Just a note to mark post #800 on The Pipeline. We're over 600 on the RotF reports over the last 5 seasons. The one thing I can say with assuredness is that the KC system is in better shape now than it was back in '05 when I started these....the MLB Royals may only be baby steps better, but hopefully better things are on the way. Isn't hope what keeps Royals fans going? Despite the Braves hand-me-downs and Guillen/Farnsworth signings and losing streaks? Here's hoping that, 800 posts from now, Hosmer and Moustakas are the cornerstones in KC with Greinke going for his 3rd Cy Young, Crow as the #2 starter, Hochevar in the mix, Soria still closing games well and maybe some more new faces around. Hope is a good thing....
C Clark 1-3, HR, RBI (5), RS -- .292
*** Jhoulys Chacin pitched like a top prospect and the Naturals fell to the Drillers. Chacin took a perfect game into the 6th and Tulsa stranded 2 in the 3rd off Blake Wood before striking for 3 runs in the 4th on 3 hits and a walk. The Drillers scraped out another run in the 5th and Cody Clark ended Chacin's spell on the Nats offense with a 2-out solo homer in the 6th for his 1st at AA this season. The Naturals cut the lead to 4-3 in the 8th as Josh Johnson and Kurt Mertins singled in runs off the Tulsa pen but would strand 2. Gilbert de la Vara allowed a run in the 9th and RP Andrew Johnston pitched a perfect 9th for his 18th save. Chacin pitched 7 1/3 innings of 2 ER allowed on 2 hits and a walk with 10 Ks to improve to 5-5 with a 3.07 ERA. CF Anthony Jackson was 3-5 with his 15th RBI and a K and was caught stealing twice in moving to .210, DH Mike Paulk was 2-3 with a walk, his 12th double, 2 RBI (31), 4th SB, a K and RS to move to .308 and RF Ryan Harvey continued to harass the Naturals with a 2-4 day including his 12th double and 28th RBI to move to .258.
The Naturals are 33-30 and 2 games back. This series, too, wrapped up with a getaway day game today and, unlike the O-Royals, the Naturals got whipped. Dan Cortes (4-5, 4.14) started versus Tulsa lefty Keith Weiser (4-5, 4.48).