17 April 2009

Royals on the Farm 4/16

It's early, but the Royals are in first place at the latest date in the season since 2003. Before that, it's 1997. So basically, in the last 13 seasons, the Royals have been in first place only three times now on April 17 or after. Unbelievable, and telling as to how the team has been run and managed for a looooooong time.

AAA - Omaha: Round Rock 6, O-Royals 5

C House 2-5, RBI (9), RS -- .375
RF Aldridge 2-5, 2B (2), K, 2 RS -- .190
DH Ka'aihue 1-4, SF, 2 RBI (6) -- .138
3B Metcalf 1-4, SF, RBI (4), K, RS -- .259
2B Hulett 0-3, SF, RBI (12), K -- .394, hit streak snapped at 7 games
LF Lubanski 1-3, BB -- .406, hit streak lives on
1B Shealy 1-3, BB, K -- .281
CF Murphy 1-4, BB, K, RS, SB (2) -- .233, bound to get more PT with Maier callup

Phillips 4 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, BB, 4 K, 2 HRA, pickoff -- L, 1-1, 4.50 ERA
DiNardo 3 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 4 K, E -- 6.75 ERA
Hughes IP, K -- 3.00 ERA

*** The Express took an early lead, lost it, regained it, then held on to split the 4-game set with Omaha. Omaha struck first in the 2nd as Tug Hulett hit a bases-loaded sac fly but the Royals would strand 2. Starter Heath Phillips gave up 4 runs in the 2nd on 5 hits, including a 2-run homer from C Lou Santangelo (his 1st of '09) and a 2-run double to CF Yordany Ramirez to make it 4-1 Round Rock. J.R. House singled home a run in the 3rd before Cory Aldridge scored on a fielding error and Travis Metcalf hit a game-tying sac fly. LF John Gall led off the Express 3rd with a solo homer (his 2nd) off Phillips and the Express wouldn't trail again. Lenny DiNardo gave up an insurance run in the 5th, Ryan Shealy was thrown out at the plate on a grounder in the 6th, the Royals stranded 2 in the 7th, and Kila Ka'aihue hit a sac fly in the 9th but Metcalf struck out looking as Chad Paronto got his 1st save of the season. RP Yorman Bazardo pitched 3 scoreless innings for the win to keep a 0.00 ERA and P Chad Hensley made the spot start for Round Rock and allowed 4 runs (3 ER) on 4 hits and 2 walks with 3 Ks over 3 IP to move his ERA to 10.50. DH J.R. Towles was 3-4 with his 3rd double and 2nd RBI along with a K and run scored to move his BA to .421. Three other Express batters had 2 hit games. Ramirez's double was his 4th and he has 6 RBI now to go with his .435 BA. He also had his 1st SB of the season.

Omaha is 5-3 and back in second place behind Memphis. The O-Royals open their Rosenblatt schedule tonight with the first of 4 versus the Albuquerque Isotopes (3-5, AAA Dodgers). The Royals were 3-1 versus the 'Topes in the season-opening set. Brandon Duckworth (0-0, 2.25) takes on Isotopes righty knuckleballer Charlie Haeger (0-1, 15.75), who as you can see the Royals shelled in their first game against. OF Mitch Maier is getting his shot in KC, Trey Hillman willing, as Alex Gordon was put on the DL with a hip injury. Maier hit well enough in spring and the early going to earn it. Let's hope he goes '08 Aviles. OF/1B Brian Buchanan was activated from the DL.

AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 5, San Antonio 4

CF Duarte 2-4, S, 2 RS, 2 SB (5) -- .364, scored game-winner in 9th
DH McFall 1-4, 2B (5), 2 RBI (10), K -- .333
LF Dickerson 1-3, BB, HBP, RBI (4), RS -- .250
1B C. Smith BB, HR, RBI (3), RS, SB, E (2) -- .103
2B Mertins 1-3, BB, 2B, RBI (2) -- .250
SS Lisson 1-3, S, K, E (2) -- .286
RF Parraz 1-4, K, RS, SB -- .261

