It was a rough day to be a part of the Kansas City Royals upper levels. The big league team was beat up, while the upper two minor league teams were also beat.
That made a loser of veteran Brett Tomko, who allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings.
It was yet another ugly game for NW Arkansas, who lost their sixth in a row and second series in a row with a 15-2 loss against Frisco. It was 10-1 after three innings.
Every Naturals pitcher gave up at least two runs. It all began with starter Greg Billo, who allowed eight runs (though he left with the bases loaded and all three scored) on eight hits and two walks over 2-plus innings. Andy Ferguson entered in the third and allowed all three inherited runners to score, along with two of his own. Fergy then allowed another run in the fifth, though his line did not look bad (4IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 4K). Noel Arguelles and Hassan Pena each allowed two runs over the game’s final three innings.
Wilmington has now won two in a row, as they beat Winston-Salem, 4-0.
Christian Binford was dominant as he faced the Dash for the second straight start, retiring the first 13 batters in a row before allowing a one out double in the fifth. He only allowed two hits and did not walk a batter over seven scoreless innings. Binford struck out ten and I had him at just 69 pitches.
Not bad for a guy who was sent home on Thursday because of food poisoning.
So what was difference between this start and last Saturday’s start in Winston-Salem? Blue Rocks manager Darryl Kennedy said “location. Tonight he was more down in the zone and even his breaking pitches were down in the zone. He left one up tonight and thankfully we play in Wilmington…That was really his only mistake tonight.” Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins, who homered off Binford last weekend, hit one deep to left field in the seventh but it stayed in the park.
“Fastball command was really the big thing,” Binford said. “I’m not a guy who lights up the radar gun. I just don’t. Just keeping the ball down and setting them up for my strikeout pitches.”
Binford was not the only one pitching well. Dash starter Braulio Ortiz was also quick and efficient. His first base runner was a leadoff walk to Jack Lopez in the fourth. Everything fell apart in the fifth. Daniel Rockett collected the Blue Rocks first hit with a perfectly placed bunt up the third base line. “We talked in the dugout,” said Kennedy. “Their guy was throwing a really good ballgame. I told them ‘if the third baseman’s back, go ahead and drop one down’. He [Rockett] even told me he was thinking the same thing…It led to a big inning for us.”
The Blue Rocks scored three of their four runs after the Rockett bunt single. He was on the move when Cam Gallagher laced a double that just hit the chalk down the third base line and scored easily. Then a fielding error at second base with two outs kept the inning alive and a wild pitch forced in the second run. Another error, a throwing one by the shortstop, forced in the third run.
*On the injury front, Raul Mondesi is expected back in the lineup on Sunday afternoon after being hit by a pitch on Thursday. Catcher Zane Evans is on the seven-day DL and has a slight concussion. Kennedy does not believe he will be out longer than the seven days.
Tags: Kansas City Royals