), 2 K -- .244
Gaffney 1-4, K, E -- .350
Galloway 2-4, BB, 2 K, RS -- .318
Lucas 0-3, BB, RBI, SB -- .222
2B Wilver Perez 1-3, BB, K, HR (1), RBI -- .184

Crist 3 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 4 K, WP -- 0.00 ERA, pitch count, I hope?
Plummer 3 1/3 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, K -- W, 2-1, 7.56 ERA
RP Adam Rowe 2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, K -- 1.74 ERA

*** Three strong innings and a whole game of strong pitching helped the Mavs to the win. Perez homered to start the scoring in the 3rd and, in the 4th, Stodolka led off with a double and McFall hit a 2-run shot for his 4th of the season to give the Mavs a 3-0 lead. In a 3-run 5th, Stodolka hit an RBI double and McFall and Lucas followed with an RBI single and RBI ground out to make the score 6-0. Plummer gave up a solo shot in the 6th to account for Lancaster's only run. The Mavs moved to 8-7 with the win. JetHawks 2B Mark Reynolds went 3-4 with a homer to move to .367. Lancaster CF Chris Rahl and LF Brandon Burgess had 2-hit games and are hitting in the .320s.

Mavs 4, Lancaster 2 (Saturday)

Stodolka 3-4, 3 2B (11) -- Cal League crazy, but I'm liking it.... .450 BA!
Valentin 1-3, BB, K, 2 RBI (7) -- .324
Brown 2-4, HR, 2 RBI (7), 2 K -- .264
Lucas 1-4, RS, SB -- .224

Buckner 6 1/3 IP, UER, 5 H, 4 BB, 8 K -- W, 3-0, 2.78 ERA

*** High Desert put the struggling JetHawks down for a second straight game as Stodolka had another good game. Buckner gave up an RBI double in the 1st after a fielding error by 2B Wilver Perez but then settled down. 1B Rusty Brown cracked a 2-run shot in the 1st after Lucas reached on an error and the Mavs didn't trail again. C Tomas Duenas singled and Stodolka doubled to start the Mavs' 6th and Valentin hit a 2-run single to give the Mavs a 4-1 lead. RP Brandon Weeden gave up a run in the 8th but gave up nothing else and RP Gabe DeHoyos got the save with a 1-2-3 9th for his 2nd save. High Desert is now 9-7. JetHawks SP Matt Chico took the loss despite 5 IP of 2 UER as his ERA dropped to 1.61. Reynolds was 0-4 to drop to .324 and C Wilkin Castillo was 2-4 with a double to improve to .315.

The teams play again Sunday afternoon. I think Luis Cota is up for his turn on the mound for HD.

Low-A - Burlington: Peoria 2, Bees 0 (Friday)

Santana 2-3 -- .321
Lisson 0-4, 3 K, E (2) -- .244
McConnell 0-4, 2 K -- .091

Nicoll 4 2/3 IP, ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 K!! -- L, 0-1, 1.93 ERA, nice K total, hard loss to take

*** The Bees got 4-hit in getting shut out in their second straight game. Nicoll gave up an RBI triple in the 3rd and RP Gilbert de la Vara gave up an RBI single in the 7th to account for Peoria's scoring. The Bees managed only 4 hits but the Chiefs only got 6. Burlington dropped to 7-8 with the loss. Peoria got 5 IP of 2-hit pitching from SP Mitch Atkins for the win. RPs Tim Layden and Edward Campusano gave up only 2 hits over 4 IP. The Chiefs pitchers did walk 6 batters, tho. Burlington threatened in the 3rd, 4th and 7th but couldn't come up with a key hit. Peoria C Mark Reed was 1-2 with a walk and is batting .360. He was the only batter over .300 in Peoria's lineup.

Peoria 2, Bees 1 (10) (Saturday)

Howell 2-4, 2 K -- .194
Lisson 0-4, 3 K -- .224
McConnell 0-4, RBI (2) -- .083
Arce 1-4, 2B, K, RS -- .256
Thibault 1-3, BB, 2 K, pickoff as C -- .261

Kniginyzky 8 IP, ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 7 K -- ND, 2.52 ERA
RP Yovany Damico 1 1/3 IP, ER, 3 H, BB, 2 K -- L, 0-2, 5.40 ERA

*** The Bees' offensive struggles continued for a third straight game as Kniginyzky's good start was wasted. He gave up a sac fly RBI in the 2nd but Burlington tied it in the 4th on a McConnell RBI ground out after Arce led the inning off with a double. Kniginyzky held the Chiefs in check through the 8th but the Bees could do no damage on the scoreboard. Damico took over in the 9th and gave up a leadoff single in the 10th that was worsened by a throwing error by CF Jose Duarte that allowed the runner to reach second. Damico got 1 out but then gave up a walkoff RBI double to Chiefs 2B Robinson Chirinos to end the game. The Bees dropped to 7-9 and 4 games back of first. Chiefs SP Donald Veal gave up only 1 hit and 1 ER over 6 IP with 9 K to drop his ERA to 3.43. RPs Matt Avery and Jeff Teasley gave up only 3 hits with 6 K over 4 IP. Peoria 3B Kyle Reynolds was 4-4 with a double and is batting 1.000. 1B Ryan Norwood was 2-4 to improve to .311.

