15 July 2009

Royals on the Farm 7/14

I don't know when I stopped getting excited about the baseball all-star game. I remember enjoying it as a kid, then, at some point, I stopped caring. I mean, it's cool that Zack Greinke was ultra-impressive in his inning of work last night, but the whole all-star thing has lost its luster. Was it the start of interleague play? Probably somewhat. Also the fact that about half the starters seem to beg off of it every year, or the fans pick too many Yankees (not that any other AL shortstop took the starting spot from Jeter) and Red Sox (hard to argue with their selections, tho), or that, when it comes down to it, I just can't get excited about an exhibition game in any sport, even if it does stupidly determine World Series home field advantage. Which leads to the side point, I'm ready for a new commissioner. I think that would help with the whole break-from-the-steroid-stigma thing for baseball. Plus I wouldn't have to look at or hear Bud Selig anymore. Can we get a new Royals owner while we're at it?

AAA - Omaha: all-star break

The game is tonight in Portland, Ore. Reliever Dusty Hughes is the O-Royals' only representative and has a 4.08 ERA and 1.51 WHIP, which tells you all you need to know about Omaha's team this season. Disappointing.

AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 7, Corpus Christi 5

RF Strait 2-3, BB, 3B, 2 RBI (32), 2 RS -- .288
CF Duarte 1-3, BB, HR (2), 2 RBI (23), 2 RS -- .250
C Clark 1-3, RBI (24), E (2) -- .351, 16 game hit streak
2B Bianchi 0-3, SF, RBI (11) -- .329, pushed off short by Yuniesky
SS Betancourt 1-4, RS -- .154
DH Gordon 0-4, 2 K -- .367, ah, the left side of the KC infield
3B Mertins 1-3, S, 2B (19), K, RS -- .282

Kniginyzky 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 3 K, HRA -- W, 3-7, 5.46 ERA
de la Vara 2 IP, H, K -- 4.38 ERA
Holland IP, 3 ER, 3 H, BB, 2 K, WP -- 3.16 ERA

*** The Naturals jumped on former Omaha pitcher Andy Van Hekken and took 2 of 3 in the series with the Hooks. Matt Kniginyzky got off to a rough start by giving up a run on 2 hits and a walk in the 1st but the Naturals answered with 2 runs on a run-scoring error and Jeff Bianchi sac fly to take the lead. Kniginyzky left the bases full of Hooks in the 2nd and then gave up a solo homer to 3B Jhon Florentino (his 4th) in the 3rd to tie the game. Cody Strait hit an RBI single in the 4th and, two batters later, Jose Duarte clubbed his 2nd homer of the season for a 2-run shot to make it 5-2 NWA. Strait hit an RBI triple his next time up in the 6th and scored on a Cody Clark single to make it 7-2. That was the score entering the 9th when Greg Holland had a relatively rare poor outing, giving up 3 runs before stranding the tying run at first. Van Hekken took the loss with 5 1/3 IP of 7 runs (5 ER) allowed on 8 hits and 2 walks with 3 Ks to fall to 4-3 with a 4.60 ERA. Florentino was 3-4 with his 8th double, the HR, his 30th RBI and 2 RS to move to .292. Two other Hooks had 2 hits.

The Naturals are 12-5 and 2 1/2 games up on first with the TL's best record of the second half. They have tonight off before starting a series with second-place and first-half division champ Springfield. RP Aaron Hartsock has been activated from the DL. Gordon and Betancourt have both finished their rehab stints with the Naturals. Gordon was 11-30 in 8 games, Betancourt was 2-13 in 3 games. At least Bianchi can get back to SS.

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

CF D. Robinson 2-5, 2B (13), RBI (27), K, RS, SB (40) -- .225
2B Giavotella 2-5, SB (13) -- .238
1B C. Robinson 1-4, 2B (18), RBI (37), K -- .285
3B Moustakas 0-4, 2 K, E (17) -- .266

Santiago 7 IP, 6 ER, 10 H, 5 K, HRA -- L, 4-10, 4.24 ERA
Z. Peterson 2 IP, H -- 1.32 ERA

