13 April 2009

Royals on the Farm 4/12

Well, if not for an 8th inning comeback Sunday, the Royals would have about wasted all the good feelings from the opening series with the ChiSox. Of course, what do you expect when you run out Sidney Ponson, who wasn't Scott Elarton level, but not great either, and Horacio Ramirez, who WAS Scott Elarton level, for two of the three games. Then Gil Meche got only slightly better run support than in his first start yesterday, and it took a sorry Yankee defense plus some timely dink hits and a nice double by Brayan Pena to break it open. I hate to give John Buck credit for a good game, but.....I'll leave it at that. That's as close as I can get. Sorry, you Buck fans.

AAA - Omaha: O-Royals 10, Albuquerque 4

2B Hulett 4-5, 2B (4), HR, 5 RBI (8), K, 2 RS, E (2) -- .500
RF Maier 3-5, RBI (8), RS -- .444
C Clark 3-4, HBP, 2B, 2 RS -- .750
LF Lubanski 2-4, BB, K, 2 RS, SB (3) -- .471
SS L. Hernandez 2-5, 2B (2), RBI (3), RS -- .400
CF Murphy 1-4, BB, 3B, RBI, RS -- .294
DH Aldridge 0-3, BB, SF, RBI (2) -- .200
1B Ka'aihue 0-4, BB -- .067, off to rough start as far as average and power go
3B Metcalf 1-5, K, RS -- .200

Duckworth 4 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K -- 2.25 ERA, 77 pitches
Hamulack 2 IP, 4 H, BB -- W, 1-0, 15.43 ERA
DiNardo 3 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, K, HRA -- SV, 1, 9.00 ERA

*** The Royals churned out 10 runs on 16 hits and held the Isotopes to only 4 runs on 11 hits to finish off taking 3 of 4 from Albuquerque. Tommy Murphy hit an RBI triple after Mitch Maier led off the game with a single and then Murphy scored on a passed ball to give Omaha an early 2-0 lead. Tug Hulett started a great day at the plate with a leadoff double in the 2nd then scored on a Maier single to make it 3-0 O-Royals. Starter Brandon Duckworth allowed a run on 2 hits and a walk in the 2nd but Omaha plated a run in the 4th on a Cory Aldridge sac fly to make it 4-1. Duckworth struck out the side in the 3rd and was pulled after stranding 2 in scoring position in the 4th. Omaha's biggest inning was the 5th when the Royals scored 3 runs on a 2-run Hulett single and a Luis Hernandez RBI single that chased Isotopes knuckleballer starter Charlie Haeger. Tim Hamulack came in for the 5th and stranded the bases loaded. Omaha scored another run in the 7th on a Hulett RBI single and Hulett added the final 2 runs with a 2-run homer in the 9th for his 1st as a Royal. Lefty Lenny DiNardo pitched 2 perfect innings but ran into trouble in the 9th as Albuquerque scored 3 runs on 3 hits, a Hulett error, and a 2-run homer by 3B Luis Maza to make the final score 10-4 Omaha. Haeger took the loss with 7 ER allowed on 11 hits and 4 walks with a K over 4 IP to set a 15.75 ERA. Three Isotopes had 2 hits each with Maza cranking his 1st homer of the season. Dee Brown was one of the other 2 with 2 hits and exited the series with a .600 batting average.

Omaha is 3-1and tied with Iowa for the early division lead. A 4-game set at the Round Rock Express (1-3, AAA Astros) starts tonight. Tonight's starters are lefty Bruce Chen in his organizational debut versue Astros prospect righty Bud Norris. The Express roster features 'Stros prospects OF Brian Bogusevic (converted former top pitching prospect), Norris, righty Felipe Paulino, IFs Drew Sutton and Chris Johnson, and righty Sam Gervacio. Tyler Lumsden is also on the Express roster, so we'll see if he faces his old teammates this series. Royals castoffs Neal Musser and Jose Capellan are also playing for Round Rock.

AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 6, Corpus Christi 5 (10)

C Howell 4-4, HR (clutch one), RBI (2), 2 RS -- .714
SS Lisson 2-3, 2 BB, 2B, HR (clutch one), RBI (2), 2 RS -- .286
1B McFall 1-5, HR (2, another key blow), 3 RBI (7), K, RS -- .375
CF Duarte 1-4, BB, K, SB (2) -- .267
2B McConnell 1-4, K -- .286

B. Wood 6 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, BB, 5 K, HRA -- 7.50 ERA, ungood start
de la Vara 2 IP, H, BB, K -- 6.00 ERA
Holland 2 IP, 3 H, K -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA

*** All but one NWA run came via the longball as the Naturals went yard in the 9th and 10th to take a 6-5 win over the Hooks in the series opener. Blake Wood had a couple rough innings in his first start of '09 as he gave up a 2-out, 3-run homer in the 2nd to RF Andrew Locke to spot CC a 3-0 lead. Jeff Howell led off the NWA 3rd with a single and, with 1 out, Jose Duarte singled and a throwing error allowed Howell to score to cut the lead to 3-1, but the Nats would leave 2 in scoring position. Wood got the first 2 outs in the Hooks' 3rd on strikeouts but then 3 hits and a walk scored 2 runs to make it 5-1 Corpus Christi. Wood would, however, sit down the last 10 he faced. Hooks starter Doug Arguello was pulled after 5 innings and the Naturals jumped on reliever Rob Semerano, as Mario Lisson doubled, Cody Strait walked and Brian McFall clubbed a 1-out, 3-run homer for his 2nd of the season to cut the lead to 5-4. That was the score entering the 9th when Howell led off the top of the inning with his 1st homer of the season to the opposite field to tie the game off RP T.J. Burton. Chad Wagler came in to pitch the 10th for CC and Lisson greeted him with a leadoff homer for his 1st of the season and it was 6-5 NWA. Greg Holland helped put 2 in scoring position with 2 out in the 10th but got LF Mitch Einertson to fly out to end it for the win. Wagler took the loss while Burton picked up the blown save. Arguello went 5 innings and allowed an ER on 3 hits and 3 walks with 2 Ks to set a 1.80 ERA. Four Hooks had 2 hits each as Locke's HR was his 1st of the season.

NWA is 2-2 and tied with Springfield for the early division lead. Game 2 is tonight as Matt Kniginyzky makes his AA debut versus Hooks righty Brad James.

A-Adv. - Wilmington: Myrtle Beach 6, Blue Rocks 3

CF D. Robinson 2-4, BB, RBI (3), RS, SB (4), picked off -- .294
DH Lough 2-4, K -- .357
3B Moustakas 1-4, 2B, RBI (3), K -- .188
2B Giavotella 0-2, S, HBP, K -- .143
SS Bianchi 0-3, HBP, 2 K -- .200
1B C. Robinson 1-4, RS -- .364
LF Ortiz 1-4, RS -- .286
* RF Paulo Orlando had an OF assist at third, but was 0-4 at the plate.

M. Santiago 3 IP, 5 ER, 10 H, BB, 3 K, E -- L, 0-1, 15.00 ERA
Godin 4 IP, ER, 3 H, 4 K -- 1.69 ERA
Rodriguez IP, K -- 9.00 ERA

*** Mario Santiago got rocked and the Rocks had to settle for a split in the 4-game set with the Pelicans. Derrick Robinson led off the game with a walk, stole second, advanced on a Johnny Giavotella bunt and then scored on a Mike Moustakas double to give the Rocks an early 1-0 lead. Santiago worked around 2 hits in the 1st and Clint Robinson was thrown out by Pelicans RF Jason Heyward at the plate to kill a Rocks rally in the 2nd. Santiago stranded 2 more in the 2nd but hit trouble in the 3rd as the Pelicans started the inning with 4 straight hits for 2 runs and then added 2 more hits for another run later in the inning. Santiago was pulled with a run in and 1 on in the 4th and Jason Godin gave up an RBI double before escaping the inning with Wilmington down, 5-1. The first two Rocks reached in the 7th and Derrick Robinson singled home a run before getting picked off, but Adrian Ortiz scored on the play to cut the lead to 5-3. The Pelicans manufactured a run in the bottom of the inning to make it 6-3 and Cory Gearrin stranded 2 in the 8th before pitching a perfect 9th for his 2nd save. Starter Cole Rohrbough got the win with 5 IP of an ER on 4 hits and a walk with 6 Ks to set a 1.80 ERA. 1B Freddie Freeman and 2B Michael Fisher had 3 hits for Myrtle Beach with Freeman driving in 2 runs and making his 1st error of the season. The effort pushed his BA to .357. Heyward was 1-5 with a double and RS to move his BA to .176. CF Quentin Davis also had 2 hits for the Pelicans.

The Rocks are 3-2 after clubbing the Kinston Indians (now 2-3, A-Adv. Tribe) earlier today. Chris Chavez got the win in relief of Everett Teaford. The K-Tribe roster features Indians prospects SS Lonnie Chisenhall, lefty Kelvin De La Cruz, and C-IF Matt McBride.

A - Burlington: off day

The Bees were to start a 4-game set at the Kane County Cougars (2-1, A A's) today but the game was rained out and will be made up as part of a Wednesday twinbill. The Cougars' roster features Athletics prospects righty Brett Hunter, SS Jason Christian, and C Petey Paramore.

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