Omaha beat Memphis, 6-2. The Storm Chasers pounded out 14 hits, with five players having multi-hit games. Catcher Adam Moore went 2-for-4 and stole his first two bases of the season with Omaha.
Jake Odorizzi picked up the win and allowed just one hit, but over just five innings. Why? Because he walked five and struck out six. He threw 91 pitches, just 47 for strikes.
Despite going 0-for-3 in the Naturals loss, Whit Merrifield had a nice day off the field. He was one of seven KC Royals named to the Surprise team in the Arizona Fall League. He is listed on the roster as an outfielder, so I guess the second base experiment is over? He was also honored as the 2012 Matt Minker Community Service Award winner (each Carolina League team nominated one member off their roster). In his second season in Wilmington, Merrifield continued his work in the community that he was involved in in 2011. The Minker Award is named after the former Blue Rocks team president who passed in November of 2007 after losing a five-year fight with cancer. It is given to the Carolina League player who who does the best job of serving his club’s community during each season. In the inaugural season of the award (2008), current big leaguer Everett Teaford won the award. Last season, Tim Melville earned the honor.
A wild 7th inning pushed Wilmington past Myrtle Beach, 4-3. Blue Rocks starter Brooks Pounders carried a no-hitter into that 7th inning, but Tomas Telis doubled to lead off the inning. Three batters later, the Pelicans led 2-0. Six singles and three MB errors in the bottom of the inning gave the Blue Rocks the 4-2 lead.
With the win, the Blue Rocks are clinging to a 2.5 game lead over Lynchburg. The Hillcats won the first half title and would play all three divisional series games at home if they win both halves. Both Frederick (three games back) and Potomac (four games back) both lost. All three teams have five games left, while the Blue Rocks have just four. With a Blue Rocks win and a Frederick loss on Thursday, the Blue Rocks clinch a playoff spot.
After coming back to tie the game in the top of the 8th inning, Kane County lost to Quad Cities, 6-5. That was after the Cougars led 3-0 heading into the 6th inning. The Cougars had the tying run on second base with one out, but could not put a run across.
The Cougars are three games behind Burlington for the wild card spot in the Midwest League with five games to go.
The loss negated the solid start from Aaron Brooks. He allowed two runs on four hits over six innings. He struck out five. Jack Lopez and Dean Espy collected two hits, while Alex Llanos went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in the loss.
Bubba Watch: Burlington got their playoff run in the Appalachian League started against Johnson City. The Royals lost 2-1. Bubba Starling went 0-for-2 with two walks and two strikeouts.
*Merrifield will be joined in the AFL by outfielder Brian Fletcher, shortstops Alex McClure and Orlando Calixte (though he is on the taxi squad and can only play on Wednesdays and Saturdays), and pitchers Edwin Carl, Justin Marks, and Jon Keck. Both Keck and Marks spent time this season on the DL. I’m guessing Calixte will be there working on his defense (he has 45 errors on the season).
In other Fletcher news, his sister and girlfriend will be in this season’s Amazing Race, with the premiere airing on September 30th on CBS.
**The instructional league roster was also announced with Starling, pitcher Sam Selman, catcher Cameron Gallagher, and outfielder Brett Eibner included. Will strikezone judgement be worked on with Starling and Eibner? Eibner added to his franchise record strikeout total in Wilmington Wednesday night with two Ks to bring his total to 162.
Workouts begins September 17th with a 23-game schedule running from September 24th through October 19th.
***The Royal extended their player development contracts with two of their rookie level teams, Idaho Falls and Burlington, through 2014.