02 May 2007

Royals on the Farm 5/1

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

LF Costa 3-5, RS, SB (2) -- .369
SS Aviles 2-4, RBI (13), RS -- .316
1B Huber 1-3, SF, RBI (11), K -- .206
DH Koonce 2-4, K -- .275
2B Berroa 1-3, HBP -- .316
RF Maier 1-4, K -- .260
C Tupman 0-4 -- .302, picked off a runner

Elarton 7 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 4 K -- L, 1-2, 5.60 ERA, looks like he's back in form
Ray 2 IP, 3 K -- 6.08 ERA

Omaha once again couldn't solve the Redbird riddle in dropping the sixth of 6 with Memphis. All the Redbirds' work was done in the 1st inning as Omaha starter Scott Elarton retired the first 2 batters but then went walk, walk, then 4 RBI singles in a row with two infield-style going to SS Mike Aviles. With 2 out in the Omaha 3rd, the Royals broke through against SP Blake Hawksworth. Shane Costa and Angel Berroa singled and Aviles drove Costa home to cut the lead to 4-1. The Royals stranded a couple runners over the middle innings while Elarton kept the Redbirds in check and a Justin Huber sac fly in the 8th made it 4-2 Memphis. Ken Ray pitched 2 perfect innings of relief but the Royals went down in order in the 9th to end it. Omaha is 11-15 and 4 games back of the Redbirds. Memphis CF Rick Ankiel was 2-3 with his 27th RBI to move to .261, DH Ryan Ludwick was 0-3 to drop to .333 and Hawksworth picked up the W with 7 IP of an ER on 8 hits and 3 Ks to move to 1-4 with a 4.28 ERA.RP Brian Falkenborg picked up save No. 8 on the season.

Game 3 is tonight and sets Memphis LH Troy Cate (1-0, 1.96) vs. RH Zach Day (1-0, 2.30). No word yet who gets Billy Butler's roster spot, if they have one to give. I'm surprised they moved Butler up this early -- definitely a departure from philosophies of the recent past for the Royals' front office. RP Neal Musser was also moved back to KC and RP Ryan Braun will return to Omaha.

AA -- Wichita: rainout

The opener with Springfield will be made up as part of a Thursday doubleheader. Instead, the series starts today, I assume with yesterday's pitching matchup of Danny Christensen and Mitch Boggs.

A-Adv. -- Wilmington: Frederick 4, Blue Rocks 1

C Thibault 1-4, K -- .228, team's only hit
2B Maddox 0-3, BB, K, E (1) -- .000, A-Advanced debut
3B Perez 0-2, SF, RBI (3), 2 K -- .244
CF Larsen 0-3, BB, 2 K, RS, SB (1) -- .000
DH Vega 0-2, 2 BB, 2 K -- .209
1B Kaaihue 0-3, HBP -- .181, hit streak snapped

Cortes 2 1/3 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K -- L, 0-2, 7.11 ERA
Pimentel 6 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 K -- 2.28 ERA, another nice outing

Keys SP Brandon Erbe lived up to his billing as Baltimore's top pitching prospect as he and three relievers 1-hit the Blue Rocks in a 4-1 win. SP Dan Cortes loaded the bases with 2 out in the 1st and gave up a 2-run single to former Royals farmhand DH Pete Maestrales to spot the Keys a 2-0 lead. Erbe walked the bases loaded in the Wilmington 1st but got a pop out and fly out to get out of the jam. In the Rocks 2nd, Andrew Larsen led off with a walk, stole second, advanced on a ground out and scored on a Wilver Perez sac fly to cut the lead to 2-1. Cortes was pulled with 2 on and 1 out in the 3rd and Julio Pimentel gave up a 2-run single to 1B Ryan Finan to make it 4-1. Erbe retired 13 straight into the 6th before Kiel Thibault broke up the no-no with a single off RP Trent Baysinger in the 7th. The Rocks stranded 1 runner in both the 6th and 7th before leaving one on base in the 9th. Wilmington is 8-16 and 6 games back of Potomac. RF Arturo Rivas was 4-4 with his 2nd steal, 5th double and 2 RS to move to .419, Maestrales was 2-3 with 2 RBI (3) to move to .312 and Erbe pitched 6 hitless innings with an ER on 4 walks with 6 Ks to move to 2-0 with a 2.83 ERA. RP Bob McCrory picked up his 7th save in the 9th.

Game 3 of the set is tonight. Probable starters: Rocks righty Patrick Green (0-1, 4.11) and Keys righty Chorye Spoon (2-2, 2.82). To make room for Marc Maddox on the roster, the Rocks placed C Todd Balduf on the DL with an undisclosed injury. IF Mario Lisson missed a third straight game with back spasms.

A -- Burlington: Lansing 4, Bees 2

LF Dickerson 3-5, RS, SB (5) -- .274
C Morizio 2-3, BB, RBI (4), picked off -- .267
3B Thompson 1-4, 2B (4), RBI (10), K, RS -- .232
SS McConnell 1-5, 2 K -- .272
CF Robinson 1-4, BB, K -- .167
* The Bees left 12 on base.

Campbell 4 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 4 K, HRA, WP, E (1) -- L, 1-1, 2.08 ERA
Santiago 5 IP, ER, 3 H, 4 BB, 5 K -- 2.30 ERA

The Bees needed a couple more clutch hits that they didn't get as Lansing dropped Burlington to its 5th straight loss. Bees starter Matt Campbell gave up a leadoff homer to 2B Scott Campbell in the 1st and the Lugnuts added a 1-out RBI force out to take a 2-0 lead. Mike Thompson led off the Bees 2nd with a double and scored on a Matt Morizio force out to cut the lead to 2-1. Burlington stranded 2 in scoring position, though, but evened the game in the 3rd on an RBI fielder's choice by Thompson that brought Joe Dickerson home to tie it at 2. Campbell gave up a leadoff triple to SS Jonathan Diaz in the 4th and a 2-out wild pitch brought Diaz home to give the Lugnuts a 3-2 lead. Mario Santiago came in to pitch the 5th and gave up a sac fly to make it 4-2. The Bees stranded 1 in scoring position in the 4th and 6th and Santiago got out of a bases loaded jam in the 7th. The Bees got 2 on with 1 out in the 7th but couldn't cash in and then loaded the bases with no outs in the 8th but watched Derrick Robinson and Chris McConnell strike out and Morizio get picked off at second by P Seth Overbey. The team site reports manager Jim Gabella was going to pinch-run for Morizio, Morizio thought time had been called for the switch and wandered off base and the Lugnuts tagged him out. Gabella took the blame in the Burlington Hawk Eye story on the game. That was their last chance as the Bees went down in order in the 9th. Burlington is 10-13 and 3 games back. Scott Campbell was 1-3 for Lansing with his 1st homer, 6th E and 6th RBI to move to .293, RF Travis Snider was 1-5 to drop to .393 and 3B Josh Bell was 2-5 to move to .191. RP Benjamin Harrison got the win with 2 2/3 IP of 1 hit and 2 walks with 3 K to move to 2-0 with a 3.97 ERA and Overbey got his 5th save with 2 hitless innings to keep his ERA at 0.00.

The series continues tonight. Probable starters: Bees RH Harold Mozingo (2-2, 3.98) vs. Lansing LH Nate Starner (2-2, 2.45).

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