07 August 2009

Royals on the Farm 8/6

Probably the best story in KC thus far in '09, other than Zack's performance (95 percent of it), Hochevar's emergence and Bannister's return to old form, is the hitting of Billy Butler. If you followed these reports when he was in the minors, you know that if Billy started hitting, he could go on some hellacious tears, and he's starting to get to that level in the majors. The only other player I saw go on a bigger tear than Billy was Chris Lubanski back in the California League playoffs that one year (2005? 2006? I think '05) and that was unreal. Of course, he's never done that to that extent since, but we can still hope. Billy, on the other hand, is carrying his weight in KC, which is remarkable on that offense. Here's hoping it lasts for more than 1 season...

AAA - Omaha: Las Vegas 2, O-Royals 0 (11)

SS Hernandez 2-2, 2 BB, S, 2B (9), SB -- .302, has hit surprisingly well for Omaha
DH Hulett 0-5, K -- .310
1B Ka'aihue 0-4, BB, K -- .264
RF Parraz 1-4, BB, 2B (6) -- .297
* The Royals stranded 12. They were 0-13 with RISP.

Phillips 8 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 pickoffs -- 5.47 ERA, his periodical good start went for nothing
Marte 2 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, K -- 2.76 ERA, Japan vet has been solid for the organization
Rosa IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 K -- L, 1-8, 5.14 ERA

*** The teams combined to strand 27 runners as it took an 11th inning rally to finally finish the game. Both teams stranded 2 in the 1st. Vegas left the bases full off Heath Phillips in the 3rd, then again in the 8th. Victor Marte left the bases full in the 9th, Omaha stranded 2 in the 9th, then left the bases full in the 10th, and Carlos Rosa came in for the 11th. Four straight 1-out singles brought home the 2 runs Vegas needed. RP Ed Buzachero pitched a perfect 11th for his 6th save. RP Dirk Hayhurst got 1 out for the win to move to 4-4 with a 4.40 ERA. Starter Fabio Castro allowed only 4 hits and 3 walks with 4 Ks over 8 IP to lower his ERA to 4.15. CF Aaron Mathews was 4-6 with his 4th error and a RS to move to .281, 2B Howie Clark was 3-4 with a walk and his 42nd RBI to move to .310 and 2 others had 2 hits for the 51s. One of them was SS Angel Sanchez, who got bragging rights on his old team with 2 hits to move to .312. 51s DH/1B type Randy Ruiz drove in his minor-league leading 102nd RBI.

The O-Royals are 46-65. They're 1-12 in extra innings. Game 3 with the 51s is tonight as Brandon Duckworth (3-5, 5.32) faces Vegas lefty Davis Romero (2-3, 6.25). RP Chris Nicoll has gotten called up to AAA.

AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 8, Tulsa 6

1B C. Smith 2-4, 2B (23), HR (20), 3 RBI (74), 2 RS, SB (12) -- .261, has recovered big time from slow start to season
SS Bianchi 2-4, 2B (10), RBI (24), RS -- .329
CF Lough 1-4, BB, 2B (4), RBI (20), K, 2 RS, CS (3) -- .328
3B Lucas 1-3, BB, RBI (36) -- .288
LF Dyson 0-5, K, RS, OF assist at second -- .262
RF Duarte 1-4, K -- .256

Lerew 5 IP, 5 ER, 9 H, BB, 3 K, 2 HRA, WP, E (5) -- W, 7-6, 4.80 ERA
Castaneda 3 IP, ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K -- 1.69 ERA
Abreu IP, H, BB, K -- SV, 3, 2.16 ERA

*** A 6-run inning and 4 Tulsa errors helped the Naturals get a key win to build a small cushion on their division lead. Anthony Lerew gave up a leadoff homer to DH Mike Paulk (his 5th) in the 2nd and, after NWA stranded 2 in their half of the 2nd, Tulsa scored 3 in the 3rd on Paulk's 2nd homer of the game and 6th of the season. Tulsa scored again in the 4th to take a 5-0 lead. Corey Smith got NWA off zero with a solo homer in the 4th for his 20th of the season and the Naturals got to work in the 5th. A 2-run error started the scoring and another error brought David Lough home to cut it to 5-4. Smith stepped up with a 2-run double and Ed Lucas singled home Smith to give NWA a 7-5 lead. Tulsa pulled a run closer in the 6th but NWA got the run back in the bottom of the frame on a 2-out Jeff Bianchi RBI double. Juan Abreu pitched the 9th for his 3rd AA save. RP Tommy Baumgardner took the loss with 2/3 IP of 4 unearned runs allowed to fall to 1-2 with a 2.35 ERA. Starter Andy Graham worked 4 1/3 IP of 3 runs (2 ER) allowed on 2 hits and 4 walks with 2 Ks to move his ERA to 4.90. Paulk had 3 hits, including the 2 HR, and 4 RBI (48) with 2 RS to move to .301, and 3B Darin Holcomb had 3 hits to move to .282.

The Naturals are 24-16 and 2 games up on first. A 4-game set at the Arkansas Travelers (16-23, AA Halos) starts tonight as the Diamond Series continues. Blake Johnson (6-7, 4.85) starts the opener versus Travs righty Tommy Mendoza (7-6, 3.47). The Naturals are 16-8 versus Arkansas this season. RP Chris Chavez was called up from Wilmington to take Nicoll's place in the bullpen.

A-Adv. - Wilmington: Blue Rocks 5, Potomac 1

CF D. Robinson 2-4, RBI (36), K, CS (17) -- .235
RF Van Stratten 2-4, RBI (4), CS -- .216, starting to catch on....
1B Hosmer 1-4, 3B, RBI (6), RS -- .211
2B Giavotella 1-4, RBI (38), 2 K, E (17) -- .256
3B Moustakas 0-3, SF, RBI (67), K, E (19) -- .252
DH C. Robinson 0-3, BB, K, RS -- .289

Montgomery 7 IP, ER, 5 H, 7 K, WP -- W, 1-0, 2.25 ERA, great start for 1st Advanced A win
Z. Peterson IP, 2 K -- 0.78 ERA
Rivas IP, K -- 5.65 ERA

*** Mike Montgomery helped the Rocks tie a franchise record with 11 straight wins, matching a 1996 streak, and also move into a tie for first place. Johnny Giavotella put the Rocks up with an RBI single in the 3rd and scored on a Mike Moustakas sac fly as Wilmington took a 2-0 lead. Montgomery allowed Potomac's only run on 2 hits in the 4th but Derrick Robinson hit an RBI single in the 5th to make it 3-1. Montgomery stranded 2 in scoring position in the 5th (that inning has been the pesky one for him with the Rocks) and Eric Hosmer tripled home a run in the 6th before scoring on a Nick Van Stratten single to make it 5-1. Montgomery, Zach Peterson and Carlos Rivas retired the last 12 Nationals in a row. P-Nats SP Trevor Holder took the loss with 5 ER allowed on 8 hits and 2 walks with 5 Ks over 6 IP to fall to 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA. Five P-Nats had a hit each as RF Michael Burgess was 1-4, drove in his 62nd RBI and had an OF assist at second to move to .231.

The Rocks are 24-14 and tied for first. They go for the franchise record winning streak tonight with Eduardo Paulino (5-6, 4.24) facing P-Nats righty Adam Carr (1-2, 4.69).

A - Burlington: Bees 6, Clinton 4

SS Molina 3-4, 3B, RBI (6), K, 2 RS, SB (2) -- .214
DH D. Wood 2-5, 2 2B (14), 2 RBI (45), K -- .249
1B Graterol 2-4, 2B (3) -- .375
3B Taylor 1-4, BB, RBI (17), RS, picked off -- .244
RF Francis 0-4, RBI (52), K -- .251
SS R. Wood 0-3, BB, RBI (2), K, RS -- .115
CF Ortiz 0-4, BB, K, RS -- .171
C Bonilla 0-4 -- .236
LF Griffin 1-3, HBP, 2 K, RS, CS (3), 2 E -- .300

Hodgson 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, BB, 12 K (!), HRA -- W, 1-1, 7.04 ERA, got 1st Burlington win in style, don't think we've seen 12 K out of Ivor before
C. White 1 1/3 IP, ER, 2 H -- 6.75 ERA, Bees debut
Bowden 2 IP, 3 K -- SV, 8, 2.51 ERA

*** Ivor Hodgson didn't exactly hold the LumberKings in check, but he did mow a few down en route to his 1st win as a Bee. David Wood hit an RBI double in the 1st and Ryan Wood hit an RBI groundout in the 2nd to give Burlington a 2-0 lead. Hodgson gave up 2 runs in the 2nd, struck out 3 in the 3rd to work around a walk and hit, and struck out 2 more in the 4th before giving up a go-ahead solo homer to RF Welington Dotel (his 1st). The Bees regained the lead with a 2-run 5th on a David Wood RBI double and Nick Francis RBI groundout. Francis' RBI came off former Bee RP Derrick Saito. Yeldrys Molina then tripled home a run off Saito in the 6th to make it 5-3 Bees. Hodgson, meanwhile, struck out the side around a triple in the 5th and struck out 2 more in the 6th before getting pulled for Cole White. White allowed a run in the 8th before getting pulled for Barry Bowden, who retired all 6 he faced for his 8th save. The Bees' final run came on a Jason Taylor RBI groundout in the 9th. Clinton SP Anthony Vasquez took the loss with 4 1/3 IP of 4 ER on 6 hits and 2 walks with 5 Ks to drop to 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA. Saito allowed an ER over 3 IP to move his ERA to 3.86. C Blake Ochoa was 4-4 with his 9th double, 2nd triple and 23rd RBI along with his 5th error to improve to .331. Dotel had 2 hits, his HR and 3 RBI (9) to improve to .188.

