09 April 2007

Royals on the Farm 4/8

AAA -- Omaha: Albuquerque 6, O-Royals 3

LF Butler 1-3, BB, HBP, 2 RS, OF assist at home (!) -- .286
SS Berroa 2-5 -- .500
DH Koonce 1-3, BB, HR, 2 RBI, K, RS -- .222
3B Aviles 1-3, SF, RBI -- .200
CF Gathright 1-4, BB, K, CS -- .125
1B Huber 0-2, 2 BB -- .231
RF Maier 0-3, BB, 2 K -- .214
2B Blanco 0-4, K -- .071

Brazelton 4 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 5 K -- L, 0-1, 6.75 ERA, nice 2.25 WHIP, too
Giron 3 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, HRA -- 6.00 ERA
Hoelscher IP, ER, H, 3 BB -- 9.00 ERA

Omaha dropped another game to finish their first series at 1-3. An infield single (to Angel Berroa, by the way) scored Albuquerque's first run in the 2nd and the Isotopes added 2 in the 3rd on two RBI doubles, as Billy Butler stopped a third run from scoring with a throw to the plate via Berroa to nail another runner. Butler was hit by a pitch in the 4th but stayed in the game and DH Graham Koonce followed with the team's first hit -- a 2-run homer to right to make it 3-2 Albuquerque. Roberto Giron replaced starter Dewon Brazelton in the 5th and gave up a double and 2-run homer with 2 out to give the 'Topes some padding at 5-2. The O-Royals loaded the bases with no outs in the 6th but could only get 1 run on a Mike Aviles sac fly. With 1 out in the 7th and Butler at the plate with 2 on, Gathright got caught stealing third in a bonehead baserunning play (just your best hitter at the plate) and Butler, of course, followed with a single. I don't see the value of stealing third -- you're already in scoring position on a base hit -- basically I say if you're gonna try it, you'd better make it 9 times out of 10 or it isn't worth it. Koonce then grounded out to end the inning. Nate Hoelscher walked in an insurance run in the Isotopes 8th and Nate Field closed the door on his 2nd save for Albuquerque with 1 hit allowed over 2 IP. Four Isotopes had 2-hit games with 3B Scott Seabol hitting the 2-run homer. OF Reggie Abercrombie stole 2 bases in the win for Albuquerque.

A 4-game set at the Round Rock Express (3-1, AAA 'Stros) begins tonight. Game 1 starters are Omaha's RH Ben Hendrickson vs. RH Chance Douglass. The Express pitching staff features Douglass and other prospects Matt Albers, Mark McLemore, Fernando Nieve, Juan Gutierrez and Chad Reineke. Also playing for Round Rock are positional prospects OF Hunter Pence (who tore up Wichita last season) and OF Josh Anderson.

AA -- Wichita: Wranglers 7, San Antonio 2

SS Brewer 3-4, 2B, RBI, RS -- .571
CF Greenberg 2-5, 3B, 2 RBI (5), RS -- .250
LF Lubanski 0-3, BB -- .111
RF Padilla 0-2, 2 BB, RS -- .500
3B Lewis 1-4, RBI (2) -- .222
1B Stodolka 1-3, BB, 2B, RS -- .200
C Espino 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, K, 2 RS -- .167

Buckner 5 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K -- W, 1-0, 1.80 ERA
Cedeno 2 2/3 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, K, WP (shocker) -- 3.38 ERA
Plummer 1 1/3 IP, K -- 0.00 ERA

Two big innings and some nice pitching out of Billy Buckner added up to a win for Wichita as the Wranglers moved to 2-1. Wichita started the 2nd with a walk and 2 singles with the second hit by Richie Lewis bringing Jorge Padilla home to give Wichita a 1-0 lead. Jace Brewer and Adam Greenberg added 2 2-out RBI singles to make it 3-0. Buckner allowed 1 hit and 1 walk over 3 IP but gave up an RBI double in the 4th to cut the lead to 3-1. Wichita broke it open in the 4th as Mike Stodolka hit a 1-out double, Damaso Espino cranked a 2-run homer for his 1st longball of the season, Brewer doubled and Greenberg tripled him home to make it 6-1. A wild pitch allowed Greenberg to score later in the inning and the Wichita lead was 7-1. Juan Cedeno gave up an RBI double in the 8th but Jarod Plummer helped stop the bleeding and set San Antonio down in order in the 9th. Missions RF Will Venable was 2-4 with a double and RBI to move to .417 and 3B Chase Headley was 1-4 with a double and RBI to move to .200.

The series continues tonight in Wichita as Wranglers lefty Jason Cromer vies against Missions SP Josh Geer.

A-Adv. -- Wilmington: Myrtle Beach 2, Blue Rocks 1

SS Arce 2-3, 2 2B, RS -- .200
2B Perez 2-4, RBI, CS -- .286, when you only get 5 hits as a team, it's not good to get caught stealing
DH Vega 1-3, K -- .429
CF Duarte 0-4 -- .125
3B Lisson 0-4, K -- .133
LF Bigler 0-3 -- .100

Pimentel 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, K -- 0.00 ERA, nice start
Crist 2 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, BB, K, HRA -- BS, 1, L, 0-1, 9.00 ERA

Julio Pimentel faced only 2 more than the minimum over 6 IP but the Rocks couldn't hold on to a late lead to drop to 1-3. Pimentel and Pelicans SP Jake Stevens battled through a scoreless first 5 innings but the Blue Rocks broke through off RP Kevin Gunderson in the 6th as Valentino Arce hit a 1-out double and scored on a 2-out single by Wilver Perez to give Wilmington a 1-0 lead. Kyle Crist relieved Pimentel in the 7th and promptly gave up a 2-out RBI double to tie the game. As the Blue Rock offense continued to struggle to get runners on base, Crist got out of a runner at third in the bottom of the 8th but gave up a walk-off homer to Myrtle Beach 3B Eric Campbell to lead off the bottom of the 9th and end it. Campbell was 2-4 with his first homer to move to .250 and CF Quentin Davis was 1-3 with a steal to move to .333. Stevens allowed only 2 hits with 2 K over 5 IP in his season debut.

A 4-game set at the defending league champ Kinston Indians (1-1, A-Adv. guess who) starts tonight. Blue Rocks pitchers Michael Penn and Patrick Green were slated to knock heads with Kinston P Ryan Edell. Kinston's roster features top prospects OF John Drennen, 3B Wes Hodges and Taiwanese P Sung-Wei Tseng. Cliff Lee is also rehabbing at Kinston and Indians SS Jerad Head is from Topeka, KS, so he's a local at least for me. Wilmington's website at www.bluerocks.com is gonna be hard to beat as the best organizational website in the minors. If you have Adobe Reader on your computer, it doesn't get much better than the site's daily game notes.

A -- Burlington: off day

The Bees started a 2-game set hosting the Peoria Chiefs (1-0, A Cubs) tonight. Mario Santiago started for Burlington versus Peoria's Rafael Dolis. Peoria features Cubs pitching prospect Mark Pawelek, Jon's brother Jeremy Papelbon and Carney's son SS Josh Lansford.

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