*** Former Royal Erik Cordier had a good start for Myrtle Beach and the Rocks dropped another one to the Pelicans. Mario Santiago was in the midst of a good start for Wilmington when things started going wrong in the 6th. Chase Fontaine doubled and scored on a wild pitch in the 5th to give the Rocks a 1-0 lead but Santiago's 2-hit shutout fell apart as the Pelicans scored 4 in the 6th on 3 hits, a sac fly, and a 3-run homer by C Benji Johnson (his 6th) to make it 4-1. Clint Robinson hit a 2-out RBI double in the 6th to cut it to 4-2 but the Rocks stranded 2. Four singles scored 2 more runs off Santiago in the 7th to make it 6-2. The Rocks stranded 2 in the 8th but got a 2-out RBI double from Derrick Robinson in the 9th before Johnny Giavotella grounded out to end it. Cordier allowed 2 ER on 4 hits and a walk with 3 Ks over 6 IP to improve to 4-3 with a 3.21 ERA and RP Brandon Beachy went 3 IP for his 1st save. Four Pelicans had multiple hits as 2B Mike Fisher had 3 hits, 2 RS and his 12th error to move to .256, Johnson drove in 3 runs (23) and 3B Donell Linares had 2 hits and his 50th RBI. DH Ernesto Mejia also drove in 2 runs (3).

The Rocks are 8-10 and 3 1/2 games back. Game 3 of the set is tonight as Eduardo Paulino (3-5, 4.84) faces Myrtle Beach lefty Jose Ortegano (3-5, 3.84). SP Dan Gutierrez is in Wilmington but hasn't been put on the active roster yet.

A - Burlington: off day

The Bees are 8-9 and 4 1/2 games back. A 3-game home set with the Beloit Snappers (6-12, A Twins) starts tonight with Mike Montgomery (2-2, 1.69) facing Snappers righty Liam Hendriks (0-1, 1.59). The Bees are 2-6 versus Beloit this season.

Rookie - Idaho Falls: off day

The Chukars are 12-6 and 2 games up on first with the best record in the Pioneer League. A 3-game home set with the Helena Brewers (10-10) starts tonight with Sugar Ray Marimon (0-1, 4.97) facing Helena righty Nicholas Bucci (3-0, 4.71). IF is 3-1 versus the Brewers with Bucci overcoming Marimon for the Brewers' only win in their first series.

Rookie - Burlington: off day

The B-Royals are 7-14 and 7 games back. A 3-game set at the Pulaski Mariners (6-14) starts tonight with no announced starters on the team site. The M's roster features prospect IF Jharmidy DeJesus and '09 Seattle draftees 7th round lefty Brian Moran, 10th round 3B Vinnie Catricala, 11th round 1B Tim Morris, and others.

Rookie - AZL: Mariners 9, Royals 3

C Matos 2-2, SF, 2B, 2 RBI -- .278
1B G. Baldwin 1-4, RBI (6), 2 K -- .208
2B Stovall 0-4, 2 K -- .267
LF L. Adams 1-2, K -- .200
CF Howard 1-3, HBP, 3B (2), 2 K, RS -- .150
* LF Santos Cabrera had an OF assist at the plate.

L. Santiago 3 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 7 H, 3 BB, 3 K, WP -- L, 0-2, 7.50 ERA
Castaneda 2 IP, H, BB, 3 K -- 3.24 ERA
Peacock 2 IP, ER, H, 3 K, 2 WP -- 3.00 ERA, '09 draftee made pro debut while I was on vacation
S. De La Rosa 2/3 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 3 H, BB, K -- 5.14 ERA
Worrell 1/3 IP, K -- 2.08 ERA

*** A 4-run 3rd was all the M's needed to take down the Royals. Santos Cabrera threw out a runner at the plate to end the 1st but a 2-out Cabrera error scored a Mariner run in the 2nd to break the ice. Anthony Howard led off the 3rd with a triple and scored on a Mauricio Matos sac fly to tie it. The Mariners blew it open off Leonel Santiago in the 3rd with 4 runs on 5 hits, a walk and wild pitch. The Royals stranded 2 in the 5th and Brian Peacock allowed a run in the 6th as the M's made it 6-1. Matos hit a 2-out RBI double in the 7th and Geoff Baldwin hit a 2-out RBI single in the 8th but was thrown out at second to end the inning. Starling De La Rosa helped the M's put it away by giving up 3 runs in 2/3 of an inning in the 8th. RP Anthony Fernandez worked 5 IP of 2 ER allowed on 5 hits with 7 Ks to pick up the win and move to 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Rehabbing RP Chad Cordero worked a perfect 1st. DH Julio Morban was 4-5 with his 2nd double, 2nd triple, 2 SB (3), 2 RBI (8) and 2 RS to move to .289. 1B Evan Sharpley also had 2 hits and his 2nd error. Two others had 2 RBI and rehabbing 3B Matt Tuiasosopo was 1-4 with a walk, 2 K and 2 RS to move to .435.

The Royals are 6-14 and 6 1/2 games out with the worst record in the AZL. They have today off.

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