There was a ton of movement throughout the KC Royals minor leagues on Thursday (or just officially announced today with more coming tomorrow). Most of the movement came from Wilmington. Third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert and left-handed reliever Scott Alexander were promoted to Double-A NW Arkansas, outfielder Alex Hudak was sent to Low-A Lexington, and left-handed reliever Antonio Cruz was”sent” to rookie Idaho Falls.
To replace the departed, the Blue Rocks received outfielder Ethan Chapman and right-handed reliever Daniel Hernandez from Lexington, first baseman Dennis Raben from the independent Lincoln Saltdogs, and utility infielder Alex McClure from NW Arkansas. Hernandez, Raben, and McClure all saw action on Thursday night.
Now to the games…
Omaha held on to beat Nashville, 4-2.
The Storm Chasers led 2-1 after the first inning on Xavier Nady‘s two out homerun. Quintin Berry gave them some insurance with his own two-run homerun in the eighth. That was needed, as the Sounds scored a run in the ninth and had another runner in scoring position.
Chris Dwyer was dominant in picking up his fifth win of the season. He allowed one run on nine hits over seven innings while striking out seven. He threw 70 of his 107 pitches for strikes.
NW Arkansas won both games of their doubleheader against Springfield. They took Game 1, 8-1. Matt Fields hit a two out, two-run homerun in the first and the Naturals never looked back.
Sugar Ray Marimon was dominant in the complete game win. He allowed one run on five hits and a walk. He struck out eight. Marimon threw 97 pitches, 70 for strikes.
In Game 2, the Naturals won 3-2. They scored all of their runs in the third.
Aaron Brooks was solid yet again in his second Double-A start. He allowed one run on seven hits over six innings. It got interesting in the ninth when new closer Zach Jackson allowed a run on six hits. The Cardinals had the tying run on second base (and the go ahead run on first), but Jackson induced a ground out to end the game.
On the night that Wilmington announced that they will host the 2014 California-Carolina League All-Star Game, the Blue Rocks lost to Winston-Salem, 5-3 in 11 innings.
In the 7th inning, Jack Lopez stole home to give the Blue Rocks the 3-1 lead (his second stolen base). However, the Dash scored two runs in the top of the ninth and two more in the top of the 11th.
Kellen Moen gave the a Blue Rocks solid spot start in replacing John Lamb (no word on why he didn’t start). Moen allowed one run on four hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out four. Hernandez was solid, as he walked two over two scoreless innings of relief. Then Cody Fassold and Robinson Yambati gave up the four late Dash runs.
Raben started at first base and went 1-for-5 while grounding into a double play. McClure started at shortstop (batting second) and went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Lexington lost in walk off fashion in Asheville, 7-6. The Tourists scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, capped by a game-winning two-run double with two outs.
Four of the Legends six runs came via two-run homeruns from Mark Donato and Cam Gallagher (his first of the season).
The Asheville comeback negated the solid start from Miguel Almonte, who allowed two runs on six hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out five.
Donato and Fred Ford each collected two hits in the loss. Alex Hudak came off the bench and went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts.