30 April 2007

Royals on the Farm 4/29

AAA -- Omaha: O-Royals 5, Nashville 4 (10)

LF Butler 0-2, 3 BB -- .337, 10-game hit streak snapped
CF Gathright 3-5, 2B (5), RBI (9), K, RS -- .309
1B Huber 2-4, BB, HR (2, walkoff), RBI (10), K, 2 RS -- .211, starting to heat up
DH Costa 1-2, 2 BB, SF, 3B (2), RBI (5) -- .355
3B Cortez 1-4, 2B (3), RBI (8), K, RS -- .279
C Phillips 1-4, RBI (2), K -- .103
RF Maier 1-5, 2B (2), K, RS -- .261
SS Aviles 0-5, K -- .322

Hendrickson 4 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 6 K, HRA -- ND, 5.26 ERA
Buckner 2 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, K -- 4.50 ERA, AAA debut
Musser 3 IP, BB, K -- 0.00 ERA
Standridge IP, H, K, WP -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA

Joey Gathright made a clutch play in the 9th to get the game to extras and Justin Huber brought the lumber in the 10th to get Omaha a 4-game sweep of the division-leading Sounds. The O-Royals stranded 2 in the 1st and 1 in the 3rd before Nashville scored 3 in the 4th off SP Ben Hendrickson on an RBI double and then a 2-run homer by SS Ozzie Chavez to make it 3-0. Omaha broke through in the 4th as well as Fernando Cortez hit an RBI double, Paul Phillips hit an RBI single and Joey Gathright hit an RBI force out to make it 3-3. Billy Buckner made his Omaha debut in the 5th and allowed a 2-out double and RBI single to give Nashville a 4-3 lead. The O-Royals stranded 2 in both the 5th and 6th and the game went to the bottom of the 9th at 4-3. Gathright singled to lead off the frame, was sacrificed to second by Richie Lewis and then scored on a Shane Costa sac fly to center (that's speed, taking two bases on a sac fly) to tie the game. Gathright hurt his leg on the play and had to leave the game, though. Team site reports it was a cramp and he's day-to-day. In the bottom of the 10th, Huber came up with 1 out and smoked a homer to center for his 2nd of the season to end the game. Omaha is 11-13 and 2 1/2 games back. They passed Iowa so are officially out of the cellar, at least for one day. Sounds 1B Andy Abad was 2-5 with his 3rd double and 8th RBI to move to .259, Chavez was 1-4 with his 1st homer and 2 RBI (8) to move to .259 and 3B Ryan Braun was 0-3 with 2 Ks before getting ejected in the 5th for crying about a called strikeout. RP Dennis Sarfate took his first blown save and loss with 2 ER on 2 hits and a walk over 1 1/3 IP to drop to 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA.

Omaha starts a 4-game home set with the Memphis Redbirds (13-11, AAA Cardinals) today. Probable starters for game 1: Redbirds RH Mike Parisi (2-0, 3.77) vs. rehabbing Omaha RH Luke Hudson. The O-Royals are 0-4 vs. Memphis thus far.

AA -- Wichita: Arkansas 5, Wranglers 1

2B Valentin 2-4 -- .267
3B Lucas 2-4, 2 E (3) -- .250
LF Joseph 1-4, RBI (8), SB (1), CS -- .260
DH Lubanski 1-4, K -- .308
1B Brazell 1-4, K -- .321
RF Padilla 1-4, CS -- .354

Rosa 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 3 K, pickoff -- ND, 0.00 ERA, very nice debut
Cedeno 2/3 IP, UER, BB, pickoff -- 3.60 ERA
Plummer 2/3 IP, 4 UER, H, HRA -- BS, 1, L, 0-1, 0.84 ERA

Carlos Rosa dueled with Nick Adenhart and neither came out the victor as all the scoring was done in the 8th in a 5-1 Wrangler loss. Rosa retired 11 straight Travs at one point while Adenhart's longest streak was 8 straight. Wichita possibly could have scored in the 7th when Jorge Padilla hit a 1-out single, but he was caught stealing before the Wranglers hit 2 straight singles and Adam Donachie struck out to end the inning. Travs RP Bill Edwards came in for the 8th and Onil Joseph hit a 1-out RBI single before Craig Brazell left the game after striking out to end the inning. RP Jarod Plummer relieved RP Juan Cedeno with 1 out and 1 on in the bottom of the 8th and 2 Ed Lucas throwing errors were sandwiched around a hit-by-pitch to bring the tying run home. Plummer then gave up a grand slam to 3B Freddy Sandoval and Arkansas made it 5-1. Wichita is 9-13 and 1 1/2 games back of first. Arkansas only had 3 hits in the game but ended up with 5 runs. Sandoval was 1-4 with a fine time for his 1st homer and 4 RBI (11) to move to .278, 2B Adam Morrissey was 1-3 with his 9th RBI to move to .316 and Edwards got the win with an ER on 4 hits over 2 IP to move to 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA. Adenhart allowed 6 hits and a walk with 4 K over 7 IP to drop his ERA to 0.80.

The series finale should be ongoing. Starters were
Arkansas RHP Chris Saenz (1-1, 9.69 ERA) and Wichita LHP Jason Cromer (0-2, 5.68 ERA).

A-Adv. -- Wilmington: Blue Rocks 7, Winston-Salem 1

RF McFall 2-4, 2B (3), 3 RBI (5), K, RS -- .219
DH Kaaihue 1-4, 2B (2), RBI (8), 2 K, RS -- .182, 7-game hit streak
SS Arce 2-3, 2B (5), RS, picked off, E (5) -- .246
1B Vega 2-4, K, 2 RS -- .228
2B Johnson 1-2, 2 BB, 2 RS -- .161

B. Johnson 7 IP, 0 ER, H, 3 K -- W, 1-2, 2.59 ERA, awesome game
Hardy 2 IP, ER, 3 H, K, WP -- SV, 1, 0.87 ERA

Blake Johnson had his best start to date as a Royals farmhand and the offense picked him up late in the game to get him his first win of the season. Johnson and Warthogs SP Clayton Richard dueled back and forth to 6 1/2 shutout innings in Wilmington before the Rocks struck in the bottom of the 7th. Josh Johnson led off with a walk, Kila Kaaihue doubled him home to help chase Richard and Brian McFall hit an RBI single off RP Garry Bakker before a Bakker wild pitch scored a third run to make it 3-0 Blue Rocks. P Rowdy Hardy came in for Wilmington in the 8th and got out of a 2-on, 1-out jam before the Blue Rocks scored 4 off RP Jason Rice in the 8th on a Warthog error, a McFall 2-run double and a throwing error on a passed ball third strike that allowed another run to score to make it 7-0. Hardy gave up a 2-out RBI single in the 9th but induced a ground out to end the game without further damage. Wilmington is 8-14 and 4 games back of first. 3B Javier Castillo was 2-4 for Winston-Salem to move to .333, but the Warthogs had only 4 hits. RF Aaron Cunningham was 0-4 to drop to .358 and Richard took the loss with 3 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks with 3 Ks over 6 IP to drop to 1-1 with a 3.62 ERA.

The Blue Rocks welcome the Frederick Keys (10-10, A-Adv. Orioles) to town for 4 games starting today.
Righty Chris Nicoll (0-2, 4.24) starts the opener against an unknown Keys starter. The Blue Rocks are 2-2 versus the Keys thus far.

A -- Burlington: Quad Cities 6, Bees 2

2B Mertins 1-4, 2 RBI (11) -- .200
DH Maddox 1-4, 2 K, RS -- .301
SS McConnell 1-3, HBP, RS, SB (3) -- .264
CF Robinson 1-4, 2 K, SB (1) -- .182

Fisher 4 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 2 K -- L, 0-2, 3.32 ERA, don't like how he's been pitching -- injury????
DiPietro 3 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, K, HRA -- 4.97 ERA

The Bees managed only 5 hits and the Swing jumped all over two Bees pitchers as the Swing took 3 of 4 from Burlington. An RBI single off SP Brent Fisher in the 2nd gave Quad Cities a 1-0 lead. Three extra-base hits in the 3rd were converted to 2 runs as the Swing extended the lead to 3-0. Fisher was pulled for Ryan DiPietro in the 5th as the Bees were 1-hit by Swing SP Elvis Hernandez through 5. DiPietro gave up a leadoff homer to 2B Jaime Landin in the 6th and the Swing padded the lead with 2 runs in the 8th on 3 hits, 2 walks and a sac fly. The Bees were being shut out on 3 hits entering the 9th but got a 1-out 2-run single by Kurt Mertins to get on the board. Burlington loaded the bases with 2 out but pinch hitter Joe Dickerson struck out looking to end the game. Burlington is 10-11 and 2 1/2 games back. Landin was 3-4 for QC with his 2nd double, 2nd homer and 7th RBI to move to .294, DH Christian Reyes was 2-3 with his first 2 RBI to establish a .667 BA and Hernandez got the win with a hit and 4 Ks over 5 IP to move to 3-2 with a 2.05 ERA. P.J. Walters got a 4-inning save for his 1st of the season.

The Bees start a 4-game home set versus the Lansing Lugnuts (13-6, A Blue Jays) tonight. Lefty Everett Teaford (1-1, 2.70) will go against Lansing's Chase Lirette (2-1, 0.49) in the opener. The Lugnuts' roster features Jays' prospects OF Travis Snider (top prospect in the organization, .392 BA, 1.056 OPS thus far, and he's 19), P Kyle Ginley (0-2, 6.75) and Lirette. In some interesting news for Royals fans, Marc Maddox was called up to Wilmington and SS prospect Jeff Bianchi will join Burlington from extended ST. Here's hoping Bianchi stays healthy and rakes like in the past.

28 April 2007

Royals on the Farm 4/28

AAA -- Omaha: O-Royals 8, Nashville 6

LF Butler 2-3, 2 BB, RBI (23), RS -- .345
1B Huber 1-4, HR (1), 3 RBI (9), RS -- .189
DH Maier 2-4, RBI (11) -- .264
3B Cortez 1-4, HR (3), RBI (7), K, RS -- .281
SS Aviles 2-4, SF, 2B (5), RBI (12), RS -- .341
CF Gathright 2-5, 2B (4), K, 2 RS -- .289
2B Berroa 2-4, BB (2 days in a row!), 2B (3), RS -- .319, he must be sick, he's taking walks
RF Costa 2-4, BB, 2B (6), K, RS -- .351
C Tupman 2-4 -- .333, everybody had a good night for the Royals

Wright 4 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 K, 2 HRA -- ND, 4.29 ERA
Markray 3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, BB, K, HRA -- W, 1-0, 3.00 ERA
Ray 2 IP, ER, 2 H, K -- SV, 2, 7.15 ERA

The O-Royals turned up the offense in the 6th and took another game from Nashville. SP Matt Wright, making a spot start for Tyler Lumsden, gave up a 2-out homer to C J.D. Closser in the 1st to give the Sounds a 1-0 lead but Joey Gathright scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the inning to tie it. Billy Butler singled in the inning and tried to score on a Mike Aviles double but was thrown out at home. A sac fly in the 2nd gave Nashville a 2-1 lead. Angel Berroa was thrown out at home on a Shane Costa double in the 3rd and Sounds 1B Andy Abad homered to lead off the 5th to make it 3-1 Sounds. That stayed the score into the bottom of the 6th, when Butler and Aviles led off with singles and, with 2 out, Justin Huber stepped up and hit a 3-run homer to right center for his 1st of the season and a 4-3 Omaha lead. The Royals loaded the bases with none out in the 7th and Butler drew a walk to force home a run, Aviles hit a sac fly and Mitch Maier hit an RBI force out to make it 7-3. RP Thad Markray gave up a leadoff homer to RF Vinny Rottino in the 8th and Ken Ray gave up a sac fly for a run attributed to Markray to cut the lead to 7-5. Fernando Cortez hit his 3rd homer to lead off the bottom of the 8th and cushion the lead back to 8-5. Ray gave up a sac fly in the 9th but got out without further damage to make the final score 8-6. Omaha is 10-13 and 3 1/2 games out. Abad was 2-4 with his 2nd double, 2nd HR and 7th RBI to move to .245, Rottino was 1-3 with his 5th homer and 2 RBI (6) to move to .286 and Closser was 1-2 with his 2nd HR and 2 RBI (6) to move to .216. SP Tim Dillard took the loss with 5 2/3 IP of 4 ER on 11 hits and a walk to move to 0-2 with a 3.68 ERA.

The series wrapped up Sunday afternoon and the O-Royals swept the Sounds. Starters were Sounds RH Chris Oxspring (2-1, 1.61) vs. RH Ben Hendrickson (2-1, 4.98).

