Two starting pitchers made their debuts on Friday night in the Kansas City Royals minor league system.
It started with Omaha, as Sugar Ray Marimon made his Triple-A debut after his promotion earlier today. He allowed just two hits and a walk over five scoreless innings. He struck out two and threw 47 of his 74 pitches for strikes. Marimon also induced eight ground outs.
Aaron Brooks‘ 2014 debut was not so stellar. After missing his Triple-A start two Saturday’s ago because of his first big league callup (though he never pitched), Brooks was finally pitching to opposing hitters tonight. He entered in relief of Marimon and allowed three runs on three hits and two walks in one inning of work (33 pitches, 19 strikes). Storm Chasers manager Brian Poldberg was ejected in the sixth after Brooks walked in a run (maybe he was getting squeezed?).
Spencer Patton earned his second save of the season with three innings of relief. He made things interesting, as he allowed a solo home run in the eighth and put the tying run in scoring position in the ninth. Patton only threw 33 of his 58 pitches for strikes.
The Storm Chasers collected nine hits, with Brian Fletcher and Paulo Orlando picking up two of them. It was the first time this season that Fletcher played the field (he was in left, but was replaced late). He drove in one run in the second with a double, while Christian Colon drove in the game winners in the sixth with a two-run double with the bases loaded and nobody out.
On the downside, Omaha was just 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position.
Lefty Chris Dwyer was placed on the DL today with a right calf strain. Supposedly, his velocity has been down.
In NW Arkansas, Sam Selman made his Double-A debut and it was also his 2014 debut. Outside of issuing four walks, he pitched well. Selman allowed an unearned run (on his error) on just two hits over five innings. He struck out four. The Naturals still lost 2-1.
After Andrew Triggs followed with two scoreless innings, Malcom Culver took the loss, as he allowed an unearned run in the ninth. The winning run reached via an error and scored on a sac fly. However, left fielder Whit Merrifield made the catch in foul territory and threw to third base to get the tagging up runner. Cheslor Cuthbert missed the catch for his fourth error of the season.
The Naturals had the tying run on second base with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Juan Graterol grounded into a game ending double play. They collected seven hits, but were all singles. Jorge Bonifacio had two hits, while also throwing a runner out at first base.
The Naturals have now lost five in a row.
Jonathan Dziedzic improved to 2-0 on the season, as he allowed just four hits and a walk over six scoreless innings. He struck out seven. Glenn Sparkman earned his first save of the season with three dominant innings of relief. He struck out five and allowed just one hit.
Ramon Torres‘ first home run of the season gave the Legends their first lead in the third, while Dominique Taylor‘s first homer gave them the lead for good. Michael Antonio and Fred Ford each had three hits (both doubled twice). Ford also stole his third base of the season.