The Bees are 17-22 and 5 games back. A 4-game home set with the Quad Cities River Bandits (18-21, A Cards) starts tonight with Sam Runion (3-8, 6.88) facing Bandits righty Miguel Tapia (2-3, 4.84). The Bees are 4-4 versus the Bandits in '09.

Rookie - Idaho Falls: Ogden 4, Chukars 3

3B Stovall 2-4, 2B (2), RBI (5), K, CS -- .281
RF Caldwell 2-4, 2B (3), 3B (3), RBI (14) -- .231
CF H. Richardson 2-5, 2B (7), 2 K, RS -- .320
1B Espinosa 2-3, BB, 2B (8), RS -- .255
SS D. Batista 0-4, BB, RBI (36), E (11) -- .299
DH Testa 1-4, 2 K, CS (3) -- .304
C S. Perez 1-4, K, RS -- .302

Halliman 5 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 6 K, 2 WP -- 6.04 ERA
Wooley 3 IP, UER, 3 H, 2 K -- L, 2-1, 4.50 ERA, first pro L

*** Idaho Falls fought out of an early hole to tie it but couldn't get ahead, and Ogden won it with a run in the 8th. Deivy Batista gave IF a 1st inning lead with an RBI groundout but Ogden answered with 3 runs off Pernell Halliman in the 1st on 3 doubles, a walk and wild pitch. Carlo Testa singled but was caught stealing in the 4th and it cost IF as, two batters later, Allen Caldwell hit an RBI triple to cut the lead to 1. Ryan Stovall doubled home Tito Espinosa in the 5th to tie it but the offensive output stopped there. The Chukars left the bases full in the 6th and a Batista error allowed the go-ahead run to score with 2 outs in the 8th. The Chukars left the tying run at second in the 9th as RP Daigoro Rondon picked up his 5th save. RP Javier Solano pitched a scoreless 2 1/3 innings for the win to move to 1-0 with a 3.50 ERA. Starter Elisaul Pimentel worked 5 2/3 IP and allowed 3 ER on 9 hits with 4 Ks to move his ERA to 3.86. LF Brian Cavazos-Galvez had 3 hits, including 2 doubles (24), and his 34th RBI to improve to .333. CF Lenell McGee also had 2 hits and his 2nd SB for Ogden. DH Austin Yount drove in 2 runs (13) for the Raptors. The game saw 40 mph wind gusts. That'd be fun to play in.

IF is 1-3 and 2 games back. Game 2 with the Raptors is tonight as Bryan Paukovits (2-2, 5.00) faces an unannounced Ogden SP. RP Scott Kelley has been moved up from rookie Burlington to replace Cole White on the roster.

Rookie - Burlington: B-Royals 5, Pulaski 3 (7/G1)

1B Kuebler 2-2, BB, 2 RS, SB (5) -- .239
2B Tschepikow 1-2, SF, 2 RBI (4), RS -- .500
C Moctezuma 1-2, 2B (5), RBI (4), K, PB (6) -- .293
LF Pickett 0-2, S, K -- .287

Sample 5 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 4 K -- W, 1-2, 4.62 ERA, first pro win
B. Richardson 2 IP, 2 K -- SV, 4, 4.86 ERA

*** Tyler Sample pitched well enough to use some solid run support for his first pro victory in the first of 2 with Pulaski Thursday. Ben Tschepikow hit a sac fly in the 2nd and Miguel Moctezuma hit an RBI double in the 3rd to make it 2-0 Royals. Tschepikow came back up in the 4th and rapped an RBI single before a Mariner error scored him and a wild pitch allowed another runner to score to make it 5-0. Sample had trouble in the 5th but survived the inning after allowing 3 runs to score. Brett Richardson provided 2 solid innings of relief to pick up his 4th save. M's SP Yao Wen Chang took the loss with 5 runs (4 ER) allowed on 6 hits and 2 Ks over 3 1/3 IP to fall to 0-5 with a 6.55 ERA. Five M's had a hit each. DH Mark McGonigle was 1-3 with his 5th double, 8th RBI, 2 K and a RS to move to .315.