AA -- Wichita: Wranglers 8, Arkansas 5

LF Lubanski 2-4, BB, 3B (2), HR (4), 3 RBI (11), 3 RS -- .311
RF Padilla 2-5, 2B (4), RBI (9), K -- .361
DH Brazell 1-5, HR (6), RBI (11), 3 K, RS -- .324
2B Valentin 1-4, RBI (1), K, CS -- .182
1B Stodolka 1-5, 2B (5), 2 K, RS -- .254

Connolly 5 2/3 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 8 H, 6 K, HRA -- W, 2-0, 4.42 ERA
Atencio 1 1/3 IP, BB, K -- 2.02 ERA
DeHoyos 2 IP, 2 ER, H, 3 BB, 2 K -- 1.86 ERA

The Wranglers took advantage of 4 Travs errors and chipped in 9 hits in an 8-5 win Saturday. Arkansas starter James Holcomb walked the first two Wichita batters and Chris Lubanski followed with a 2-run triple and scored on a 2-out wild pitch to make it 3-0 Wichita. SP Mike Connolly made the start (no word why John Bale didn't make his scheduled rehab start) and gave up an RBI single in the Travs 1st but Wichita got it back in the second on a Geraldo Valentin RBI single for his first AA ribby. Connolly gave up a solo homer to 1B Michael Collins in the 2nd but Wichita scored 2 in the 3rd on a Jorge Padilla RBI single and an error on a ball hit by Ed Lucas. Connolly gave up an RBI single in the 4th to cut the Wrangler lead to 6-3 but the Wranglers got a solo homer from Lubanski in the 7th (his 4th) to extend the lead back to 4. RP Gabe DeHoyos came in for the 8th and gave up 2 walks and a 2-out 2-run double to cut the lead to 7-5. Wichita got some padding with a Craig Brazell solo shot in the 9th for his 6th of the season and DeHoyos didn't have a problem in the bottom of the 9th to end it. Wichita moved to 9-12 and 1 1/2 games back of first. Collins was 2-4 with his 2nd double, 1st homer and 3 RBI (5) to move to .176, 2B Adam Morrissey was 2-5 to move to .316 and Holcomb took the loss with 6 R (4 ER) on 5 hits and 4 walks with 3 Ks over 4 IP to drop to 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA.

The series continued today with an Arkansas win. Carlos Rosa got a no-decision in his first AA start vs. Travs ace Nick Adenhart. Actually, Rosa outpitched Adenhart but the bullpen failed him.

A-Adv. -- Wilmington: Winston-Salem 3, Blue Rocks 2

3B Lisson 2-3, SB (2), CS -- .250
RF McFall 2-3, BB -- .203
DH Vega 2-4, K, RS -- .213
1B Kaaihue 1-3, SF, RBI (7), 2 K -- .178
LF Bigler 0-3, BB, RBI (5), CS -- .154
CF Duarte 0-4 -- .260
*The Rocks left 18 (!) on base.

Penn 6 IP, ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 3 K -- ND, 2.70 ERA
Haltiwanger IP, 2 ER, H, 2 BB -- L, 0-2, 10.13 ERA, off to bad start for Royals organization
Barnes 2 IP, H, BB, K -- 2.13 ERA

Two innings saw all the scoring in a narrow Blue Rocks loss. The Warthogs stranded 2 off SP Michael Penn in the 2nd and the Rocks couldn't score off W-S SP Kyle McCulloch as the game went into the 6th tied at 0. A 2-out RBI single off Penn in the 6th gave the Warthogs a 1-0 lead but Wilmington kept pace with a run in the bottom of the inning on a Kila Kaaihue sac fly. RP Russ Haltiwanger came in to pitch for Wilmington in the 7th and gave up a 1-out walk, RBI triple and sac fly to give Winston-Salem a 3-1 lead. A Brett Bigler RBI force out in the bottom of the inning cut the lead to 1 but the Rocks left the tying run at third in the 8th. In the 9th, the Rocks loaded the bases off RP Brian Omogrosso with none out but, in a bizarre double play, saw both Ethien Santana and Miguel Vega thrown out at home on a Kiel Thibault grounder. Bigler then grounded out to end the game. Wilmington dropped to 8-13. Warthogs RF Aaron Cunningham was 2-4 with his 2nd triple, 13th RBI and 2 RS to move to .377, 3B Javier Castillo was 2-3 with 2 errors (5), his 5th double and 10th RBI to move to .324 and McCulloch got the win with an ER allowed on 4 hits and 3 walks with 3 K over 6 1/3 IP to move to 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA. Omogrosso lucked out for his 5th save.

The Blue Rocks pounded the Warthogs today to win their first series of the season.
Rocks righty Blake Johnson (0-2, 3.63) and southpaw Rowdy Hardy (1-0, 0.48) piggybacked versus Winston-Salem lefty Clayton Richard (1-0, 3.38). Mario Lisson left the game with back spasms and was doubtful for today's game.

A -- Burlington: Quad Cities 10, Bees 9

1B Thompson 3-4, HBP, 2 HR (3), 4 RBI (6), 2 RS -- .244
2B Mertins 1-5, HR (2), 2 RBI (9), K, RS -- .197
LF Dickerson 0-5, RBI (10) -- .254
RF Morel 1-3, BB, 2B (4), RBI (4), K, RS, E (2) -- .224
3B Maddox 0-3, 2 BB, 2 RS, SB (2), E (3) -- .304
SS McConnell 1-5, 2 K, E (4) -- .261
CF Robinson 1-4, BB, K, RS -- .143

Godin 3 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 WP -- ND, 3.68 ERA
Cribb 4 IP, 6 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 3 K, HRA, WP -- 5.68 ERA, where was the hook?
Hayes 1/3 IP, ER, 2 H, BB -- BS, 2, L, 0-2, 4.50 ERA
Hartsock 1/3 IP, BB -- 4.82 ERA

Burlington had a 9-3 lead in the 7th but watched it disappear in the loss. SP Jason Godin gave up an RBI double in the 1st but the Bees got it back on a Mike Thompson RBI single that kicked off a very nice day for the first baseman. A Chris McConnell throwing error allowed a run to score in the 3rd to make it 2-1 Quad Cities. The Bees exploded in the 4th versus RPs Matt Lane and Armando Carrasco, as Thompson started the scoring with a 2-run homer for his 2nd of the season, Alvi Morel doubled home a run, Carrasco came in, Morel scored on a Carrasco throwing error, Joe Dickerson hit an RBI ground out and Kurt Mertins hit a 2-run homer for his 2nd of the season to make it 8-2 Bees. Godin allowed a run to score on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 5 and, after RP Josh Cribb got out of a bases-loaded jam in the 6th, Thompson cranked a solo homer his 2nd of the game and his 3rd of the season to make it 9-3 in the 7th. Cribb was left in, for some reason, to allow 3 runs on 3 hits, a walk and a wild pitch to cut the lead to 9-6 in the bottom of the 7th. Cribb came back (again, why?) for the 8th and allowed a leadoff homer to LF Mark Shorey and an RBI single before finally getting pulled with a runner on second and 1 out. RP Chris Hayes gave up an RBI single to tie the game and blow the lead officially and another RBI single turned a 9-3 deficit into a 10-9 lead for the Swing. The Bees went down 1-2-3 in the 9th. Burlington dropped to 10-10. Four Swing batters had 3 hits, led by Shorey, who was 3-6 with his 5th double, 3rd homer and 2 RBI (19) to move to .294. IF Christian Lopez was 3-5 with his 5th RBI to move to .354 and RP Brandon Dickson picked up the W with an ER on 3 hits and 2 Ks over 4 IP to move 4-1 with a 2.10 ERA. RP Kenneth Maiques got his 2nd save in two games to get save #5 on the season and drop his ERA to 1.13.

The Bees lost a third straight to QC today. Starters were Bees LH Brent Fisher (0-1, 2.51) vs. Swing RH Elvis Hernandez (2-2, 2.65).

Royals on the Farm 4/27

AAA -- Omaha: O-Royals 6, Nashville 0

DH Butler 1-3, SF, RBI (22), RS -- .333
SS Aviles 3-4, RBI (11), K -- .333, impressive thus far
CF Gathright 2-4, 3B, RS -- .282
3B Cortez 1-3, HR (2), 2 RBI (6), RS -- .283
LF Costa 1-4, RS -- .343
2B Berroa 0-2, BB (!), SF, RBI (6), RS -- .309, HEY, a walk
RF Maier 0-2, BB, SF, RBI (10) -- .253
C Tupman 0-1, 2 BB, K, RS -- .314

Day 5 IP, 0 ER, H, 3 BB, 3 K -- W, 1-0, 2.30 ERA
Shiell 3 IP, H, K -- 2.35 ERA
Giron IP, 2 H, K -- 3.55 ERA

Looks like Zach Day is getting back in shape, as he allowed 1 hit and 3 BB over 5 IP in picking up his first win and Omaha is 2 for 2 versus Nashville. Day retired 12 of the first 13 Sounds batters and Omaha gave him some run support with 2 in the 4th on a sac fly by Billy Butler and an RBI single by Mike Aviles. Fernando Cortez padded the lead with a 2-run homer in the 5th for his 2nd of the season and the score was 4-0 Omaha. A Mitch Maier sac fly in the 6th made it 5-0 and Joey Gathright tripled to lead off the 7th and scored on an Angel Berroa sac fly. Roberto Giron gave up 2 singles with 1 out in the 9th but got 2 fly outs to end it. Omaha is 9-13 and 4 1/2 games back now. Sounds 3B Ryan Braun was 1-1 with his 9th double to move to .329 before getting pulled for a pinch-hitter in the 4th -- maybe signalling a call to the bigs? 1B Brad Nelson was 0-4 to drop to .320 and SP R.A. Dickey took the loss with 5 ER on 6 hits and 4 walks over 5 IP to drop to 1-3 with a 7.43 ERA.

Game 3 of the set is tonight. Pitching probables: Sounds RH Tim Dillard (0-1, 3.04) vs. RH Matt Wright (2-2, 3.71). Billy Buckner has been promoted to Omaha after going 1-3 with a 4.66 ERA in 4 games (3 starts) in Wichita. To make room, the Royals released Dewon Brazelton, who was 0-4 with a 7.11 ERA. Also, Luke Hudson is slated to make a rehab start in Omaha Monday. As a side note, tonight is Alex Gordon bobblehead night in Omaha but the manufacturer screwed it up and spelled his last name "Gordn". Omaha is giving out vouchers for corrected versions redeemable after July 12, so the error may be a nice Gordon collectible at some point.

AA -- Wichita: Arkansas 2, Wranglers 1

1B Stodolka 2-3, K -- .259
3B Lucas 1-3, HR (1), RBI (5), K, RS -- .231
DH Brazell 1-4, K -- .333
RF Padilla 1-3, HBP -- .357
LF Lubanski 1-4, K, picked off -- .300

Hochevar 4 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, BB, 5 K, 2 hit batsmen -- L, 2-2, 3.46 ERA, no run support
C. Smith 2 IP, H, BB, 2 K -- 3.72 ERA
Plummer 2 IP, H, BB, 3 K -- 0.90 ERA

One hit made the difference as Luke Hochevar got minimal run support and picked up his 2nd loss in the opener with the Travelers. Hochevar loaded the bases with 1 out in the 2nd and gave up a 2-run single to C Tim Duff before getting out of the inning with a double play. Wichita stranded 1 in the 3rd when Mike Stodolka was doubled off second on a line out and the Wrangler 4th ended when Jorge Padilla was hit by a grounder by Chris Lubanski. The Wranglers stranded 2 in the 5th but got on the board in the 7th when Ed Lucas homered to left with 1 out for his 1st of the season to make it 2-1 Travs. A double-play ball killed a would-be rally in the 9th as Wichita couldn't tie the game. Wichita is 8-12 and 1 1/2 games back. RF Greg Porter was 3-4 for Arkansas with his 7th SB and a run scored to move to .239, Duff was 1-3 with his first 2 RBI to move to .200, and SP Dan Davidson allowed an ER on 7 hits with 5 Ks over 8 IP to move to 1-3 with a 2.12 ERA. RP Jose Arredondo picked up his 2nd save.

Game 2 is tonight as lefty John Bale makes a rehab start vs. Arkansas righty James Holcomb (no stats yet).

A-Adv. -- Wilmington: Blue Rocks 4, Winston-Salem 3 (13)

1B Kaaihue 2-5, BB, 2B, RBI (6), K, RS -- .171
3B Lisson 2-5, S, K, 2 RS -- .233
SS Arce 2-5, K -- .218
CF Duarte 1-6, K, RBI (4), picked off -- .274
DH Vega 1-6, RBI (3), 3 K -- .197
RF McFall 1-4, SF, RBI (2), K -- .182

Green 4 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, BB, 6 K, 2 HRA -- ND, 4.11 ERA
Oliveros 3 1/3 IP, H, BB, 2 K -- 2.13 ERA
de la Vara 2 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K, E (1) -- 0.93 ERA
Humen 3 IP, H, BB, 2 K, E (1) -- W, 1-2, 2.00 ERA, nice run of relief for Wilmington on Friday

Wilmington fought back from a 3-0 deficit and got 8 1/3 IP of nice relief to pick up an extra inning win over the Warthogs Friday. Winston-Salem struck with 3 in the 4th on a 2-run homer by CF David Cook that was back-to-back with a solo shot by 1B Micah Schnurstein to make it 3-0 Warthogs. Kila Kaaihue doubled home a run in the 4th and scored on a Brian McFall sac fly to close the gap to 3-2. Jose Duarte tied the game with an RBI single in the 5th and it stayed 3-3 into the 9th. Winston-Salem got the potential lead run to third with no outs in the 9th but Gilbert de la Vara got two clutch Ks and then a strikeout looking to end the rally with emphasis. de la Vara gave up a leadoff double in the 10th but again got out of the jam and, after Wilmington stranded 2 in the 11th, the game went into the 13th tied at 3. With 2 out in the Rocks 13th, Mario Lisson and Kaaihue singled and Miguel Vega came through with his 1st hit in 6 ABs to end the game by bringing Lisson home. Wilmington is 7-13 and 4 1/2 games back. Schnurstein was 2-5 with his 10th double, 5th homer and 19th RBI to move to .342, Cook was 1-5 with his 5th homer and 2 RBI (13) to move to .271, and RF Aaron Cunningham was 1-4 with a walk to drop to .370. RP Matt Zaleski took the loss with an ER on 3 hits and 2 walks over 2 2/3 IP to drop to 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA.

The series continues tonight. Pitching probables: Rocks righty Michael Penn (1-1, 3.21) vs. Warthogs right-hander Kyle McColloch (1-1, 3.15).

A -- Burlington: Quad Cities 5, Bees 3

SS McConnell 2-4, 2B (3), RS, CS -- .266
C Morizio 1-2, 2 BB, 2B (2), 2 RBI (3), K -- .217
3B Maddox 0-4, RBI (17), E (2) -- .318
LF Dickerson 1-4, 2B (3), 2 K -- .276
CF Robinson 0-3, K -- .000, season debut

Mozingo 4 1/3 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 5 H, 3 BB, 3 K -- L, 2-2, 3.98 ERA
Chambliss 1 2/3 IP, ER, 2 H, K -- 1.00 ERA
Hartsock IP, 2 K -- 5.00 ERA
D'Amico 2 IP, H, K, pickoff -- 1.69 ERA

A big 5th from the Swing evened the series at a game a piece Friday. A QC error with 2 out and 1 on in the 2nd and Matt Morizio came through with a 2-run double to make it 2-0 Bees. SP Harold Mozingo gave up a sac fly in the 3rd to cut the lead in half and combined with Tyler Chambliss to give up 4 runs on 4 hits and 2B Kurt Mertins' 2nd error of the season helped extend the inning. Marc Maddox hit an RBI ground out in the 6th to cut the lead to 2, and the Bees got base runners in each inning thereafter but couldn't get a run home. Burlington is 10-9 and 1 game out. Swing RF Luke Gorsett was 2-4 with his 4th double and 4th RBI to move to .288, CF Daryl Jones was 1-3 with a walk, his 3rd double, 4th SB, an OF assist at third and 3rd RBI to move to .185 and 1B Brandon Buckman was 1-3 with his 18th RBI to move to .310. RP Shaun Garceau got the win with 3 IP of an ER on 2 hits, a walk and 4 Ks to move to 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA. RP Kenneth Maiques picked up save #4.

Game 3 has already been played today with the Swing winning in a shootout. Starters were: RH Jason Godin (0-0, 0.00) vs. Swing RH Blake King (1-0, 5.17).

27 April 2007

Royal legacy #5 -- the 1978 Royals (92-70)

We're into the final five -- 3 '70s teams left, 2 '80s teams left. Number 5 takes us back to 1978 -- the last of the franchise's three great seasons employing Whiteyball and arguably the weakest of those three teams. Of course, at this point we're talking 90-win teams here, so "weak" is a relative term. Coming into '78, the pressure was on in KC. 1976 had seen the Royals qualify for the playoffs for the first time....but lose to the Yankees in the ALCS. 1977 had been THE year in KC -- 102 wins, the most to date -- but, again, the Royals couldn't get past the team now known as the Evil Empire. So 1978 had to be the year, right? Third straight division title, and this time we're taking down New York and the Bronx Zoo in the playoffs and going for a World Series ring. No doubt. But in the end it was a scratched record of the '76 and '77 seasons: another great Royals team that couldn't get the job done in the postseason.

The Royals were firing on almost every cylinder in '78. The offense was top-five in the AL in doubles (first), triples (first), steals (first), strikeouts (second fewest behind Chicago), hitting (.268, third), slugging (.399, third) and runs scored (743, third) in a team built by GM Joe Burke and manager Whitey Herzog for the a
rtificial turf and power alleys of Royals Stadium. The Royals weren't behind the league curve in a couple other categories either, including OBP (.329, sixth) and hits (sixth). The only thing lacking in KC were walks (498 for 10th) and, as usual, longballs (98 for 11th of 14 teams). Pitching wasn't any different as the Royals were among the elite in saves (second to the Yanks), ERA (3.44, third), hits allowed (third), walks allowed (fourth), shutouts (14 for fifth) and HR allowed (fifth). While the team's 53 CG (remember what I said in an earlier post about the '70s handling of pitchers?) were sixth in the AL, the one spot lacking was in Ks as the Royals' staff combined for a third-worst (in the AL) 657 whiffs.

GM Burke retooled the team somewhat from the 102-win '77 squad. His first move came in December '77 with the trade of former playoff goat P Mark Littell and C Buck Martinez to St. Louis for Al "The Mad Hungarian" Hrabosky, who would keep the closer spot warm for a couple seasons until a young pitcher named Dan Quisenberry was ready to take over. One key player from the '70s Royals, 1B John Mayberry, said goodbye to KC in April '78 as Burke sold his rights to Toronto, where Mayberry would continue to hit for a couple more years while the Royals made do with 1B Pete LaCock. Actually, LaCock would outperform Mayberry at the plate in '78, but not nearly do so in '79 and '80, when the Royals c
ould have also used Mayberry. Mayberry had sat out game 5 of the ALCS in '77 reportedly because of a "toothache," which didn't really endear him to fans or management. In a midseason move, Burke sent P Jim Colborn, who had a great '77 but wasn't getting it done in '78, to Seattle for PH/OF Steve Braun, who played decently in KC for the remainder of '78 and '79. Mediocre starter Andy Hassler was sold to Boston in mid-season to help the Red Sox in their monumental collapse and Burke decided he couldn't live without most-of-the-time light hitting C Jamie Quirk, who he'd sent to Milwaukee in the Darrell Porter trade in December '76, so he traded for him again in August '78.

If the '70s were CF Amos Otis' decade, 1978 was his season as he had a career year and, with the help of 3B George Brett and C Darrell Porter, the Royals provided a strong three-man punch in the lineup. Otis played stellar defense in center (if it wasn't for one person taking the limelight every year, Otis should have won more than 3 Gold Gloves, I'd wager) while hitting .298/.380/.525 for a .905 OPS that was third in the league and his 150 OPS+ is ninth in team season history. AO scored 74 runs, hit 30 doubles, 7 triples and 22 HR, drove in a team best 96 runs and stole 32 bases in his peak year at age 31. Meanwhile, Brett hit .294 with an .809 OPS, 79 runs scored, 45 doubles (an AL best and fourth most in Royals history, second then to McRae's awesome '77), 8 triples, 9 HR and 62 RBI along with 23 SB and average D at third; and Porter hit .265 with a
n .802 OPS, 77 RS, 27 doubles, 6 triples, 18 HR and 78 RBI. DH Hal McRae hit .273 with a .758 OPS, 90 runs scored, 39 doubles, 16 HR, 72 RBI and 17 SB; LaCock hit .295 with a .754 OPS and 21 doubles while playing solid if not exactly rangy D at first; 2B Frank White won the second of his 6 straight Gold Gloves while hitting .275 with a .716 OPS, 24 doubles, 6 triples, 50 RBI and 30 SB; and RF Al Cowens played good defense in right while hitting .274 with a .707 OPS, 24 doubles, 8 triples, 63 RBI and 14 SB. The only regulars who were offensive liabilities were SS Freddie Patek, who still hit .248 with a .630 OPS, 23 doubles and 38 SB, and LF Willie Wilson, who in his first year of full-time action hit .217 with a .658 OPS and 46 SB in 127 games while learning the ropes in the outfield. The bench was led by 1B/fourth OF Clint Hurdle, who hit .264 with a .746 OPS, 25 doubles, 5 triples and 56 RBI in 133 games, but didn't play great defense either at first or in the outfield. Braun was no shining star in the outfield, either, at age 30, but did hit .263 with a .736 OPS in 64 games after coming over in trade. The only other somewhat potent bat on the bench was C John Wathan, who hit .300 with a .715 OPS in 190 AB. The rest of the bench was filled with guys like OF Tom Poquette (shaky D, .597 OPS), IF Jerry Terrell (solid but pretty much immobile D, .436 OPS), 24-year-old SS U.L. Washington (OK D, 12 SB, .609 OPS) and OF Joe Zdeb (shaky D, .602 OPS).

The '78 pitching staff, which followed up likely the organization's best ever staff in '77, was a case of four decent starting performances, great back-end relief and solid middle relief. Dennis Leonard set team records that still stand for GS (40!) and IP (294 2/3) and likely always will, as I see little chance of team's returning to four-man sets. Leonard went 21-17 (third in the AL and third all-time in Royals' season history in wins) with a 3.33 ERA, 183 Ks (third in the AL), 20 CG (second all-time among Royals seasons), 4 shutouts and 27 HRA. Despite Leonard's prolific season, Larry Gura may have been the best of the bunch in KC. Gura went 16-4 (an .800 winning percentage that still stands as a team record) with a 2.72 ERA (ninth all-time for Royals), 8 complete games, 2 shutouts, a 1.09 WHIP (fourth in the AL and seventh all-time among Royals) and 142 ERA+ (ninth all-time among Royals) in 35 games (26 starts) and 221 IP. Paul Splittorff also had a nice season at 19-13 with a 3.40 ERA, 13 CG and 2 shutouts in 39 games (38 starts) and 262 IP. Rich Gale rounded out the rotation by going 14-8 with a 3.09 ERA, 9 CG and 3 shutouts but walked 100 batters while K'ing only 88 in 31 games (30 starts) and 192 IP. Hassler and Colborn combined for 14 starts before departing for other teams with respective ERAs of 4.32 and 4.76. Hrabosky and Steve Mingori led the bullpen as Hrabosky went 8-7 with 20 saves and a 2.88 ERA and 60 Ks in 58 games and 75 IP, and Mingori was 1-4 with 7 saves and a 2.74 ERA in 45 games and 69 IP. The other steady reliever was Marty Pattin, who went 3-3 with 4 saves, a 3.32 ERA and 2 CG in 32 games (5 starts) and 78 IP. Doug Bird and Randy McGilberry weren't steady as Bird was 6-6 with 1 save and a 5.29 ERA in 98 IP and McGilberry had a plus-1.7 WHIP and 4.21 ERA in 25 IP with more walks than Ks.

1978 was a roller coaster season as the Royals followed up a good April with poor May and June performances, had a great July, a bad August and then a great September to hold off the Angels and Rangers in the AL West race. KC stormed out of the gate to win 8 of its first 9 games en route to an 11-2 record
and, eventually, a 14-5 April record that left the team 1 game back of Oakland. May started with a 5-game skid to back the Royals into third but a 7-game winning streak to end the month put the Royals in a tie with Oakland for first on June 2. The Royals took 1 of 4 in Anaheim at the end of June to stay in a second-place tie with the Halos, 1 game back of Texas and a 4-game split with California in early July put KC in fourth, 1 1/2 games behind the Angels. The Royals finished the first half with a 3-game sweep of Baltimore to move into second place at 44-40. KC kicked it into high gear right after the break with a 10-game winning streak that included sweeps of the Yankees (in the Bronx), Texas and Boston to earn the Royals a 3-game cushion atop the AL West. The lead was 4 games by the end of July but a 4-game skid in early August and .500 ball over the next 10 games after that shrunk the lead to 1/2 a game over the Angels. Another 4-game slide in late August gave the Angels the lead but the Royals righted the ship by winning 9 of 11 into September to regain a 3 1/2 game lead. A 5-game surge in mid-September increased the lead to 4 1/2 as the Royals swept 4 from Oakland and won 2 of 3 from the Angels in their last meeting of the season. Going 4-1 versus the lowly Mariners down the stretch helped KC clinch the division with only 5 games left (the Royals went 12-3 vs. the M's on the season) and qualify them for the ALCS versus the Yankees, who had overcome a double-digit Red Sox deficit to tie the Sox and force a playoff game that resulted in the Bucky "F'ing" Dent homer to give the Yankees the postseason bid. The Royals had gone a remarkable 56-25 at home and 36-45 on the road with a 48-30 second half record and 27-11 record in blowout games of 5 or more deficits. The 92-70 record was 1 game worse than expected via pythagorean W-L, but the Royals did set a to-that-point attendance record as 2.25 million fans came to Royals Stadium for a game -- the first time the Royals had attendance over 2 million.