Lerew 5 IP, 2 UER, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 WP -- 2.25 ERA, 75 pitches
de la Vara IP, 2 R (1 ER), H, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 WP -- BS, 1, 6.75 ERA
Holland 2 IP, 4 H -- 0.00 ERA
Hayes IP, H -- W, 1-0, 3.38 ERA

*** Three errors led to 3 unearned Missions runs but it all worked out in the end as the Naturals won their home opener in walkoff style. Starter Anthony Lerew's second outing of the season got off to a shaky start as he stranded 2 in scoring position in the 1st, but was overall better than his first start. NWA also stranded 2 in the 1st and it wasn't until the 4th that San Antonio got on the board thanks in part to a throwing error by C John Suomi. Corey Smith led off the Naturals 4th with his 1st homer of the season to tie the game and Kurt Mertins had an RBI double later in the inning to make it 2-1 NWA. Smith made a 2-out throwing error in the 5th and CF Cedric Hunter made Lerew pay with an RBI double to retie the game. The Nats moved back ahead in their half of the inning as Brian McFall came through with a 2-out, 2-run double to make it 4-2. Gilbert de la Vara took over for Lerew in the 6th and the Missions got the game tied again. This time it was Mario Lisson with the 2-out error that allowed the tying run to score but de la Vara stranded 2 in scoring position. The Naturals left the bases full in the 8th and the game went to the 9th tied at 4. Chris Britton came on to pitch the 9th for San Antonio and Jose Duarte led off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Joe Dickerson single to end it. Britton didn't record an out to fall to 1-1 with an 18.00 ERA. Starter Will Inman lasted 4 innings and allowed 4 ER on 7 hits and a walk with a K to move his ERA to 6.75. Three Missions had 2 hits, including C Mitch Canham, who had his 3rd double and 5th RBI while keeping a .500 BA.

The Nats are 4-3 and tied with Springfield for the division lead. Game 2 is tonight as Blake Johnson (0-0, 6.75) takes on former Padres #1 prospect righty Cesar Carrillo (0-0, 5.40). I guess Duarte was almost hit by John Suomi's bat in the on-deck circle Thursday when Suomi lost control of it during a 6th inning AB. The team has committed 18 errors in 7 games.

A-Adv. - Wilmington: Blue Rocks 7, Kinston 2

3B Moustakas 3-5, 2B (2), 2 RBI (6), K, RS -- .267
2B Giavotella 2-5, 2 K, RS, E (2) -- .250
SS Bianchi 2-4, BB, 2 K, RS, SB (2) -- .290
LF Orlando 2-5, 2B (2), RBI, 2 K, RS -- .154
C Morizio 2-3, 2 BB, SB, E -- .333, also 3/3 in catching base thieves on night
1B C. Robinson 1-4, HBP, 2B (3), 2 RBI (5), RS -- .346
CF D. Robinson 1-6, RS -- .267
*The Rocks stranded 12.

Paulino 3 2/3 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 6 H, 2 BB, K, 2 WP, 2 balks -- 2.70 ERA
Liotta 3 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 K -- W, 1-0, 7.94 ERA
Sisk 2 IP, H, K -- SV, 2, 0.00 ERA

*** The Rocks scored 6 runs from the 7th on to take 3 of 4 from the Tribe. The Rocks had a rough 1st but Kinston scored only 1 run off Eduardo Paulino despite 2 wild pitches and 2 errors in the inning. Paulino gave up a leadoff double in the 3rd then balked twice to bring the runner home to make it 2-0 Tribe. He gave up 2 more doubles in the inning but C Matt Morizio nailed one runner trying to steal third and Paulino stranded the other. The Rocks loaded the bases with none out in the 4th and benefitted from some shoddy Kinston D as 3B Lonnie Chisenhall caught a liner from Clint Robinson but allowed a run to score on an ensuing throwing error. The Rocks left 'em loaded, however, and Kinston salvaged a 2-1 lead. The Rocks finally broke out in the 7th as Derrick Robinson and Johnny Giavotella hit 1-out singles then scored on a 2-run Mike Moustakas double to give Wilmington the 3-2 lead. The lead held into the 9th, when with 2 out and 2 on, Paulo Orlando and Robinson hit back-to-back doubles to score 3 runs and Robinson scored on an error to make it 7-2. Brandon Sisk pitched a perfect 9th for his 2nd save. RP Heath Taylor took the loss with 2 IP of 2 ER allowed on 3 hits and a walk with 2 K to drop to 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. Starter Eric Berger allowed an ER on 5 hits and 2 walks with 8 K over 5 IP to make his ERA 3.00. DH Tim Fedroff was 3-5 with his first 2 doubles and a run scored and 1B Matt McBride was 2-3 with a walk and his 6th double to move his BA to .333.