B-Royals 3, Pulaski 0 (7/G2)

RF Del Rosario 2-3, CS (5) -- .291
CF G. Beltre 1-2, SF, 2B (9), 2 RBI (21), K -- .245
1B Kuebler 0-2, BB, RBI (11), K, RS, SB (6) -- .235
LF Pickett 1-3, K, RS -- .288
2B Tschepikow 0-1, 2 BB, SB -- .444
C F. Cruz 1-2, HBP, SB (2) -- .271

D. De La Cruz 5 IP, 4 H, 4 K -- W, 2-1, 2.86 ERA, nice
Kelley 2 IP, H, 2 K -- SV, 1, 1.38 ERA, and off to Idaho Falls

*** Deybi De La Cruz and Scott Kelley combined to shut out the Mariners as the Royals got a sweep of the twinbill. The Royals loaded the bases to start their half of the 1st and Jake Kuebler hit an RBI forceout before a Geulin Beltre sac fly made it 2-0. Burlington would leave the bases loaded. Beltre added an RBI double in the 3rd and the rest was up to the pitchers. The Mariners had a baserunner in all but 2 innings but couldn't cash in. M's SP Brandon Maurer took the loss with 5 IP of 3 ER allowed on 5 hits and 2 walks with 2 Ks to fall to 2-3 with a 4.31 ERA. LF Brandon Haveman was 2-3 to improve to .341.

The B-Royals are 14-29. A 3-game home set with the Princeton Rays (24-15) starts tonight with Chase Hentges (0-1, 6.16) facing Rays lefty Julius Dettrich (3-2, 3.18). RP Lee Roberts joined the B-Royals from the AZL.

Rookie - AZL: Rangers 9, Royals 7

SS McConnell 2-3, 2 BB, 2 2B (4), 2 RBI, 2 RS, 3 E -- .353, wow, defensive probs back out of nowhere
3B Figueroa 2-5, 2B (5), 3B (2) -- .270
2B Trapp 1-4, BB, 2 RBI (14), K, RS -- .309
DH L. Adams 1-4, BB, RBI (7), K, SB (7) -- .241
1B G. Baldwin 0-5, K -- .298, games like that have been rarity for him
CF Howard 0-4, BB, 2 K, RS -- .193
RF Cooper 0-3, BB, HBP, 3 K, RS, SB (4) -- .333
C Escobar 1-2, K, RS, E (2) -- .302

Amador 4 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 K, HRA -- 6.47 ERA
E. Diaz 2 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K -- 4.24 ERA
L. Ortega 2 1/3 IP, 3 UER, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K, WP -- BS, 1, L, 0-2, 4.42 ERA
Bavera 1/3 IP, nothing -- 0.69 ERA, why Roberts promotion over Bavera???

*** Seven late Ranger runs turned around a 6-2 Royals lead. Ezequiel Amador stranded the bases loaded in the 1st and the Royals scored first on a wild pitch and throwing error that allowed Chris McConnell to cross the plate. C Tomas Telis took Amador deep in the 3rd (his 2nd) to tie the game. Two more hits off Amador in the 4th made it 2-1 Rangers. Eric Diaz stranded 2 in the 5th and the Royals rallied for 5 runs in the inning on a 2-run McConnell double, a Justin Trapp single that scored 2 thanks to a Ranger error, and a Lane Adams 2-out RBI single that made it 6-2 Royals. Diaz loaded the bases to start the 7th and gave up a 2-run double to Telis before getting pulled for Luis Ortega. Ortega allowed 3 more runs to score, including 1 on a McConnell error, to make it 7-6 Rangers. Yunior Figueroa hit a 1-out triple in the 7th but was thrown out at home and the Rangers took advantage of 2 more McConnell errors in the 8th to score 2 insurance runs. Trapp took a bases-loaded walk in the 8th but Figueroa popped out to end the inning. The Royals wouldn't threaten in the 9th as RP Kelvin Arrendell picked up his 4th save. RP Ovispo De Los Santos got the win with a scoreless IP to improve to 3-2 with a 1.37 ERA. Starter Richard Alvarez worked 4 IP of 5 ER allowed on 5 hits and 2 walks with 5 Ks to make his ERA 6.11. Telis had 3 hits, including his 6th double and the HR, and 3 RBI (20) along with his 6th error and 2 RS to move to .293. 1B Michael Ortiz had 2 hits and 2 RBI (16) with 2 RS to move to .306 and SS Edwin Garcia had 2 hits and 2 RS to move to .295. He also drew 3 BB.

The Royals are 3-7 and 4 games back. They play the 4-5 A's tonight. Rehabbing RP Brent Fisher has been put on the restricted list, according to BA, which makes me wonder if he's considering hanging 'em up, too, like Joe Dickerson. He looked to have potential but just can't stay healthy. Yesterday was his 22nd birthday (Fisher).

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