The Royals had to be confident going into the playoffs that the Yanks were ripe for the picking. They had to expend a lot of energy getting back into the race in the AL East, then had to win an emotional playoff game just to get there, and the Royals had gone 6-5 versus New York in the season. Surely the Bronx Zoo squad was about out of gas, right? The Yankees responded with a resounding "no" in blazing past KC in gam
e 1 in Royals Stadium, 7-1, as Reggie Jackson clubbed a 3-run homer in the 8th and the Royals were 2-hit by Jim Beattie and RP Ken Clay. The Yankees had slapped Dennis Leonard and 3 relievers around for a combined 16 hits, including a 3-3 night from "Mr. October" Jackson and 2-5 from former Royal Lou Piniella. Game 2 flip-flopped the scenario as the Royals scored 5 runs in the first 2 innings off Ed Figueroa and Larry Gura helped lock down a 10-4 Royals win. After going 0-2 with 2 walks in game 1, Otis was 3-5 with an RBI and 2 SB in game 2 and Patek hit a 2-run homer after hitting 2 all season. The series was even, then, as it shifted to Yankee Stadium for games 3 and 4. The Royals lost a game they could have won in game 3 as a see-saw game was tied after 5 IP thanks to 3 George Brett homers and the Royals rallied for 2 runs in the 8th off Goose Gossage to take a 5-4 lead. Unfortunately, Whitey put Doug Bird in to pitch to Thurman Munson with 1 out and 1 on in the bottom of the 8th and Munson homered to give the Yankees a 6-5 lead. Goose took advantage of the good fortune to set KC down in order in the 9th to end it. Brett was 3-5 with the 3 homers but flew out in the 9th and Otis was 2-3 with a SB. McRae was 0-5. Jackson also homered for New York off SP Paul Splittorff, who was removed right before Munson's homer. With that deflating loss in mind, the Royals had to face Cy Young winner Ron Guidry in game 4. Brett tripled in the 1st and scored on a McRae hit to give the Royals the lead on Guidry but Leonard couldn't hold it with that minimal run support as the Yankees tied it with a Graig Nettles homer in the 2nd and took the 2-1 lead with a Roy White homer in the 6th. Meanwhile the Royals stranded 2 in the 4th and left Otis as the tying run at second in the 9th as Gossage got LaCock to fly out to left to end both the game and the Royals' season. New York went on to take down the Dodgers in the World Series. New York only had 4 hits in the win as Nettles was 2-4. Frank White was 2-3 for KC as the Royals got 7 hits off Guidry but could only make a couple count. Jackson hit .462 in the series while Mickey Rivers hit .455 and Chris Chambliss hit .400. Otis led the way for KC at .429 while Brett hit .389 and Porter and LaCock hit over .350. Cowens only hit .133, tho, while McRae hit .214.

After the season, Burke did little to improve the Royals, and it showed as the team went out and helped cost Whitey Herzog his job with a 85-77 record in '79 before rebounding under new manager Jim Frey for a memorable run in 1980. Also, in 1980, the Royals would finally get what they wanted and took the Yankees to the cleaners in the playoffs.

1978 Pipeline Royals MVP -- Amos Otis. Probably along with Quisenberry the players who have received the most renewed appreciation from me while doing this countdown. A great player having his best season, and he kept it up in the playoffs.

1978 Pipeline Royals LVP -- Doug Bird. Stinks pretty much all season then gives up a backbreaker homer in the playoffs. Thanks for playing, Doug.

Here's your '78 Royals.

Royals on the Farm 4/26

AAA -- Omaha: O-Royals 8, Nashville 4

LF Butler 1-5, 2 K, picked off -- .333
DH Gathright 3-4, HBP, RBI (8), RS, picked off -- .269
SS Berroa 3-5, RBI (5) -- .318
1B Huber 2-4, 2 RBI (6), K, RS -- .184
3B Aviles 2-4, BB, RBI (10), K, 2 RS -- .311
2B Lewis 1-2, BB, SF, 2 RBI (3), RS, SB (1) -- .333, doing better at AAA than AA
RF Costa 1-5, 2B (5), 2 K, RS -- .348
CF Maier 0-2, 2 BB, K, RS -- .259

Elarton 5 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, BB, 0 K, HRA, WP -- W, 1-1, 5.91 ERA, getting back to mediocre form
Standridge and Musser 3 1/3 IP scoreless relief -- welcome back to Omaha

Two rallies got the O-Royals the win in the opener with the division-leading Sounds Thursday. SP Scott Elarton gave up a 2-out RBI single in the 2nd to spot Nashville the 1-0 lead but the Royals came back with 4 in the 2nd on a 2-out rally. The Royals hit 4 straight singles in the inning, including RBI hits from Justin Huber, Joey Gathright and Angel Berroa. The last run of the inning came thanks to a Sounds fielding error on a ball hit by Shane Costa and Omaha had a 4-1 lead. Elarton gave up 2 runs in the 3rd on 3 hits and a sac fly and Nashville cut the lead to 4-3. A Richie Lewis sac fly in the bottom of the inning made it 5-3 and Elarton settled down until giving up a solo homer to 1B Brad Nelson in the 6th. Nashville stranded the tying run at third versus Jason Standridge in the 7th and Omaha rallied for 3 in the bottom of the frame on RBI singles by Mike Aviles, Lewis and Huber to get some insurance at 8-4. RP Neal Musser stranded 2 in the 8th and had a perfect 9th as Omaha got the win. Omaha is 8-13 and 5 1/2 games back of the Sounds. Nelson was 2-3 for Nashville with his 4th HR and 8th RBI to move to .348 and 3B Ryan Braun was 0-4 with a sac fly for his 15th RBI to drop to .319. SP Zach Jackson took the loss with 5 R (4 ER) on 7 hits and 3 walks with 5 K over 5 IP to drop to 3-2 with a 4.10 ERA. He also had 2 wild pitches.

The series goes to game 2 tonight in Omaha. Probable starters: Sounds RH R.A. Dickey (1-2, 7.00) vs. RH Zach Day (0-0, 3.38).

AA -- Wichita: Springfield 6, Wranglers 2

DH Brazell 2-3, BB, RBI (10) -- .338
RF Padilla 1-3, HBP, RBI (8), 2 K -- .358
LF Lubanski 1-4, BB, 2B (4), RS -- .303
1B Stodolka 1-4, K -- .236
2B Valentin 0-4, SB (1) -- .143
*The Wranglers left 10 on base.

Christensen 4 IP, ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K, HRA -- ND, 3.78 ERA
Hughes 2 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K, HRA -- L, 0-2, 4.72 ERA
Cromer 2/3 IP, 2 BB -- 5.40 ERA
Santos IP, 2 ER, 3 H, BB, HRA -- 5.40 ERA

The Wranglers came back to take a late lead but the bullpen couldn't hold it as Springfield scored 5 late runs to win. SP Danny Christensen stranded 2 runners over the first 3 innings but gave up a 2-out solo homer to 1B Joe Mather in the 4th to give the Cards a 1-0 lead. Wichita couldn't make any headway against SP Mitch Boggs and, when Boggs was pulled to start the 7th, the Wranglers took advantage. A 2-out single and walk from RP Michael Cooper were followed by RBI singles from Craig Brazell and Jorge Padilla to give Wichita a 2-1 lead. The lead lasted only 2 batters into the bottom of the 7th as RP Dusty Hughes gave up a leadoff double to Mather and a 2-run homer to C Bryan Anderson to give Springfield the 3-2 lead. P Jason Cromer came in with 2 on and 1 out and ended up walking in the 3rd run of the inning to make it 4-2 Cards. RP Arthur Santos gave up a leadoff homer to Mather (the first batter he faced) in the 8th to pad the Cardinals' lead and an RBI single later in the inning made it 6-2. Wichita went down in order in both the 8th and 9th. Wichita is 8-11 and 1 1/2 games back. Mather was 3-4 with his 5th double, 2 HR (9, leads the minors) and 2 RBI (14) to move to .361, Anderson was 2-2 with 2 walks, his 2nd homer and 2 RBI (8) to move to .318 and CF Colby Rasmus was 0-4 with 2 K to drop to .203. RF Juan Encarnacion was 0-5 but stole a base. RP Kevin Ool got the win with 2 1/3 IP of hitless relief to move to 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA. Boggs allowed only 5 hits and 3 walks with 4 K over 6 IP to drop his ERA to 3.20.

A 4-game set at the Arkansas Travelers (8-12, AA Angels) starts today. Wranglers righty Luke Hochevar (2-1, 3.27) is set to go against Travs lefty Dan Davidson (0-3, 2.49). Royals lefty John Bale is set to make a rehab start in game 2 Saturday. Wichita is 1-3 versus Arkansas thus far. In other news, Carlos Rosa got the call up from Wilmington, so he will join the Wranglers likely in Little Rock.

A-Adv. -- Wilmington: Frederick 2, Blue Rocks 1

CF Duarte 2-4, 2B (2), K, SB (4) -- .284, seven-game hit streak
C Thibault 1-3, BB, 2B (3), RBI (4), K -- .261
2B Perez 1-4, 2B (2), K, E (2) -- .286
3B Lisson 0-4, 2 K -- .221
1B Vega 1-4, 2B (2), 2 K, RS -- .200

Cortes 4 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K -- L, 0-1, 4.50 ERA, season debut
Pimentel 4 IP, 2 H, 2 K -- 3.00 ERA, looked sharp thus far

The Keys earned a series split with one 2-run inning. Miguel Vega led off the 2nd with a double off Keys SP Brandon Erbe and Kiel Thibault drove him home with a 1-out double to give the Rocks a 1-0 lead. The Keys got the first 2 runners on off SP Dan Cortes in the 4th but Cortes fought back to get 2 outs before giving up a 2-run single to 1B Mark Fleisher to give Frederick a 2-1 lead. The Blue Rocks stranded 2 runners over the middle innings and stranded potential tying run Jose Duarte at third in the 8th before going down in order in the 9th to end it. Wilmington is 6-13 and 5 games back. Fleisher was 1-2 with a walk, his 2nd E and 2 RBI (5) to move to .188, LF Jacob Duncan was 1-3 with a RS to keep his BA at .333 and Erbe picked up the W with 6 IP of an ER on 5 hits with 7 Ks to move to 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA. He retired 14 of 16 after Thibault's RBI. RP Richard Salazar picked up his 1st save with 1 1/3 hitless IP.

The Blue Rocks move on Friday to start three at home versus the Winston-Salem Warthogs (, A ChiSox). Pitching probables for game 1: Rocks righty Patrick Green (0-1, 3.38) vs. WS southpaw Ryan Rodriguez (first appearance). The Rocks are 0-3 versus the Warthogs thus far in '07. Rosa's promotion to Wichita cleared the way for the 20-year-old Cortes to join the Blue Rocks from extended ST. Cortes was piece #2 behind Tyler Lumsden in the Mike MacDougal deal.

A -- Burlington: Bees 7, Quad Cities 3

RF Gonzalez 2-3, HBP, 2B (2), 2 RBI (5), K, 2 RS -- .191
C Everett 2-3, BB, 2 2B (5), RS -- .273
LF Dickerson 1-4, 2 RBI (9) -- .278
SS McConnell 1-4, BB, 2 RBI (8), K, CS -- .250
3B Maddox 0-4, 3 K -- .339
2B Mertins 1-3, BB, K -- .194
DH S. Lucas 1-1, 3 BB, 3 RS -- .212

Santiago 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 3 K -- W, 1-1, 2.42 ERA, nice start
Campbell 2 IP, ER, 3 H, BB, 2 K, WP -- 1.02 ERA

Two innings worth of offense drove the Bees to the series opening victory. SP Mario Santiago gave up single runs in the 2nd and 3rd to give Quad Cities a 2-0 lead but the Bees got a run back in the bottom of the 3rd on a 1-out RBI double by O.D. Gonzalez. As Santiago retired 12 straight Swing batters, the Bees moved ahead in the 5th with a 2-run single by Joe Dickerson. The lead grew with 4 Bees runs in the 6th on a bases loaded HBP by Gonzalez, 2-run single by Chris McConnell and a Swing error that scored a run to make it 7-2. P Matt Campbell gave up a run in the 8th but didn't allow the Swing to pose much of a threat in closing out the game. The Bees are 10-8 and 1 1/2 games back of first. Swing 1B Brandon Buckman was 3-4 with his 17th RBI to move to .309, SS Christian Lopez was 1-4 with his 4th RBI and 1st E to move to .326 and SP Tyler Herron took the loss with 4 2/3 IP of 3 ER on 5 hits and 2 BB with 3 K to move to 0-3 with a 5.94 ERA.