The Rocks are 5-3 and in second place. A key 3-game set with the first place Lynchburg Hillcats (6-2, A-Adv. Pirates) starts tonight as Mario Santiago (0-1, 15.00) vies against Hillcats lefty Chi-Hung Cheng (0-0, 0.00). The 'Cats roster features top Pirates prospect 3B Pedro Alvarez (.214 BA, .750 OPS, 4 E thus far in 28 ABs, also 14 RBI already), who just hit a 3-run walkoff HR in last night's Lynchburg win, as well as prospects righty Bryan Morris (no stats yet), IF Matt Hague (.367 BA/.764 OPS in 30 ABs), and righty Ron Uviedo (0-1, 1.80 ERA, 1.40 WHIP in 10 IP). Former Royal farmhand P Paul Mildren is also on the Hillcats roster. C Joe Billick was announced for a 50-game suspension by MLB today, along with Burlington IF Juan Rivera, who came over in the Berroa trade. What's up with the Royals farmhands and the PEDs? First Jarrod Dyson and Jason Taylor, now these two. Billick was on the DL anyway.

A - Burlington: Bees 9, Beloit 2

CF Norris 3-3, 2 BB, RBI, RS -- .200, nice game in leadoff slot
RF Francis 3-5, 2B (2), RBI (2), RS -- .318
DH Bonilla 3-5, RBI (3), K -- .267
3B Martin 2-4, BB, 2 2B, RBI (2), K, 3 RS, E -- .154
C S. Perez 2-5, 2B, RBI, K, 2 RS -- .188
1B Hosmer 0-5, 2 K -- .167
2B Jimenez 1-4, RBI, 2 K -- .063
2B A. Perez 1-1, RBI -- .500
SS Alfaro 1-4, BB, K, RS -- .133

Runion 5 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, BB, WP -- W, 1-1, 8.00 ERA, nary a K
J. Garcia 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 K -- 0.00 ERA
Bowden 1 1/3 IP, nothing -- 0.00 ERA

*** Four 2-run innings helped the Bees take game 1 from Beloit in a matchup of 1-win teams. Patrick Norris walked and later scored on an error and Nick Francis singled home a run in the 1st to make it 2-0 Bees. Sam Runion had a rough 1st as he allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, a walk and wild pitch to tie the game. The Bees loaded the bases in the 2nd but Nick Van Stratten lined into a double play to cut the rally short. Van Stratten then left the game. Salvador Perez ripped a 2-out RBI double in the 3rd and scored on a Jose Bonilla single to give the Bees a 4-2 lead. Norris singled home a run in the 4th and Kyle Martin added an RBI double later in the inning to make it 6-2. Antonio Jimenez singled home a run in the 5th to make it 7-2 as Runion had settled down and allowed no more damage through 5. The Bees added 2 more runs in the 9th on a run-scoring wild pitch and Alwin Perez RBI single as Barry Bowden shut the door on the victory. Starter Daniel Osterbrock took the loss for Beloit with 3 2/3 IP of 6 runs (4 ER) allowed on 10 hits, 3 BB and 4 Ks to fall to 0-1 with a 7.88 ERA. RF Evan Bigley was 2-4 with a run scored. The Snappers had 3 errors and 3 OF assists in the loss.

The Bees are 2-5 and still 4 games out. Game 2 is tonight as Luis Cota (0-1, 1.80) takes on Beloit righty Bobby Lanigan (0-0, 3.60).

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