The series continues Sunday afternoon. Pitchers: Bees LH Ryan DiPietro (1-0, 1.47) vs. Peoria RH Todd Blackford (1-0, 1.69).

21 April 2006

Royals on the Farm 4/20

AAA - Omaha: Nashville 7, O-Royals 2

Huber 1-2, 2 BB, RS -- .378
Aviles 2-4, K, E (6) -- .205, adjusting somewhat
Robinson 2-4, BB, RBI (7), SB (6) -- .310
Guiel 0-4, BB, 3 K -- .235, another triple sombrero
Gotay 0-5, K -- .254
Blanco 0-3, BB, K, E (5) -- .320
Phillips 1-3, BB, 2B -- .214
Ambres 0-3, BB, RS -- .163

Bass 2 IP, 7 R (2 ER), 6 H, BB, K, WP, balk -- L, 0-2, 6.92 ERA
Tamayo 5 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, BB, 4 K -- 2.31 ERA

*** All of Nashville's damage was done in the first two innings and Omaha left 11 runners on base in the loss, which was their second straight. A Bass wild pitch and Aviles fielding error helped the Sounds score 1 of 2 1st inning tallies. Bass balked in a run in the 2nd, which led to the ejection of Royals manager Mike Jirschele. A Blanco fielding error with 2 out in the inning was a killer as the Sounds pushed 4 more runs across the plate before the inning came to a merciful end with a 7-0 Nashville lead. The Royals had baserunners in each of the first 4 innings but couldn't score a run until the 6th, when Huber scored on a Nashville fielding error and Robinson singled home a run. Omaha got 2 on with no out in the 8th but again stranded both runners and then went down quietly in the 9th. The O-Royals are now 9-6 and tied with Nashville for the division lead. Nashville starter Dennis Sarfate allowed only 2 unearned runs but walked 6 over 5 IP to drop his ERA to 3.38. Gwynn Jr. was 1-3 with a double to improve to .293, 2B Jermaine Clark was 1-3 with 2 RS to up his BA to .327 and SS Chris Barnwell was 1-4 to drop to .354.

The series wraps up tonight. Pitchers: Omaha
RH Kyle Snyder (0-0, 0.73) vs. LH Justin Thompson (0-0, 7.94).

AA - Wichita: Springfield 2, Wranglers 1

Gordon 0-4, K -- .322
Butler 2-4, 2B (5), 2 K -- .274
Lubanski 2-2, BB, HR (2), RBI (2), CS -- .180, maybe starting to come around?
Senreiso 1-3, K -- Wichita debut, .333
Tupman 1-3 -- .324
Maier 0-4, K -- .217
Murphy 1-3, BB, K -- .286

Cedeno 6 IP, ER, 2 H, 5 BB, 6 K, HRA -- ND, 5.02 ERA, more walks

*** Starters Juan Cedeno and Mike Parisi got into a pitchers' duel Thursday but neither got the decision as Wichita RP Nate Hoelscher gave up a walk-off homer in the 9th to give Springfield the series win. Lubanski homered to lead off the 3rd and give Wichita a 1-0 lead after Cedeno worked out of a 2-on, 0 out 2nd inning jam. Butler doubled with 1 out in the 4th but then had baserunning problems as he was doubled off the bag on a fly out by 1B Kila Kaaihue. Cards CF Reid Gorecki tied the game with a leadoff homer off Cedeno in the 4th and the game remained tied at 1 into the 9th. Cards RF Nick Stavinoha led off the inning with his 2nd homer of the season, this one off Hoelscher, to give Springfield the 2-1 win. The Wranglers are 3-11 and now 7 games back of Tulsa, as the Drillers swept a 5-gamer from Arkansas. Parisi allowed an ER over 6 2/3 IP with only 1 walk and 6 Ks to drop his ERA to 4.32. Gorecki's homer was his only hit of the day as his BA dropped to .367. 3B Rico Washington was 1-1 with 2 walks to improve to .396.

The Wranglers start a 5-game set at Arkansas (6-8, AA Angels) tonight. Pitchers: Travs RH Jesse Smith (0-0, 4.86 ERA) vs. Wichita RH Junior Herndon (1-1, 1.80 ERA).

High-A - High Desert: San Jose 13, Mavs 5

Falu 2-4, BB, 3B (2), 2 RS -- .269
Lucas 1-4, RBI, RS, SF, E (4) -- .235
Stodolka 1-2, 2 BB, 2B (6), RBI, E (1) -- .364
Galloway 1-3, BB, RBI, RS, HBP -- .300
Valentin 0-4 -- .324
Gaffney 1-4, HR (1), RBI -- .375

Hicklen 5 2/3 IP, 7 R (6 ER), 8 H, BB, 6 K, WP -- L, 0-2, 9.77 ERA, at least he didn't walk many
Barnes 1 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 2 K -- 7.45 ERA

*** San Jose actually went scoreless for four innings at one point in the game but broke out with a 4-run 6th and went on to crush the Mavericks in the series finale. The Giants jumped on Hicklen for 3 in the 1st but High Desert scored 3 runs of its own in their portion of the inning as Galloway hit an RBI single, Stodolka smacked an RBI double and C Adam Donachie singled home a run. Falu tripled with 1 out in the 2nd and was driven home on a Lucas sac fly to give the Mavs a 4-3 lead. High Desert loaded the bases with 1 out in the 3rd but didn't score a run as Valentin hit into a DP. Hicklen had little to no problems in the 2nd through 5th as he gave up 1 hit over that stretch. He gave up a walk and single after getting the leadoff guy out in the 6th and then gave up an RBI single and a wild pitch before getting the 2nd out with the game tied. An RBI single by San Jose C Todd Jennings drove home 2 runs and resulted in Hicklen being pulled in favor of Barnes. A Lucas throwing error allowed another run to score before the Mavs got out of the inning behind, 7-4. Giants RF Brian Horwitz homered with 1 out in the 7th and San Jose got 2 more runs off Hicklen in the inning. Gaffney homered for his first of the season in the bottom of the frame to provide High Desert's final run and the Giants added 3 more runs in the 8th and 9th off RP C.J. Woodrow to put the game out of reach. High Desert threatened in the 8th to make the game closer but didn't. The Mavs are 7-7 and still 1 1/2 games back of first place. The Giants got 3 hitless IP out of reliever Adam Gardner, who picked up the win. Horwitz was 2-4 to improve to .400 and DH Guillermo Rodriguez was 4-5 for San Jose to improve to .667. Five other players had multi-hit games for the Giants, including three 3-hit games. The Giants pounded out 20 hits in all.

The Mavs move on to a 4-game home set with Lancaster (4-10, High-A D'backs) tonight. Starters: JetHawks' SP Matt Green vs. High Desert's Kyle Crist.

Low-A - Burlington: Fort Wayne 3, Bees 0

CF Jose Duarte 2-3, 2B, outfield assist -- .250
McConnell 1-4 -- .100
DH Jeff Howell 1-2, BB, K -- .172
C John Lowen 1-4, K -- .242

Rosa 3 2/3 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 5 K -- L, 1-2, 3.46 ERA
Schambough 3 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, BB, 5 K -- 3.00 ERA

*** The Bees got 5-hit by SP Josh Geer and 3 Wizards relievers in dropping back to .500. Bees SP Carlos Rosa and three relievers scattered Fort Wayne's runs but the offense could get nothing going. The Wizards scored their first run in the 3rd and Duarte doubled with 1 out that inning for the Bees but nothing came of it. Fort Wayne scored its first run off Schambough in the 5th and their 3rd overall run in the 6th. The Bees never seriously threatened and didn't get a runner past second. Burlington is 7-7 and 3 games back of first. Geer went 6 IP and allowed 4 hits and a walk in moving to 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA. 2B Seth Johnston was 3-5 with 2 RS to improve to .333.

A 4-game set at Peoria (5-9, Low-A Cubs) starts tonight. Bees RH Chris Nicoll, the Royals' 2005 third-round pick out of UC-Irvine, makes his A debut tonight vs. Chiefs RH Mitch Atkins (0-0, 1.80).

20 April 2006

Royals on the Farm 4/19

AAA - Omaha: Nashville 9, O-Royals 7

Huber 2-4, HR (6), RBI (8), K, 2 RS -- .372
Blanco 2-4, 2B, RBI (10), RS -- .340
Guiel 0-3, HBP, 3 K, RS -- .255, not a good day at the plate
Gotay 0-5, 3 K -- .276
Ambres 1-4, 2B -- .174
Phillips 1-4, HR (2), RBI, K -- .205, also 2 throwing E and 5 SB against, that's a mixed bag of a game
Aviles 1-4, 2B, RBI, K, RS, E (5) -- .171

Rotund Hernandez 5 1/3 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 3 K -- L, 1-2, 10.67 ERA -- like the K/BB ratio
Elder 1 2/3 IP, 3 R (1 ER), 2 H, BB, 2 K -- BS

*** Omaha fell behind early but came back to take the lead only to lose it for good in the 6th. The Sounds scored 1 in the 2nd and 3 in the 3rd off Hernandez to take a 4-0 lead but Omaha put together a 5-run rally with 2 outs in the 4th to take the lead. DH Rick Bell reached on a fielding error by Nashville RF Nelson Cruz that allowed 2 runs to score and Aviles, Blanco and Kerry Robinson followed with consecutive RBI doubles to give the Royals a 5-4 lead. Omaha blew a chance to extend the lead after Ambres led off the 6th with a double. He was thrown out at third in an odd double play that looked to involve poor baserunning. Hernandez left the game with runners on first and third and one out in the 6th. RP Dave Elder gave up two RBI doubles, one a 2-run hit, to the first two batters he faced and, just like that, Nashville had a 7-5 lead. Nashville 2B Jermaine Clark drew a walk and, on a double steal with Tony Gwynn Jr. at second, both scored as Phillips made a throwing error and Aviles made a fielding error at third. Huber and Phillips went back-to-back with homers in the 8th to cut the Sounds' lead to 2 but that was it for Omaha's offense as Nashville came away with the W. The O-Royals are 9-5 and still a game up on the Sounds for first. Gwynn was 3-5 with 3 RBI for the Sounds to improve to .291. SS Chris Barnwell was 3-4 with 2 doubles to improve to .364.