The series wraps on the Burlington side tonight before shifting to the QC for 2 more games. Pitching probables for game 2: Bees RH Harold Mozingo (2-1, 3.38) vs. Swing RH Mike Schellinger (0-2, 4.50). The Bees have had some roster changes. As expected, SP Angelo Morales was put on the DL with shoulder problems, righty P Yovany D'Amico was brought back from extended ST, OF Jarrod Dyson was put on the bereavement list for the second time this season for a death in the family (first time was for his father, this time his grandma -- condolences go to Dyson) and speedy OF Derrick Robinson will get his first taste of full season minor league action by joining the Bees. No word yet on how long Morales will be on the shelf, but the Burlington Hawk Eye reports it's at least 2 weeks.

26 April 2007

Royal legacy #6 -- the 1984 Royals (84-78)

Royals fans in general likely had no idea what to expect going into the 1984 season. The Royals had been to the World Series in 1980 and back to the playoffs in '81, but had finished second in both '82 and '83 to the Angels and White Sox. 1984 would be another remarkable pennant race for Kansas City as the Royals hung around the bottom half of the division until August, stayed within striking distance, and then turned up the pressure in late August/September to fight off the Twins and Halos for the AL West crown. Unfortunately, '84 was also the year of the Detroit Tigers' 1-to-162 first place run in the AL East and the Tigers were too much to handle in the ALCS.

1984 wasn't a hugely successful year in either hitting or pitching for the Royals or any individual Royal. A solid team effort, tho, paid dividends. The team only ranked top-five in the AL in three main categories -- batting (.268, fifth), doubles (third) and triples (second) -- and ranked low only in walks (400 for last), HR (no surprise, 117 for 12th), and runs scored (673 for 11th; luckily the pitching staff picked up the slack there). Other than that, the Royals were middle of the pack in hits (sixth), slugging (.399 for sixth), steals (106 for sixth), Ks (eighth-most), and OBP (.319 for ninth). In each of the areas the hitters lacked, the pitching staff did well as the Royals were best in the AL with only 433 walks all
owed, gave up only 136 homers (third) and allowed only 686 runs (fifth). Thanks to another great year from Dan Quisenberry, the team's 50 saves were second in the AL (one behind Detroit). Low marks came in Ks (11th) and CG (18 for 11th, but the team had a good pen), and otherwise the team was about average for the league with a 3.92 ERA (seventh), 9 shutouts (sixth) and fourth place in hits allowed.

The complexion of the team changed coming off the 79-83 record and second place finish in '83. The coke trials that saw four Royals get in trouble in '83 also took their toll as only Willie Wilson was brought back from that group by GM John Schuerholz and owner Ewing Kaufmann. A longtime Royal said goodbye going into '84 as the Royals let OF Amos Otis walk after a shaky '83. AO would sign with Pittsburgh but would be released in August before retiring just shy of his 37th birthday. In some December trading action at the Winter Meetings, Schuerholz slapped together a package of three prospects for the Dodgers in trade for RP Joe Beckwith, who would give KC two solid seasons, and packaged P Mike Armstrong with a minor leaguer to the Yankees for 1B Steve Balboni and a minor-league pitcher. Balboni would give KC two good seasons, another average season and a lot of Ks and also set the team record for HR in a season at 36 in '85. I'd give the solid advantage in both deals to KC. Schuerholz waited until later in the month for another deal that ship
ped 1B Willie Aikens (now presumably expendable with Balboni in place) to Toronto for OF Jorge Orta in a move that would ring through eternity for KC fans and help lead to the most memorable photograph of the '85 series (excepting the SI cover to the left). Orta had one good and two decent seasons for KC while Aikens never regained form. As the season progressed, Schuerholz's only other resonating move was to purchase IF Dane Iorg from St. Louis, which would echo into October '85. The '84 draft year was ho-hum, to say the least, for Royals fans as the best pick was first-rounder P Scott Bankhead, who only paid off in getting traded for Danny Tartabull a couple years later. The Royals missed Jay Buhner in the January secondary draft and, in the June regular draft, took Bankhead over Greg Maddux, IF Luis de los Santos in round 2 over Tom Glavine, took OF Bobby Bell a pick ahead of 3B Ken Caminiti in round 3, passed on Jamie Moyer in round 5, and like all the other teams skipped Chuck Finley repeatedly until California took him in round 15. There were no landmark moves post-draft in the '84 season.

It was mainly Balboni and Brett (for 3/4 of the season, anyway), in KC in '84. Balboni made his KC debut a good one by leading the team in OPS+ at 122 -- hitting only .244 but posting an OPS of .818 thanks to a .498 SLG. The bald, rotund one cranked out 23 doubles, 2 triples (somehow) and 28 HR with a team-leading 77 RBI and set a Royals record with 139 Ks (now sixth on the all-time Royals season charts; he passed that mark in both '85 and '86). He did play passable defense, too. Brett got bitten by the injury bug as a knee injury cost him the start of the season and his 104 games played would be a career low in non-strike seasons. He
still produced, however, as he hit .284 with an .803 OPS, 21 doubles, 13 HR and 69 RBI while playing average D at third. 38-year-old DH Hal McRae hit .303 to lead the team in batting and posted a .760 OPS with 13 doubles but only 3 HR and 42 RBI as age slowly started catching up; LF Darryl Motley came out of nowhere with a flash-in-the-pan season of a .284 BA, .760 OPS, 25 doubles, 15 HR and 70 RBI with average D, although he did ground into 23 double plays; 2B Frank White battled a leg injury to hit .271 with a .756 OPS, 22 doubles, 5 triples, 17 HR and 56 RBI with still above-average D; OF Pat Sheridan was solid while filling in for Willie Wilson during his drug suspension from the '83 debacle as Pat hit .283 with a .737 OPS, 24 doubles, 53 RBI, 19 SB and decent defense in CF/RF; and Wilson came back to take over CF with Otis gone and proceeded to hit .301 with a .740 OPS, team best 81 RS, 24 doubles, 9 triples and 47 SB in 128 GP. The other three regulars struggled somewhat -- C Don Slaught hit .264 with a .676 OPS, made 11 E at catcher but led the team with 27 doubles; shortstop was a chaotic position as Onix Concepcion, U.L. Washington and Buddy Biancalana split time there with Onix's 82 OPS+ being the high # and the three combined for 28 E (to be fair, Onix played relatively good D, U.L. was average, and Buddy had a nice personality -- the team even tried to salvage Bucky Dent's career to no avail late in the season); and 3B Greg Pryor split time with Brett to hit .263 with a .657 OPS and OK D with poor range at the hot corner. The bench was pretty much a one-man show of DH/OF Orta, who hit .298 with an .800 OPS, 23 doubles, 7 triples and 50 RBI in 122 games. Iorg contributed 23 XBH and a .691 OPS in 78 games; John Wathan played worse at catcher than Slaught and hit .181 with a .540 OPS in 97 games; and extra OFs Butch Davis and Lynn Jones played poor D and hit for OPS of .435 and .718.

The stars began to converge on the Royals' pitching staff as Bud Black had a career year and Mark Gubicza and Bret Saberhagen made their debuts with Quisenberry having another landmark year in the bullpen. Black was the lone Royals pitcher with 200+ IP and made them count with a 17-12 record, 3.12 ERA, league leading 1.12 WHIP, 8 CG and a shutout in 35 starts and 257 IP. Gubicza was solid for a rookie with a 10-14
record, 4.05 ERA, 4 CG, 2 shutouts and 111 K in 29 starts and 189 IP; Charlie Leibrandt had a decent season with an 11-7 record and 3.63 ERA in 23 starts and 143 IP; and Saberhagen split time between the rotation and pen to go 10-11 with a 3.48 ERA, 1 save, 2 CG and 1 shutout in 38 games (18 starts) and 157 IP. Not so good in starting roles were SP Larry Gura, who proved ready for retirement with a 12-9 record, 5.18 ERA, nearly 1-1 K/BB ratio and 26 HRA in 31 games (25 starts) and 168 IP; and SP Mike Jones, who went 2-3 with a 4.89 ERA in 23 games (12 starts) and 81 IP. Danny Jackson was decent with a 4.26 ERA but a 2-6 record with 1 CG in 15 games (11 starts) and 76 IP. Also, Paul Splittorff played out his career with a 1-3 record and 7.71 ERA in 12 games (3 starts) and 28 IP while Frank Wills went 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA in 10 games (5 starts) and 37 IP. The full-time bullpen was a three-man show led by Dan Quisenberry, who won his fourth Rolaids Relief Award with a 6-3 record, 44 saves (third in Royals history and an AL best) and 67 games finished (fourth all-time among Royals). Quiz posted a 2.64 ERA in 129 IP. Beckwith was good with a 3.40 ERA, 8-4 record, 2 saves and 75 Ks in 49 games and 100 IP and Mark Huismann was average with a 3-3 record, 3 saves and a 4.20 ERA in 38 games and 75 IP.

As noted in the opening paragraph, it would be the second half that would propel Kansas City to its sixth division title in 1984 as a fairly weak AL West was ripe for the picking. The Royals' best months were in August and September as a 45-35 second-half record made the difference. KC stumbled to an 8-11 April record to finish the month in fifth place in the division and a 7-game losing skid in early May dropped KC to sixth but
still only 6 games out. The Royals won 6 of 7 in early June to move to third and 1 1/2 games back of California but turned around and lost 8 of 9 to drop back to sixth and 6 1/2 games back. The roller coaster headed back uphill in early July as a 5-game win streak cut into the lead but a 5-game losing streak later in the month put the Royals back in sixth at 39-48. The real winning began in late July when KC took 8 of 9 to get back within 3 games of the division lead and a 4-game sweep at Detroit was part of a 5-game surge in early August to keep KC in fourth place. A 17-12 August record propelled KC into second place, two games back of Minnesota. KC took control with a 5-game surge in early September to move a game in front of the pack but the loss of 2 of 3 at Minnesota made the race a tie Sept. 12. A 4-game winning streak soon after gave KC a 2-game lead as the Twins dropped 3 of 4 in Chicago. The Royals took 3 of 4 from the Angels to knock them out of the race by Sept. 25, and the Twins lost their last 6 games while KC finished the season with 1 of 3 from Oakland to kinda sorta back into the playoffs. The Royals had gone 44-37 at home and 40-41 on the road with a 26-21 record in 1-run games and 6-5 record in extra innings. The 84-78 overall record was 4 games better than expected via pythagorean W-L for the Royals and fourth-year manager Dick Howser.

The AL West title put the Royals in the crosshairs of the Detroit Tigers, who won 104 games and the A
L East division by 15 games over second place Toronto. The Royals had gone 5-7 vs. the Tigers in the regular season including the 4-game sweep in Detroit in August and two 3-game sweeps of losses to the Tigers in May and August (a week after the Royals swept in Motown). Tigers P Willie Hernandez had somewhat overshadowed Quisenberry's great season with an MVP Award and Cy Young year in '84. Game 1 of the ALCS in Royals Stadium wouldn't be a contest as the Tigers jumped on Bud Black for 4 ER over 5 IP including 2 HR and the Royals couldn't do much against Tigers SP Jack Morris with only 1 ER over 7 IP as the Tigers won, 8-1. Hernandez pitched 2 hitless innings of relief in the win. Game 2 matched up Saberhagen and Dan Petry but neither factored in the decision as Detroit won, 5-3, in 11 in KC. The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead but KC scored in the 4th, 7th and 8th to tie it, including a clutch RBI double by McRae off Hernandez in the 8th. The Royals stranded 2 in the 10th and Detroit cashed in on a Slaught throwing error in the 11th with a 2-run double by 35-year-old Johnny Grubb. Lynn Jones flew out with 2 on in the bottom of the inning and the Royals were down, 2-0, in the best of 5. Game 3 two days later in Tiger Stadium would be a pitchers' duel between Charlie Leibrandt and Milt Wilcox as both teams got only 3 hits but the Royals made 3 errors in a 1-0 loss to end the season. An RBI force out by Marty Castillo in the 2nd would be the only run scored as Wilcox 1-hit the Royals into the 8th. Hernandez came in for the 9th and gave up a 2-out single to McRae before getting Darryl Motley to pop out to foul territory by third to seal the series. Detroit OF Kirk Gibson was the MVP by hitting .417 in the series. Slaught had the best offensive performance of any Royal by hitting .364 while Brett hit .231 and no other regular hit over .200. Really, with the way the Royals' pitchers did in games 2 and 3, just a couple more hits here and there could have turned the series around.

After the season, Schuerholz looked to fine-tune the team. He shuttled U.L. Washington to Montreal for prospects who didn't pan out (no loss either way), and, in a 4-team trade, coughed up Slaught in a deal for C Jim Sundberg, who was a defensive standout and offensive mediocrity but would be a key in the '85 title run. With Brett back at full strength and Saberhagen hitting his stride, the Royals were poised for bigger and better things in '85, but it would take some postseason magic to get the Royals their first and only World Series ring.

1984 Pipeline Royals MVP -- Tough one. I'll go with Bud Black, since he had a career year and was the lone rock in the rotation. Best wishes in San Diego, Bud.

1984 Pipeline Royals LVP -- Larry Gura retired one year too late for Royals fans. His '85 #s were somewhat scary, plus he logged the third most IP on the team. Nice autograph, tho.

The not-quite-enough '84 Royals.

Royals on the Farm 4/25

AAA -- Omaha: off day

A 4-game home set with the division leading Nashville Sounds (13-6, AAA Brewers) starts today. Pitching probables: Sounds LH Zach Jackson (3-1, 3.38) vs. RH Scott Elarton (0-1, 5.40). Nashville's big guns are the Brew Crew's top two prospects -- 3B Ryan Braun (.338 BA, 1.138 OPS, 7 HR so far, on fast track to Miller Park) and RHP Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 2.35 ERA, 0.91 WHIP in 4 GS, and he's only 21). Jackson has also been a fringe MLB guy for Milwaukee. Former Royals farmhand RP Steve Bray is also with Nashville.

AA -- Wichita: Springfield 4, Wranglers 3

C Donachie 1-3, BB, 2 RBI (5), K -- .135
1B Brazell 0-3, BB, RBI (9), E (1) -- .323
LF Lubanski 1-3, BB, RS, CS -- .306
DH Padilla 1-2, 2 BB, RS -- .360
RF Valentin 1-3, HBP, RS -- .333, season debut
SS Brewer 1-3, S, 2B (4), K, E (5) -- .264

Hudson 4 1/3 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 3 H, BB, 7 K, HRA -- ND, 3.68 ERA
Buckner 4 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 3 K, HRA, WP -- L, 1-3, 4.66 ERA

In a see-saw game, Wichita took the lead in the 6th but couldn't hold on as Springfield evened the series at 1-1. The Wranglers looked to be in good shape with a walk and single to start the 2nd but Jorge Padilla was thrown out trying to get to third and a DP ball ended the rally. Wichita loaded the bases with 1 out in the 3rd and Craig Brazell drew a 2 out walk to force home a run, but that was all the Wranglers got to take a 1-0 lead. A Brazell error in the bottom of the inning led to a run as a Juan Encarnacion RBI ground out brought the runner home to tie the game. Rehabbing SP Luke Hudson gave up the lead in the bottom of the 4th as 2B Jarrett Hoffpauir homered with 2 outs and nobody on to make it 2-1 Cards. Wichita loaded the bases again with 2 outs in the 6th and this time did a little better as Adam Donachie came through with a 2 run single to make it 3-2 Wranglers. The lead lasted one batter into the Springfield 6th as P Billy Buckner gave up a leadoff homer to 3B Juan Richardson to tie the game. The game went into the bottom of the 9th tied at 3 and Buckner gave up a leadoff double, got the runner out at third on a base running blunder on a grounder, then loaded the bases with 2 singles. LF Jon Jay came through for Springfield with a walkoff single to end it. Wichita is 8-10 and 1 1/2 games back of first. Hoffpauir was 2-4 with his 4th double, 2nd HR and 6th RBI to move to .326, Richardson was 2-4 with his 2nd HR and 7th RBI to move to .254 and Encarnacion was 1-5 with his 1st RBI in his rehab stint. RP Chris Perez got the win with a perfect top of the 9th to move to 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA.

The series wraps tonight. Pitching probables: Wranglers lefty Danny Christensen (0-0, 4.26 ERA) vs. Springfield righty Mitch Boggs (1-2, 4.61).

A-Adv. -- Wilmington: Frederick 4, Blue Rocks 3

DH Kaaihue 3-4, HR (2), 2 RBI (5), RS -- .148, been a long time since Kila's been on right side of Mendoza line, still not there yet, but Wed. is a start
3B Lisson 1-4, RBI (7) -- .234
CF Duarte 1-4, K, RS -- .270
2B Perez 1-3, K -- .290
C Thibault 1-4 -- .256

Nicoll 5 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 5 K, HRA -- L, 0-2, 4.24 ERA
Haltiwanger 2 IP, ER, H, K, HRA -- 8.31 ERA
Humen IP, H, K -- 3.00 ERA

The Rocks fell behind early and couldn't recover as Frederick held on. One pitch crippled the Blue Rocks as SP Chris Nicoll gave up a 2 out, 2 run HR to 3B Ryan Finan in the 1st. The Keys added another run off Nicoll in the 3rd but a Mario Lisson RBI single in the 4th got Wilmington in the game, down 3-1. Wilmington trimmed further into the lead in the 6th as Jose Duarte singled to lead off the inning and scored from first on a 2 out single by Kila Kaaihue to make it 3-2. RP Russ Haltiwanger came in for the bottom of the 6th and Finan got the Keys some insurance with a leadoff homer for his 2nd of both the game and season to make it 4-2. Kaaihue homered to lead off the 9th for his 2nd of the season (and for the second game in a row) to cut the lead back to 1 and Brian McFall hit a 1-out single but a Kiel Thibault 5-4-3 DP ball ended the game. Wilmington is 6-12 and 5 games back. Finan was 3-4 for Frederick with the 2 HR and 3 RBI (5) to move to .211, rehabbing DH Ramon Hernandez was 1-4 with a double, and SP Jason Berken picked up the win with 6 IP of 2 ER on 6 hits and 2 BB with 4 K to move to 1-2 with a 6.89 ERA. RP Bob McCrory picked up his 5th save despite serving up a longball in the 9th.

The series ends tonight as Wilmington goes for its first series win of the season. Pitching probables: The Blue Rocks will piggyback the tandem of righty Patrick Green (0-1, 3.38) and righty Julio Pimentel (1-0, 3.71) vs. Frederick righty Brandon Erbe (0-0, 3.78, top O's pitching prospect).

A -- Burlington: off day

The 9-8 Bees start a split 4-game home-and-home series with the Swing of the Quad Cities (9-10, A Cardinals) tonight. The first two games are in Burlington. Pitching probables: Bees righty Mario Santiago (0-1, 2.35) vs. Swing SP Tyler Herron (0-2, 6.00). The Swing feature Cards prospects OF Daryl Jones (.172 BA, .546 OPS, off to slow start) and P Herron (only a 1.25 WHIP thus far).

Other news: 2006 AZL Royals OF Tyrone Wilson was suspended 50 games by MLB for missing a drug test. He didn't fail it, he just missed it, but still gets the suspension. It'll start when the AZL season starts in June.

25 April 2007

Royals on the Farm 4/24

AAA -- Omaha: Memphis 8, O-Royals 7

LF Butler 2-5, RS, OF assist at home -- .348
RF Costa 4-5, BB, 2B (4), 2 RS, OF assist at first -- .361
CF Maier 3-5, 2 RBI (9), 2 K, OF assist at first -- .266, both he and Costa nailed the same guy with their assists
1B Huber 2-5, K -- .156
3B Aviles 2-3, 2 BB, RBI (9), RS, E (3) -- .300
DH Koonce 2-4, BB, 2B (3), RBI (9), K, RS -- .250
2B Lewis 1-4, SF, RBI (1), K, RS -- .250, Omaha debut
SS Berroa 1-6, 2B (2), RBI (4), RS -- .295
C Phillips 0-3, BB, SF, RBI (1) -- .065
*The O-Royals turned 5 DPs and left 13 on base.

Hendrickson 7 IP, 5 R (1 ER), 10 H, BB, K, HRA -- ND, 4.98 ERA
Ray 1 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K -- BS, 1, L, 0-1, 7.71 ERA

Remember when I said Omaha was up, 7-2, in the 6th yesterday? Yeah....that didn't last, as the Redbirds scored 5 in the 6th and added 3 in the 9th to come back and get the 4-game sweep of the O-Royals. Omaha streaked in front of Memphis starting in the 3rd as they rallied for 3 runs with 2 outs on an Angel Berroa RBI double and RBI singles by Graham Koonce and Mike Aviles. Memphis threatened to score in the bottom of the inning as 2B Edgar Gonzalez singled to left but Billy Butler threw C Bryan Esposito out at the plate to end the inning. The O-Royals kept up the pressure on offense in the 4th and 5th with a sac flies by Paul Phillips and Richie Lewis for their first AAA RBI of '07. Two runs in the 6th on a 2 out 2 run single by Mitch Maier made it 7-0 Omaha. SP Ben Hendrickson only really cruised through the 2nd but didn't run into serious trouble until the 6th, when a 1-out Aviles error came back to haunt Omaha. After that play, Hendrickson's line went double, RBI single, RBI double, sac fly and 2 run homer to cut the lead to 7-5. Phillips got thrown out at the plate after a Billy Butler single to end the Omaha 7th and Omaha stranded 2 in the 8th to keep the score at 7-5. RP Ken Ray had a 1-2-3 8th but loaded the bases with 1 out in the 9th. PH Tagg Bozied came through with a 2-run single to tie the game off Ray and 1B Rico Washington ended it with a 2-out RBI single. Omaha is 7-13 and 6 1/2 games back, as was the case last year, in last in the PCL American North division. Redbirds CF Rick Ankiel was 2-3 with a walk, his 7th HR, 2 RBI (20) and 2 RS to move to .235, Bozied was 1-1 with 2 RBI (16) to move to .235 and RP Kelvin Jimenez picked up the win with a perfect 9th to move to 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Memphis SP Matt Ginter was nailed for 5 ER on 13 hits over 4 2/3 IP.

Omaha has Wednesday off to regroup before starting a 4-game home set vs. the Nashville Sounds (13-6, AAA Brewers) Thursday. Neal Musser is coming back to town as he was optioned back to AAA when Brian Bannister was promoted.

AA -- Wichita: rainout

Game 2 of the set in Springfield was washed out and no makeup time has been announced yet, according to the team site. The series continues tonight. I assume last night's scheduled starters -- Wichita righty Billy Buckner and Cards lefty Eric Haberer -- will start tonight.

A-Adv. -- Wilmington: Blue Rocks 6, Frederick 2

CF Duarte 3-4, BB, 2B, HR (1), RBI (3), 3 RS, SB (3) -- .271
RF McFall 3-5, 2B (2), RBI (1), RS, SB (2), OF assist at home -- .185
C Thibault 2-4 -- .256
1B Kaaihue 1-5, HR (1), 2 RBI (3), K, RS, E (3) -- .105
DH Bigler 1-4, RBI (4), 2 K -- .156
SS Arce 0-4, 2 E (3) -- .213

Hardy 6 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 6 H, K -- W, 1-0, 0.48, keeping pace with Carlos Rosa
B. Johnson 3 IP, 4 H, K -- SV, 1, 3.63 ERA

The Blue Rocks' bats awoke for 6 runs on 11 hits as they took their second straight from Frederick Tuesday. Jose Duarte led off the game with a double, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a 2 out single by Brian McFall to make it 1-0 Wilmington in the 1st. Kila Kaaihue started the Frederick 2nd with a fielding error and the Keys cashed in as they evened the game with a ground out RBI. SP Rowdy Hardy stranded 2 Keys in the 3rd and the game went into the 6th tied at 1. The Blue Rocks took over from there as they scored 2 in the 6th on a Kaaihue leadoff homer for his 1st of the season and an RBI single by Brett Bigler. Hardy gave up an RBI double to cut the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the 6th but Wilmington padded the lead with 2 more in the 7th on a Keys throwing error by 2B Jonathan Tucker that scored both Duarte and Ethien Santana to make it 5-2. Duarte added some insurance with a leadoff homer in the 9th for his 1st of the season to make it 6-2 and P Blake Johnson had little trouble in the bottom of the 9th to end it. Wilmington is 6-11 and 4 games back. Keys CF Jacob Duncan was 2-4 with 2 doubles (3) and 2 RS to move to .333, rehabbing C Ramon Hernandez was 1-2 and RP Manny Basilio took the loss with 5 ER on 8 hits and a walk over 4 IP to drop to 0-3 with a 7.53 ERA. Rehabbing SP Jaret Wright allowed an ER on 3 hits and 2 walks with 6 Ks over 4 2/3 IP to make his ERA 1.93.

The series goes to game 3 tonight. Pitchers: Blue Rocks P Chris Nicoll (0-1, 3.75) vs. Keys SP Jason Berken (0-2, 9.31). The 2 Wilmington homers Tuesday improved the team's season total to 3.