Omaha tries to bounce back tonight at Nashville. Starters: Omaha RH Brian Bass (0-1, 6.55) vs. RH Dennis Sarfate (0-0, 5.40).

AA - Wichita: Springfield 6, Wranglers 2

Gordon 1-4, HR (3), RBI (7), K -- .345
Butler 0-4, K -- .259
Lubanski 3-4, 2B, K -- .146, finally a good game
Tupman 0-1, SF, RBI, BB -- .324
Sanchez 1-4, E (7) -- .340
Murphy 0-4, K -- .280
Maier 1-4, K, CS -- .232

Middleton 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 5 K -- 5.17 ERA, walks, walks, walks
DePriest 1 IP, 4 R (2 ER), 4 H, HRA -- L, 0-1, 4.50 ERA

*** A 4-run 7th opened up a late tie for Springfield and the Wranglers dropped another one. Middleton and Cards SP Stuart Pomeranz battled back and forth for 4 1/2 innings before the Cardinals scored a run on a solo shot by 2B Jarrett Hoffpauir in the 5th. Gordon came back with a solo shot of his own to tie the game in the 6th but Springfield scraped out another run in the bottom of the 6th to regain the lead. Wichita once again tied the game in the top of the 7th on a Tupman sac fly but DePriest came on to pitch the Cards 7th and gave up a leadoff homer to C Iker Franco, a 2-run double to 3B Rico Washington and another run to stake Springfield to the 6-2 lead. Wichita went down in order in the 8th and 9th. The Wranglers are 3-10 and now 6 games back of Tulsa. Washington was 1-2 with 2 BB and 2 RBI to improve to .383. CF Reid Gorecki was 1-4 for Springfield to drop to .368. The Cardinals hit 6 XBH of 9 total team hits in the win. Pomeranz got a no decision and his ERA moved to 3.31.

The 5-gamer goes to its rubber match tonight in Springfield. Pitchers: Wichita's Juan Cedeno (0-1, 7.56) vs. Cards' Mike Parisi (1-0, 6.30).

High-A - High Desert: San Jose 6, Mavs 5

Stodolka 0-4, K, RS -- .355
Valentin 0-3, HBP, E -- .367
Lucas 1-4, K, 2B, RBI, E -- .234
Galloway 1-4, 3B, 2 RBI -- .297
C Tomas Duenas 1-4, HR, RBI, K -- .182, also 2 passed balls

Christensen 5 2/3 IP, 4 R (2 ER), 5 H, 2 BB, 7 K, HRA, WP -- ND, 4.32 ERA
RP Nate Moore 2 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, BB, 2 K -- 1.00 ERA
DeHoyos 1 IP, 2 R (1 ER), H, BB, 2 K -- BS, L, 0-1, 1.35 ERA

*** High Desert coughed up a 5-4 9th inning lead to lose the game with the Giants. San Jose got a 2-run homer from 3B Simon Klink in the 2nd to get the early lead but High Desert got an RBI double from Lucas in the 4th and RBI single from SS Irving Falu and 2-run triple from Galloway in the 5th to take a 4-2 lead. San Jose tied the game in the 6th thanks in part to a Christensen wild pitch but Duenas jacked a solo homer in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead for the Mavs at 5-4. Moore pitched the Mavs into the 9th with the lead before DeHoyos came on to try and close it out. With 1 out, a walk was followed by an RBI double by SS Marcus Sanders to tie the game and a Valentin fielding error allowed Sanders to get to third on the play. DeHoyos got the second out of the inning but a passed ball on Duenas with the next batter at the plate allowed Sanders to score the go-ahead and eventual winning run. The Mavs went 1-2-3 in the 9th. High Desert is 7-6 and 1 1/2 games back of first. The bullpen had a 15 2/3 inning scoreless streak going before DeHoyos' 9th inning woes. Giants RF Brian Horwitz was 2-4 to improve to .389.

This series also goes to a rubber game tonight in Adelanto, the Mavs' home base. HD RH Patrick Hicklen pitches vs. San Jose RH Juan Serrato.

Low-A - Burlington: Fort Wayne 12, Burlington 4 (10, completion of Tuesday's game)

Lisson 1-4, HR, 2 RBI (10), BB, 2 RS, SB -- .263
Thibault 1-4, 2B, K, RBI (9), PB -- .278
Duarte 1-1, 3 BB, RS, 2 SB (4) -- .194
Santana 0-3, BB, K -- .304

DiPietro 4 2/3 IP, ER, 5 H, 2 BB, K -- 1.47 ERA
Damico 3 IP, ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 5 K -- 5.14 ERA
De la Vara 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 0 K -- 5.91 ERA
Harkcom 1/3 IP, 2 ER, H, BB, HRA (GS) -- 7.20 ERA

*** So much for that 10th inning tie when play was suspended Tuesday night. As reported yesterday, the game was tied at 4 with Fort Wayne having 1 runner on and 0 out in the 10th when play resumed Wednesday to finish the game. De la Vara gave up a walk and RBI double before getting a double play for 2 outs but then gave up 2 more walks and 2 more RBI singles before being pulled for RP Cody Harkcom, who promptly gave up a walk and then a grand slam to finish off the Wizards' damage. The Bees then sat down meekly in the 10th to end it. What a nightmare of an extra inning. The Bees dropped to 6-6. Wizards SP Steve Delabar gave up 1 ER over 5 IP to move his ERA to 2.08. Fort Wayne RF Nicholas Crosta was 4-6 with 2 doubles, the grand slam and 5 RBI to improve to .286 and 2B Seth Johnston was 3-5 with a double to improve to .312.