A -- Burlington: Dayton 5, Bees 2

2B Maddox 2-4, 2 RBI (16), K -- .362
3B Jirschele 2-4, 2 K, RS -- .250
SS McConnell 0-4, 2 K -- .250
CF Dyson 1-4, 2 K, RS, SB (3) -- .270
C Everett 2 E (6) -- both catcher interference

Godin 4 IP, 0 ER, H, 2 BB, 4 K -- ND, 0.00 ERA
Teaford 2 IP, 4 R (1 ER), 3 H, 2 K, HRA -- L, 1-1, 2.70 ERA
Hayes 2 IP, ER, H, BB, K -- BS, 1, 3.52 ERA

Burlington's pen couldn't hold a late 2-0 lead and Dayton took 3 of 4 from the Bees in all. Marc Maddox had a 2 out 2 run single in the 3rd and the Bees jumped out to the 2-0 lead. SP Jason Godin made his season debut for the Bees and was perfect through 3 2/3 IP before getting out of a bases loaded jam in the 4th. The game stayed at 2-0 into the bottom of the 7th when P Everett Teaford gave up a leadoff homer to Dayton 3B Juan Francisco and two catcher interference calls on Brady Everett would allow a run to score. RP Chris Hayes came in and allowed 2 more runs to give Dayton the 4-2 lead. A sac fly in the 8th made it 5-2 Dragons and the Bees went down meekly in the 9th to end it. Burlington is 9-8 and 2 games back. Francisco was 3-4 with his 2nd homer and 8th RBI to move to .333, SS Chris Valaika was 0-3 to drop to .390 and CF Drew Stubbs was 0-3 with a sac fly and his 10th RBI to drop to .333. RP Ramon Geronimo picked up the win with 2 scoreless IP to move to 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA.

The Bees have Wednesday off before starting a split home-and-home 4 game set with the Swing of the Quad Cities (9-10, A Cardinals) Thursday. P Yovany D'Amico was sent back to extended ST to make room for Godin on the roster.

24 April 2007

Royals on the Farm 4/23

AAA -- Omaha: Memphis 7, O-Royals 1

LF Butler 1-4, HR (6), RBI (21), 2 K, RS -- .338, 21 RBI in 19 games
SS Berroa 2-4, K, E (6) -- .309; 13 games, 6 errors, 0 BB, 10 K.
DH Costa 1-3, HBP -- .321
CF Gathright 0-4, K, picked off -- .238
RF Maier 0-3, K -- .243
1B Huber 0-3 -- .125

Brazelton 5 IP, 7 R (6 ER), 7 H, 2 BB, K, 2 HRA -- L, 0-4, 6.63 ERA
Shiell 3 IP, H, 2 K -- 2.92 ERA

Dewon Brazelton got clubbed again and the O-Royals lost a 3rd straight to Memphis. SS Angel Berroa made a throwing error in the 1st and Brazelton gave up a 1 out, 3 run homer to Redbirds LF Ryan Ludwick to put the O-Royals down, 3-0. A Ludwick sac fly and 2-run homer by CF Rick Ankiel made it 6-0 in the 3rd and Omaha scored its only run in the 4th on a solo shot by Billy Butler for his 6th of the season. Memphis got the run back on a sac fly in the bottom of the frame to make it 7-1. The O-Royals never threatened to get back in the game. Omaha dropped to 7-12 and 6 games out. Ludwick was 2-3 with his 5th double and 5th HR with 4 RBI (18) to move to .348, Ankiel was 1-4 with his 6th homer and 2 RBI (18) to move to .215 and SP Chris Narveson went the distance to pick up the complete game win. He allowed an ER on 5 hits and a walk with 7 K to move to 2-1 with a 3.67 ERA.

The series is wrapping today. Starters were Omaha RH Ben Hendrickson (2-1, 6.75) and Redbirds RH Matt Ginter (1-2, 5.17). Omaha is up 7-2 in the 6th. Billy Butler is 3rd in the Pacific Coast League in HR and 2nd in RBI.

AA -- Wichita: Wranglers 6, Springfield 1

DH Brazell 2-4, 2B (3), RBI (8) -- .339
SS Brewer 2-4, 2B (3), K -- .260
LF Lubanski 2-5, 2B (3), 3B, K, RS -- .305
2B Falu 1-4, SF, 2 RBI (4), SB (3) -- .193
CF Joseph 1-2, RBI (7) -- .314
RF Padilla 1-4, HR (2), RBI (7), RS, OF assist at second -- .354
C Espino 1-3, BB, RBI (5), 2 RS -- .182
1B Stodolka 1-4, 2 K, RS -- .235

Connolly 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K -- W, 1-0, 4.97 ERA
Cedeno 2 IP, ER, H, K, HRA -- 3.86 ERA
Atencio IP, K -- 2.25 ERA

Wichita slapped 12 hits and got a good start from Mike Connolly in the series-opening win. The game was scoreless into the 4th before Wichita scored with a 1-out triple by Chris Lubanski and an RBI double by Craig Brazell to make it 1-0 in the top of the 4th. Connolly left after giving up 2 hits and 2 walks through 6 strong IP and Wichita helped out with 3 in the 7th on a leadoff homer by Jorge Padilla (his 2nd) and 2 out RBI singles by Onil Joseph and Irving Falu off RP Zach Zuercher after the inning was extended by a Cardinals error. RP Juan Cedeno gave up a leadoff homer to 3B Juan Richardson to start the bottom of the 7th but Wichita came back with 2 in the 9th on a Damaso Espino RBI single and Falu sac fly. Greg Atencio got the last three batters in short order to end it. Wichita is 8-9 and tied with Tulsa for first. The Cardinals had only 3 hits as Richardson was 1-4 with his 1st homer and 6 RBI to move to .236, CF Colby Rasmus was 0-3 to drop to .211 and rehabbing DH Juan Encarnacion was 0-3 to stay at .000. Springfield starter Chris Lambert took the loss with 4 ER on 7 hits and a walk with 3 K over 6 2/3 IP to drop to 0-2 with a 3.63 ERA.

Game 2 of the set is tonight. Wranglers righty Billy Buckner (1-2, 4.70) pitches vs. Springfield lefty Eric Haberer (1-0, 6.00).

A-Adv. -- Wilmington: Blue Rocks 2, Frederick 0

CF Duarte 2-4, 2 RS, 2 SB (2) -- .236
3B Lisson 1-4, 2B (4), RBI (6), K -- .233
2B Johnson 1-3, BB, K, picked off -- .174
SS Arce 0-3, K -- .233

Rosa 6 IP, 5 H, BB, 3 K -- W, 2-1, 0.39 ERA, the word miniscule comes to mind
Barnes 2 IP, H, BB -- 2.53 ERA
de la Vara hitless IP -- SV, 2, 1.17 ERA

Both teams had 6 hits but Wilmington actually made something of them as Carlos Rosa and two relievers combined on a shutout. Both teams stranded 2 in the 2nd but Wilmington got on the scoreboard in the 3rd with a 1 out single by Jose Duarte, a steal of second and a 2 out RBI double by Mario Lisson to make it 1-0 Blue Rocks. Both teams had chances at scoring but couldn't get it done through the middle innings. Valentino Arce struck out looking to start the 8th and Wilmington manager John Mizerock got tossed. Duarte followed with a 1 out single, stole second, moved to third on a Josh Johnson fly out and scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 Rocks. Gilbert de la Vara pitched a hitless 9th to pick up his 2nd save. Wilmington is 5-11 and 4 games back. Keys SS Blake Davis was 2-4 with his 6th double and 3rd E to move to .349 and SP David Hernandez took the loss with 7 IP of an ER on 5 hits and a walk with 6 K to drop to 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA.

Game 2 of the series is tonight. Pitchers: Blue Rocks lefty Rowdy Hardy (0-0, 0.00) and right-hander Blake Johnson (0-2, 4.40) will see mound time vs. Frederick's rehabbing Jaret Wright. Catcher Ramon Hernandez is also set to play for Frederick in a rehab stint.

A -- Burlington: Dayton 3, Bees 2

2B Mertins 1-4, HR (1), RBI (7), K, RS -- .186
1B Turner 1-2, BB, HR (2), RBI (5), K, RS -- .130
3B Maddox 1-4, K -- .352
CF Dyson 1-4, 2B, K -- .273
LF Dickerson 0-4 -- .280
SS McConnell 1-4, picked off -- .269
C Morizio E (1), pickoff, 3 SB against

A. Morales hitless IP -- uh oh, left with sore shoulder, 1.23 ERA
Fisher 4 1/3 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 7 H, 2 BB, 7 K, HRA -- L, 0-1, 2.51 ERA, hasn't been mowing 'em down like last couple years
Hartsock 2 2/3 IP, H, K -- 5.62 ERA

The Bees lost both the game and, likely, SP Angelo Morales for a while Monday night in a 3-2 loss to the Dragons. Morales pitched a perfect 1st but had to leave with a sore throwing shoulder. Brent Fisher took over in the 2nd and gave up a double, single, RBI single, fly out, run on a Matt Morizio throwing error on a steal attempt, K swinging, K looking. Burlington evened the score in the 4th on back-to-back jacks from Kurt Mertins (#1 on the season for him) and Jase Turner (#2 on the season) but Fisher didn't hold it as he gave up a leadoff homer to Dragons RF Denis Phipps in the bottom of the 4th to make it 3-2. The Bees had runners thrown out on the base paths in the 5th and 6th and didn't threaten again. Burlington is 9-7 and 1 1/2 games back of Clinton. Phipps was 3-3 for Dayton with his 1st homer and 7th RBI to move to .339, CF Drew Stubbs was 1-4 with 2 SB (5) and a K to drop to .350 and SS Chris Valaika was 1-4 to drop to .411. Dayton SP Rafael Gonzalez got the W with 6 1/3 IP of 2 ER on 6 hits and a walk with 5 K to move to 3-0 with a 1.04 ERA.

The Bees go for the split tonight as RH Jason Godin makes his season debut vs. Dayton LH Travis Webb (1-0, 2.89). The team site reports Morales is expected to hit the DL.

23 April 2007

Royals on the Farm 4/22

AAA -- Omaha: Memphis 10, O-Royals 5

DH Butler 3-5, 2B (4), HR (5), 4 RBI (20), 2 K, 2 RS -- .344, wants to come to KC, I'd think
2B Cortez 2-4, 2B (2), K -- .278
CF Gathright 1-4, BB, K, RS -- .254
SS Berroa 1-5, 2 K -- .294
LF Costa 1-3, 2 BB, 2B (3), 2 RS -- .321, wants to ride back with Billy
RF Maier 0-5 -- .254
C Tupman 1-3, BB -- .324
1B Huber 0-4, K, E (1) -- .135

Lumsden 3 IP, 7 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 3 K, HRA, 2 WP -- L, 1-3, 8.83 ERA, not quite ready for prime time?
Markray 3 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, K, HRA -- 2.25 ERA
Hoelscher 2 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, K -- 7.50 ERA, time to go back to AA

Tyler Lumsden got roughed up...again...and the Redbirds took the second of the first two with Omaha. After Joey Gathright bunt grounded out to lead off the game (I'm shaking my head at manager Mike Jirschele right now, altho I know Joey is speedy), Omaha stranded 2 in the first and Memphis quickly struck for 4 runs off Lumsden on a 2-run double, RBI single and RBI ground out. Lumsden pitched in with 2 walks and 2 wild pitches in the inning. In the 3rd, Lumsden gave up a 2-run homer to Memphis 1B Tagg Bozied, who had hit the RBI single in the 1st, and another RBI double made it 7-0 Redbirds. RP Thad Markray came in for the 4th and allowed a leadoff homer to RF Nick Stavinoha in the 5th to make it 8-0. Billy Butler doubled home Shane Costa and scored on a wild pitch in the 6th to cut it to 8-2 but Memphis got both runs back in the 8th off RP Nate Hoelscher thanks in part to a Justin Huber error. With 2 out in the 9th, Butler cranked a 3-run homer for his 5th of the season to cut it to 10-5 but Mitch Maier flew out in the next AB to end it. Omaha is 7-11 and 4 1/2 games back. Bozied was 2-3 with his 3rd homer and 3 RBI (14) to move to .222, Stavinoha was 2-3 with his 3rd homer and 6th RBI to move to .240 and LF Ryan Ludwick was 1-3 with his 4th double and 2 RBI (14) to move to .333. Memphis starter Mike Smith got the win with 2 ER on 4 hits and 4 BB with 6 K over 6 IP to move to 2-2 with a 4.12 ERA.

Game 3 of the 4-gamer is tonight. Pitchers: Omaha
RH Dewon Brazelton (0-3, 5.14) vs. LH Chris Narveson (1-1, 5.00). SS Andres Blanco has been put on the DL with a sore knee. IF Richie Lewis has been promoted from Wichita to take Blanco's place for the time being. Lewis was hitting .260 in 15 games with Wichita. Brian Bannister is also expected to get called up and take Brandon Duckworth's rotation slot as Duckworth moves to the pen.