Bees 3, Fort Wayne 2 (Wednesday's regularly scheduled contest)

SS Chris McConnell 0-5, 2 K -- .083
Lisson 1-3, HR (2), RBI (11), BB, SB -- .268
RF Carlos Arroyo 2-3, BB, RS -- .237

Henninger 4 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 4 BB, K, 2 WP -- 4.50 ERA
Oliveros 4 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 3 K -- 0.73 ERA, in bullpen for some reason

*** A 9th-inning rally gave the Bees a win to make tonight's series finale, as in High Desert and Wichita, the deciding game of the series. Fort Wayne scored its runs in the 1st and 3rd off Henninger before the Bees even got a runner on base. A Lisson solo homer in the 4th broke the ice on the scoreboard for Burlington to cut the lead to 2-1, which remained the score into the bottom of the 9th. Arroyo led off the inning with a single and, after 2 strikeouts put the Bees down to their last out, 2B Valentino Arce reached on a throwing error by FW 3B Abraham Aguilar and then McConnell reached on a throwing error by P John Madden (not the NFL announcer, but a funny thought) that allowed Arroyo and PR Joshua Johnson to score the tying and winning runs. Burlington is 7-6 and 2 games back of first. Wizards C Brandon Gottier was 1-4 to drop to .400 and 1B Daryl Jones was 1-4 with a double and RBI to drop to .356. Fort Wayne starter Grant Varnell gave up only 1 ER on 5 H over 5 IP to lower his ERA to 3.00.

In the series finale tonight, Bees RH Carlos Rosa (1-1, 3.86) starts against RH Josh Geer (1-0, 3.60).

19 April 2006

Royals on the Farm 4/18

AAA - Omaha: O-Royals 6, Nashville 2

Huber 2-4, HR (5), RBI (7) -- .359
Guiel 2-4, BB, K, 2 HR (5), 3 RBI (13) -- .273
Aviles 2-4, 2 RBI -- .161
Phillips 2-4, RS, 3 SB against -- .200
Robinson 2-5, RS, SB (5) -- .300
Gotay 0-5, CS -- .302
Allen 1-4, BB -- .315
Blanco 0-4, K -- .326

Howell 5 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 4 K -- W, 3-0, 2.65 ERA, another pitcher giving up walks
RP Frank Brooks 1 2/3 IP, H, BB, 0 ER -- organizational debut
RP Adam Bernero 2 1/3 IP, H, K, 0 ER -- SV, 5.40 ERA

*** Guiel is starting to come around as he had 2 homers and the O-Royals won their third straight by opening the Nashville series with a victory. Huber DHed and started the scoring with a solo shot in the 2nd for his 5th of the season. Omaha added 3 in the 4th on a leadoff solo shot by Guiel and a 2-run bases loaded single by Aviles to make the score 4-0. The Sounds scraped together 2 runs off J.P. Howell in the 4th and 5th to cut the Omaha lead to 2 and Brooks and Bernero held the lead where it was until the 9th, when Guiel hit a 2-out, 2-run homer for some added insurance. Bernero sat the Sounds down in order in the 9th to take any drama out of the situation. Omaha is 9-4 and now 2 games up on Iowa and Nashville in the PCL American North. Nashville RP Jason Kershner pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, CF Tony Gwynn Jr. was 1-5 to drop to .260, 2B Jermaine Clark was 1-4 to drop to .333 and C Mike Rivera was 1-3 to drop to .355.

The Royals try to keep the streak rolling tonight. Nice to see a team in the organization on a WINNING streak. Pitchers: Omaha RH Runelvys Hernandez (1-1, 11.00 -- uh oh, can he get his ERA under 10?) vs. LH Dana Eveland (1-0, 1.50).

AA - Wichita: Wranglers 7, Springfield 5

Gordon 2-5, 2 K, RS -- .353
Butler 3-4, BB, 2 RS -- .278
Lubanski 0-4, K -- .091
Maier 3-4, 3B, HR (4), 4 RBI (13) -- .231
Kaaihue 2-4, 2 RBI, K, RS -- .250
Sevilla 2-4, K -- .278
Sanchez 0-3, 2 BB, RS -- .349

Snare 5 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, K -- W, 2-0, 8.53 ERA
Markray and Nunez 4 IP, 0 ER, 2 H (Nunez WP)

*** Maier, Butler and Gordon went a combined 8-13 to propel the Wranglers to their third win of the season. 1B Kila Kaaihue knocked in a run in the 1st to stake Wichita to a 1-0 lead and the Wranglers added 5 in the 3rd on a 2-run single by Kaaihue after Cards SP Chris Lambert walked the bases loaded. Maier followed with a 3-run homer (#4 for him) to give the Royals a 6-0 advantage. They'd need it as Snare got lit up in the 4th. Springfield pushed a run across the plate in the 3rd and then scored 4 in the 4th on two doubles and a 3-run homer by C Iker Franco to cut the lead to 6-5. Maier's RBI triple in the 7th gave the Wranglers an extra run and Markray and Nunez got through the 8th without too much trouble. Nunez gave up a leadoff double in the 9th and, with 2 out, walked the bases loaded but got CF Reid Gorecki swinging to end the game. The Wranglers are 3-9 and 5 games back. Springfield RP Kevin Ool went 3 1/3 IP of scoreless relief to drop his ERA to 0.77 and Gorecki was 1-5 to drop to .377. 3B Rico Washington was 1-2 with 2 walks to move to .378 for the Cardinals.

The series continues tonight. Starters: Wichita's Kyle Middleton (0-1, 6.52) vs. Cards SP Stuart Pomeranz (1-0, 3.60). In other news, OF Juan Senreiso got called up to Wichita from High Desert, where he was hitting .192/.192/.423 with 3 2B, a HR and 2 RBI in 7 G/26 AB. Fifth from the bottom on the team in OPS in a hitters' league. Ripe for a call-up, but it's a small sample size, I know.

High-A - High Desert: Mavs 4, San Jose 3 (10)

Valentin 4-5, GW HR (1), 2 RBI, 2 RS -- .407
Rusty Brown 2-4, BB, 2B, 2 K -- .268
McFall 1-2, K, HR (3), RBI (8) -- .212
Galloway 0-3 -- .303
Lucas 1-4, BB, 2B, RS -- .233
Gaffney 1-4, K -- .417

Cota 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, BB, 7 K -- ND, 10.12 ERA

*** High Desert rallied for 2 runs in the 8th to send it to extras and Valentin finished his damage for the day with a walkoff homer in the 10th. San Jose got on the board first with a run in the 4th but the Mavs matched it that inning on McFall's solo blast to left for his 3rd of the season. McFall ran into the wall making an inning-ending catch in the 5th and left the game with a black eye and bruised arm. San Jose scored 2 off Cota in the 6th to take a 3-1 lead and the High Desert bats stayed dormant until the 8th. Lucas doubled with 2 outs off Giants RP Ben Cox and a wild pitch and Valentin single brought him home to cut the lead to 1. Gaffney singled to center and a fielding error by SJ CF Joseph Dyche allowed Valentin to score to tie the game. RP Jarod Plummer set the Giants down in order in the 9th and 10th and, with 2 out in the Mavs 10th, Valentin homered to left off RP Thomas King to win it. The Mavs are 7-5 and 1/2 a game back of first. Cota had his best start yet in giving up 3 ER over 6 innings with 7 Ks to 1 BB. San Jose SP Jesus Reina held the Mavs to 1 ER over 5 IP but walked 4. Giants DH Brian Horwitz was 2-3 with a walk to improve to .375.

The teams play game 2 of 3 tonight as LH Danny Christensen throws for High Desert vs. San Jose's RH Anthony Moreno.

Low-A - Burlington: Bees 4, Fort Wayne 4 (susp./10)

*** I guess I'll do the normal treatment for this game tomorrow, as this game is set to wrap up tonight before the regularly scheduled game is played. The Bees got an RBI double from C Kiel Thibault in the 4th but Fort Wayne tied it off SP Ryan DiPietro in the 5th. 3B Mario Lisson cracked a 2-run shot in the 6th and OF Jose Duarte scored on a wild pitch in the 7th to put the Bees up, 4-1, but Fort Wayne got a run off RP Yovany Damico in the 8th and 2 off RPs Kraig Schambough and Chris Hayes in the 9th, including the tying run on a passed ball on Thibault. The Wizards got a leadoff single in the 10th before play was suspended because of rain and lightning.

In tonight's regular game, SP David Henninger (1-0, 4.82) pitches for the Bees against Fort Wayne SP Grant Varnell (1-1, 3.60).

18 April 2006

Royals on the Farm 4/17

AAA - Omaha: O-Royals 5, Memphis 1

Huber 0-4, BB, 3 K -- .343
1B Rick Bell 3-4, 2B, K -- .429
Guiel 2-4, BB, 2B, RS -- .250
Blanco 2-4, 2 RBI, CS -- .359
Allen 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI -- .320
Gotay 1-4, BB, RS -- .333
Aviles 1-4, HR (1), RBI, 2 K -- .111

Keppel 6 1/3 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 4 K -- W, 1-1, 4.67 ERA
Nelson and Yarnall 2 2/3 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 4 K

*** Three Omaha pitchers held the Redbirds to 4 hits and the Royals got a good offensive effort from several players in holding on to a 1-game division lead. Aviles started the scoring with his first AAA homer to lead off the 5th and give Omaha a 1-0 lead. An error by Redbirds 2B Junior Spivey loaded the bases with 1 out in the 6th and Blanco came through with a 2-run single to extend the lead to 3-0. Memphis scraped out a run in the 7th but Omaha bought some insurance with a 2-run double by Allen in the 9th after Memphis RP Franklin Perez issued 2-out walks to Gotay and Guiel. Omaha RP Ed Yarnall got out of the 9th with little problem and the O-Royals improved to 8-4. Redbirds RF John Gall was 2-4 to improve to .377 and C Michel Hernandez was 1-2 to improve to .404.