AA -- Wichita: Wranglers 7, Arkansas 3

C Donachie 2-4, 2B, HR (1), 3 RBI (3), 2 K, RS -- .118
LF Lubanski 2-3, BB, HR (3), RBI (8), RS, CS -- .296
RF Padilla 1-4, HR (1), RBI (6), 2 RS -- .364
3B Lucas 2-4, 2B, RBI (4) -- .280
2B Lewis 2-4, 2B, RBI (6), K, RS -- .260
CF Joseph 1-5, 2 K -- .303
DH Brazell 1-4, K -- .327
1B Stodolka 1-3, BB, RS -- .234

Hochevar 7 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 7 K, 2 HRA -- W, 2-1, 3.27 ERA
DeHoyos IP, K -- 0.00 ERA (through 7 2/3 IP so far)
Plummer IP, H, BB -- 1.12 ERA

A 5-run inning helped Wichita come back from a 3-0 deficit Sunday. SP Luke Hochevar gave up a 2-out single and then a 2-run homer to SS Sean Rodriguez in the 1st to put Wichita behind the 8-ball early, 2-0. Hochevar stranded 2 Trav runners in the 2nd but gave up a solo shot to Rodriguez in the 3rd to make it 3-0 Arkansas. Wichita broke the ice off Travs starter Dan Davidson in the 4th as Jorge Padilla hit his 1st homer of the year -- a solo shot -- to cut the lead to 3-1. As Hochevar settled down with perfect 5th and 6th innings, Wichita took command with 5 runs in the bottom of the 6th on an RBI double by Richie Lewis (Chris Lubanski was thrown out at the plate on the play), a 3-run homer by Adam Donachie for his 1st of the season, and an RBI single by Ed Lucas to make it 6-3 Wichita. Lubanski went solo for his 3rd homer of the year in the 7th and, after Gabe DeHoyos set down the 10th-12th straight batters for Arkansas, RP Jarod Plummer stranded 2 runners in the 9th to lock down the victory for Hochevar. Wichita is now 7-9 and in a 3-way tie for first with Arkansas and Tulsa. Rodriguez was 2-4 with 2 HR (4) and 3 RBI (8) to move to .346 and Davidson took the loss with 4 R (1 ER) on 8 hits and 2 BB with 4 Ks over 5 2/3 IP to drop to 0-3 with a 2.49 ERA.

The Wranglers start a 4-game set at the Springfield Cardinals (5-8, AA guess who) Monday. Pitchers are Wichita's Mike Connolly (0-0, 9.45 ERA) and Springfield's Chris Lambert (0-1, 2.87). Springfield's roster includes Cards' top prospect OF Colby Rasmus (.222 BA, .707 OPS thus far), C Bryan Anderson (.316 BA, .918 OPS), P Jaime Garcia (1-1, 2.81), OF Cody Haerther (DNP so far) and IF Tyler Greene (.205 BA, .634 OPS), not to mention OF Joe Mather, who currently leads the minors with 7 HR and has a 1.326 OPS.

A-Adv. -- Wilmington: off day

The Blue Rocks got a needed day off to lift weights and take BP as the offense stinks. Wilmington starts a 4-game set at the Frederick Keys (6-7, A-Adv. O's) tonight. The Keys feature Orioles' top pitching prospect Brandon Erbe (0-0, 3.78 ERA) and Robin's son 1B Dustin Yount (.036 BA, .223 OPS, yikes, unfortunately didn't get all of Robin's baseball genetics, as he's 24 and struggling in A-Advanced). Blue Rocks righty Carlos Rosa (1-1, 0.53) takes on Frederick righty David Hernandez (1-1, 5.79) in game 1.

A -- Burlington: Dayton 2, Bees 0

3B Maddox 2-4 -- .360
LF Dickerson 1-4, K -- .304
C Morizio 1-2, BB, K -- .167
2B Mertins 0-3, BB, K -- .182

Cribb 5 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 K, HRA -- L, 0-1, 2.08 ERA
DiPietro and Hayes -- 3 IP scoreless relief

Dragons starter Daryl Thompson stopped the Bees in their tracks as Burlington scraped together only 4 hits and 2 walks in the loss. One pitch was all that counted in the game as Bees SP Josh Cribb gave up a 2-run homer to CF Drew Stubbs in the 3rd. Burlington got the tying run on in the 9th but Joe Dickerson struck out to end the game. Other than that, the Bees hadn't really threatened. Burlington is 9-6 and a game back of first. Stubbs was 2-4 with his 2nd homer and 2 RBI (9) to move to .357, C Eddy Rodriguez was 2-3 to move to .312 and SS Chris Valaika was 0-4 with 3 Ks and his 5th E to drop to .423. Thompson got the win with 6 IP of 3 hits and 6 Ks to move to 3-0 with a 0.53 ERA. Jose Rojas picked up his 3rd save with 2 scoreless IP to keep his ERA at 0.00.

The series continues tonight with game 3. Pitchers: Bees RH Angelo Morales (3-0, 1.32) vs. Dragons RH Rafael Gonzalez (2-0, 0.00).

22 April 2007

Royals on the Farm 4/21

AAA -- Omaha: Memphis 4, O-Royals 2

LF Butler 1-4, BB, 2 RBI (16), K -- .322
C Tupman 2-4, K -- .323
RF Costa 1-3, 2 BB, RS -- .320
CF Maier 0-4 -- .273
DH Huber 1-4, K -- .152
SS Blanco 0-2, BB, RS, E (3) -- .086
*Omaha left 11 on base. 3B Mike Aviles made his 2nd E and 2B Fernando Cortez had his 3rd stolen base.

Elarton 5 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, BB, 3 K, 2 HRA -- L, 0-1, 5.40 ERA
Day 3 IP, UER, 2 H, K
, 3 hit batsmen -- 3.38 ERA

Scott Elarton only faltered for one inning in his first AAA rehab start but it was enough to give Memphis the win in the opener of a 4-game set. Elarton gave up a leadoff single in the 2nd and then back-to-back homers to 1B Tagg Bozied and 2B Rico Washington (a terror in Springfield last season vs. Wichita) to make it 3-0 Memphis. Billy Butler came up with 2 runners in scoring position and 2 out in the 3rd and came through with a 2-run single to cut the lead to 3-2. The Royals left 2 runners on base in the 4th and blew a 1-out, bases loaded situation in the 5th. Memphis added a run in the 6th as Zach Day put 2 on with none out and a throwing error by Andres Blanco on a play at first scored a run. Omaha stranded 2 in the 8th and another 2 in the 9th as Butler struck out with 2 on and Graham Koonce grounded out to end the game. Omaha is 7-10 and 3 1/2 games back. Washington was 2-4 with his 1st homer and RBI of the season to move to .308, LF Ryan Ludwick was 2-4 with 2 RS to move to .333 and Bozied was 1-3 with his 2nd homer and 2 RBI (11) to move to .200. RP Mike Sillman got the win with 2/3 scoreless IP in relief of SP Mike Parisi and RP Brian Falkenborg picked up his 5th save of the season.

Game 2 of the set is over and Memphis won again today. Starting pitchers were: Omaha LH Tyler Lumsden (1-2, 6.28) vs. RH Mike Smith (1-2, 4.50).

AA -- Wichita: Arkansas 6, Wranglers 2

LF Lubanski 2-5, K -- .275
RF Joseph 3-4, 2B (2), 3B, RBI (6), RS -- .321
SS Falu 1-3, BB, SF, RBI (2), E (5) -- .189
1B Brazell 1-4 -- .333
DH Stodolka 0-1, 3 BB, RS -- .227
*Wichita left 10 on base.

Cromer 4 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K, HRA -- L, 0-2, 5.68 ERA
Hughes 5 IP, ER, 2 H, 2 K, WP -- 3.27 ERA

Arkansas got to Wichita starter Jason Cromer and Wichita lost again. Cromer gave up a solo homer to C Bobby Wilson in the 2nd but an Onil Joseph RBI double in the bottom of the inning tied the game at 1. SS Irving Falu's 5th error of the season prolonged the 3rd and Cromer gave up an RBI single to give the Travs a 2-1 lead. After a leadoff walk in the 4th, Cromer let the Wranglers down with only a couple pitches as he gave up an RBI single and 2 out 2 RBI double to make it 5-1. Joseph led off the 5th with a triple and a Falu sac fly cut the lead to 5-2 but a wild pitch by Dusty Hughes scored an Arkansas insurance run in the 7th. The Wranglers got 2 in scoring position with 1 out in the 8th but fly outs by Richie Lewis and Jace Brewer ended the threat. Two more were stranded in the 9th as Arkansas RP Jose Arredondo shut the door. Wichita is 6-9 and 1 game back of first. Travs 2B Adam Morrissey was 3-5 with his 3rd double and 2 RBI (7) to move to .347, Wilson was 2-4 with his 3rd homer, 6th RBI and 1st SB to move to .208 and SS Sean Rodriguez was 0-4 with 2 K to drop to .333. SP Nick Green got the win with 6 IP of 2 ER on 4 hits and 4 walks with 3 Ks to move to 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA.

The series wraps today as Luke Hochevar (1-1, 3.00) takes on Travs lefty Daniel Davidson (0-2, 2.81).

A-Adv. -- Wilmington: Winston-Salem 6, Blue Rocks 1

SS Arce 1-3, K, RS -- .250
RF McFall 1-3 -- .156
3B Lisson 0-4, 2 K, E (4) -- .232
2B Johnson 0-4, K, E (3) -- .163

Penn 4 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, BB, K, 3 HRA -- L, 1-1, 3.21 ERA, home run derby off Michael for his birthday
Oliveros 2 1/3 IP, BB, 2 K -- 2.89 ERA
Humen IP, 2 UER, 2 H, WP -- 3.60 ERA

The beyond-anemic Wilmington scratched out only 2 hits and the Rocks got swept by Winston-Salem. SP Michael Penn gave up the first of 3 homers he served up on the game with 2 out and none on in the 1st to CF David Cook. Wilmington tied it in the 3rd as a wild pitch scored Valentino Arce with 2 outs. Penn couldn't hold it as he gave up a 2-run homer to RF Aaron Cunningham in the bottom of the 3rd and a leadoff homer to 1B Micah Schnurstein in the 4th to make it 4-1. RP David Humen gave up an insurance run in the 8th and Warthogs reliever Carlos Torres pitched a hitless 9th to end it. Wilmington is 4-11. Cunningham was 1-3 with his 2nd homer and 2 RBI (8) to move to .353, Schnurstein was 1-4 with his 3rd homer and 14th RBI to move to .302 and Cook was 1-3 with his 4th homer and 11th RBI to move to .286. SP Justin Cassel got the win with 8 IP of an ER on 2 hits and 2 BB with 7 K to move to 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA.

The Blue Rocks have Sunday off before starting a 4-game set at the Frederick Keys (6-7, A-Adv. Orioles) Monday.

A -- Burlington: Bees 14, Dayton 7

SS McConnell 3-5, BB, RBI (6), 2 RS -- .295
LF Dickerson 2-5, HR (1), 3 RBI (7), K, 2 RS, SB (4) -- .310
C Everett 2-5, 2B (3), HR (1), 2 RBI (2), K, 2 RS, E (4) -- .312
RF Gonzalez 2-4, BB, HR (1), RBI (3), K, 2 RS, SB (3) -- .189
CF Dyson 2-6, 2 K, RS -- .276
2B Mertins 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI (6), K, RS -- .192
3B Maddox 1-3, 2 BB, 2B (3), 2 RBI (14), K, RS -- .348

Mozingo 5 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 5 H, 3 BB, 4 K, WP -- W, 2-1, 3.38 ERA
D'Amico 3 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 5 K, WP -- 2.08 ERA
Hartsock IP, ER, 3 H, K -- 8.44 ERA

The Bees scored multiple runs in each of the first 5 innings and pounded the Dragons in the series opener. Two 2-out walks in the top of the 1st set up a 2-run double by Kurt Mertins aided by an error by CF Drew Stubbs and the Bees took a 2-0 lead. Bees starter Harold Mozingo got off to a bad start with 4 runs on 3 hits, 2 walks and a wild pitch in the 1st. C Brady Everett also made his 4th error in the inning. Burlington came back in the 2nd to take the lead as Dragons 3B Jason Louwsma made a throwing error on a bunt by Jarrod Dyson to score a run and Chris McConnell followed with a 2-run single (aided by another Dragons error) to make it 5-4 Bees. Everett hit his 1st homer of the season in the 3rd -- a 2-run shot -- and O.D. Gonzalez hit his 1st homer two batters later to make it 8-4. Mozingo allowed a run in the 3rd to cut the lead to 3 but the Bees scored 4 in the 4th on a Mertins RBI single and a 3-run homer by Joe Dickerson for his 1st of the season to make it 12-5. A Marc Maddox 2-run double in the 5th made it 14-5 and Dayton added runs in the 8th and 9th before Aaron Hartsock polished them off to end it. Burlington moved to 9-5. Dayton RF Denis Phipps was 3-5 with 2 RBI (6) to move to .314, Stubbs was 0-4 with 2 E (3) to move to .346 and SS Chris Valaika was 2-4 with his 12th RBI to move to .458. Dayton SP Jordan Smith took the loss with 8 R (6 ER) over 2 2/3 IP to drop to 1-1 with a 5.68 ERA.

The Dragons evened the series by blanking Burlington today. Starters were Bees RH
Josh Cribb (0-0, 0.00) and Dayton righty Daryl Thompson (2-0, 0.82).