Omaha moves on to a 4-game set at Nashville (7-5, AAA Brewers) tonight. The Sounds are on a 4-game win streak. Starters: O-Royals LH J.P. Howell (2-0, 2.25) vs. RH Brett Evert (0-0, 1.80).

AA - Wichita: Springfield 3, Wranglers 1

Gordon 0-2, SF, BB, K, RBI (6) -- .348
Butler 0-3, BB, K -- .240
Lubanski 1-3, CS -- .100
Espino 2-3 -- .222
Sanchez 1-4, 2B, K, RS -- .375
Tupman 0-3, BB -- .340
Maier 0-3 -- .188

Song 5 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, BB, 9 K!! -- L, 0-1, 6.14 ERA
Braun and Gragg III 3 IP, 0 ER

*** Song got little run support as Wichita managed only 4 hits off Cards SP Jordan Pals and 3 relievers. Wichita's lone run came in the 1st as Sanchez led off with a double, was moved to third by Tupman and came home on Gordon's sac fly. The Wranglers didn't get a hit after the 5th. Song gave up a run in the 3rd and 2 in the 5th before being lifted but actually had an all right start with 9 Ks. Manager Frank White was ejected after arguing a call in the 6th. The Wranglers are 2-9 and 5 games back of first. OF Reid Gorecki went 2-4 for Springfield to up his BA to .396 and 3B Rico Washington was 1-3 with a triple in dropping to .372. Pals moved to 1-0 and lowered his ERA to 3.38.

The series continues tonight in Springfield. Starters: Wichita SP Ryan Snare (1-0, 8.22 ERA) vs. Cards SP Chris Lambert (1-0, 5.40).

High-A - High Desert: Mavs 7, Inland Empire 5 (12)

1B Stodolka 4-5, 2 2B, BB, K, RS, SB! -- .407!!! (great game....maybe the Royals will get something good out of that 2000 1st rounder yet.)
OF Geraldo Valentin 3-6, K, 2 RS -- .318
SS Irving Falu 2-4, BB, SB, CS, picked off, E, HBP -- .268
2B Michael Gaffney 1-4, 2 BB, 2B, K, RS -- .500
Melgarejo 1-2, K -- .321
3B Ed Lucas 0-6, RBI, 3 K, RS -- .231
McFall 1-4, HR (2), 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, E -- .194

Buckner 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K -- 2.76 ERA
DeHoyos 1 2/3 IP, 0 H, K -- 0.00 ERA
RP Brandon Weeden 3 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 K, balk -- W, 2-0, 4.35 ERA

*** McFall provided the winning margin in the 12th after High Desert forced extras with a run in the 8th. IE got to Buckner for a run in the 1st but the Mavs scored 3 in the 2nd on RBI ground outs by Lucas and Valentin (aided by a Tuiasosopo throwing error) and a Falu RBI single. The Mavs added a run in the 5th on a ground out by C Adam Donachie that brought Gaffney home. The 66ers scored 1 in the 5th and 2 in the 6th to take the lead as RP Nate Moore blew a save on a 2-run double. Valentin scored on a wild pitch in the 8th to tie the game off IE RP Stephen Kahn. DeHoyos helped High Desert get the game into extras and Falu stole second with 2 out in the 10th but got caught stealing third to end the threat. The whole third-out-at-third problem seems to be organization-wide. Weeden came in for the 10th and got into slight jams in both the 10th and 11th but worked out of them. Stodolka singled with 1 out in the 12th and, after Lucas struck out swinging, McFall hit a 2-run homer to left off IE RP Mumba Rivera to give the Mavs a 7-5 lead. Weeden set the 66ers down in order in the 12th to end it. The Mavs are 6-5 and 1 1/2 games back of first. Tuiasosopo was 1-5 to drop to .333 and IE 2B Erick Monzon was 3-6 to improve to .325. 66ers LF Josh Womack was 1-5 to drop to .435.

A 3-game home set with San Jose starts tonight. Starters: Giants LH Jesus Reina (1-0, 1.80) v. RHP Luis Cota (0-2, 14.73).

Low-A - Burlington: Bees 13, Fort Wayne 2

1B Miguel Vega 2-5, 2B, HR (2), 5 RBI!, K -- .161
2B Joshua Johnson 3-4, BB, 2 RS -- .346
McConnell 1-3, 2 BB, RS, HBP -- .097
Arce 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 RS, SF -- .308
Thibault 1-4, BB, 3 RBI -- .281
LF Antonio Sabatini 0-1, 3 BB, HBP, 3 RS -- .200

Kniginyzky 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K -- W, 2-0, 3.18 ERA

*** The Bees offense exploded for 13 runs and Kniginyzky shut the Wizards down to get Burlington the win. Burlington started the scoring with 3 in the 3rd on an Arce RBI single and 2-run double by Vega. They added a 4th inning run on an RBI ground out by 3B Mario Lisson and 5 in the 5th on a 3-run dinger by Vega (his 2nd) and a 2-run single by Thibault to make the score 9-0. The final 4 runs came in the 7th on a passed ball that allowed Sabatini to score, a fielding error on a ball hit by Thibault that allowed 2 runs to score and an Arce sac fly. After Kniginyzky got out of a 2-out, bases loaded situation in the 1st, he allowed only 3 other baserunners and 3 other pitchers helped finish the game. The Bees are 6-5 and a game back of first. Wizards 1B Daryl Jones was 1-3 to drop to .368.He's the only Fort Wayne player batting over .300.

The series continues this evening. Starters: Bees LH Ryan DiPietro (1-0, 1.32) v. FW RH Stevie Delabar (0-0, 2.25).

17 April 2006

Royals on the Farm 4/16

AAA - Omaha: O-Royals 7, Memphis 6

Huber 1-4, HR (4), RBI (6), 2 K -- .387
Gotay 3-5, 2B, RBI, SB -- .341
Allen 2-4, 2 HR (3), 3 RBI (8) -- .311
Guiel 0-4, BB, 3 K, RS -- .222
Blanco 1-4, 3B, RBI, 3 E!!! (2 throwing, 1 fielding) -- .343, nice BA but not a good day at SS
Ambres 1-4, K, E -- .167
Robinson 0-5, K, RS, SB (4) -- .325
Price 1-4, HR, RBI, 2 K, E -- .100

SP Kyle Snyder 7 IP, UER, 8 H, 0 BB, 3 K -- nice start, 0.73 ERA
RP Dave Elder 1/3 IP, 5 R (2 ER), 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K -- 8.10 ERA

*** The O-Royals made some late magic happen to move back into first place with the narrow victory over the Redbirds Sunday. Omaha scored runs in the 2nd and 3rd on Huber's solo homer and a Gotay RBI double to take a 2-0 lead. Blanco's first error of the game on a blown double play in the 3rd helped Memphis cut the lead to 1 but that was all SP Kyle Snyder allowed for 7 strong IP as far as runs. The Royals scored 2 in the 6th on a 2-run shot by Allen (#2 on the season for him) and added runs in the 7th and 8th on a Blanco RBI triple and an Allen solo homer (#3) to make the score 6-1 Omaha. Elder came on to pitch the 8th and the Redbirds capitalized on another Blanco throwing error to start a rally. Memphis 1B Brian Daubach singled home 2 runs and DH Juan Diaz doubled home another run with 1 out to chase Elder with Omaha still leading, 6-4. RP Danny Tamayo entered the game and Blanco made a 2-run fielding error on the first batter Tamayo faced to allow the Redbirds to tie the game. Tamayo got the last 2 outs of the inning without further damage. Memphis brought in RP Brian Falkenborg for the 9th and he gave up a leadoff blast to Omaha C Jared Price to make the score 7-6 O-Royals. Price and Chip Ambres made errors in the bottom of the 9th but Tamayo was able to pitch out of the minor jam to end the game. Omaha is 7-4 and a game up in the division lead. Daubach, Diaz and OF/1B John Gall had 2-hit games for the Redbirds. Gall is hitting .367 and Daubach is at .364. Omaha scored 5 runs off Memphis starter Anthony Reyes over 6 1/3 IP.

The series concludes tonight in Memphis. Starters: Omaha RH Bobby Keppel (0-1, 6.55) vs. RH John Webb (0-0, 4.22).

AA - Wichita: Wranglers 4, Springfield 2

Gordon 1-5, 2B, K -- .364
Butler 2-5, RBI (5) -- .255
Lubanski 0-4, BB, K -- .081
Sanchez 4-4, BB, 3B, 3 RBI (10), RS, CS, E (6) -- .389
Kaaihue 3-4, 2 RS -- .231
Maier 0-3, HBP -- .200

SP Junior Herndon 6 IP, 2 UER, 7 H, BB, 3 K -- W, 1-1, 1.80 ERA
RP Derrick DePriest 3 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, BB, 3 K -- SV

*** Wichita again faced an early deficit but this time got the win as the Wranglers got a strong start from Herndon. The Wranglers started the scoring in the 3rd with a run on a Butler single after a leadoff triple by Sanchez. Springfield scored 2 in the bottom of the frame as a Sanchez fielding error extended the inning. Wichita tied it in the 4th on a Sanchez RBI single and added runs in the 6th and 8th on two more Sanchez RBI singles. Needless to say, Angel was a big part of the game for Wichita. Herndon gave up a leadoff triple in the 4th but came away unscathed after inducing three consecutive ground outs. DePriest came on for the 7th and cruised through the 7th and 8th before shutting the door in the 9th. Wichita is 2-8 and 4 games out of first. Springfield LF Cody Haerther was 3-4 to improve to .243. Cards CF Reid Gorecki dropped to .386 after a 1-4 day.

The series with Springfield continues tonight. Pitchers: Wichita SP Seung Song (0-0, 6.52 ERA) vs. Cards SP Jordan Pals (0-0, 4.15). In other news, DePriest was sent down from Omaha to start the season and RP Barry Armitage was placed on the disabled list.

High-A - High Desert: off day

The 5-5 (entering Monday) Mavs complete the series at Inland Empire today as Billy Buckner gets the start. A 3-game home set with defending league champ San Jose (High-A Giants, 7-2 entering Monday) starts Tuesday.

Low-A - Burlington: off day

The Bees (5-5) start a 4-game home set with the Fort Wayne Wizards (6-3, Low-A Padres) tonight. Rayner Oliveros (1-0, 1.29) starts for Burlington.