KC Royals April 16th Minors Recap
By Jen Nevius
Omaha finished up their series in Memphis with a 9-4 victory. The Storm Chasers return home for their championship ceremony on Friday night.
Brett Eibner‘s bat showed up in full force. He hit a two-run home run in the third with two outs. That gave Omaha a 3-1 lead. With two outs in the seventh and the Storm Chasers up by just one run, Eibner connected for a grand slam.
That made a winner of veteran Joe Blanton, who was solid over 5.2 innings. He left with two men on base, but Joe Paterson allowed both to score on a single. Blanton’s line looked like this: 5.2IP, 5H, 4R, 2BB, 6K.
Chris Dywer allowed a hit and a walk over 1.1 innings (two strikeouts), while Michael Mariot pitched 1.2 perfect innings of relief.
Reymond Fuentes went 2-for-2 with a run scored, but he was replaced on defense to start the fourth. Moises Sierra and Gabriel Noriega each had two hits in the win.
NW Arkansas lost their home opener to Midland by an 8-3 score.
After Glenn Sparkman struggled through four innings (two runs on five hits and three walks), it only got worse once the Naturals bullpen entered. Ali Williams pitched to five batters in the fifth, and all five reached base (three hits and two walks). Williams left the game after two runs scored and the bases loaded. Sam Selman allowed two of the three base runners to score. In the sixth, Selman allowed two runs of his own and left with a runner on base. Reid Redman followed with 2.1 perfect innings of relief.
The Naturals offense collected eight hits, five from the top two in the order (Lane Adams and Angel Franco). In his first game of the season, Ethan Chapman hit a two-run home run in the fifth with two outs.
Wilmington sent fans home happy with a walk off 3-2 victory over Frederick in the Blue Rocks home opener.
“I’ve been happy with everything – defensively, our pitching’s been outstanding, we’ve been swinging the bats really well,” Blue Rocks manager Brian Buchanan.
With one out and a runner on first base,Bubba Starling
rocketed the 1-0 pitch into the left-center field gap to scoreJack Lopez
and set off the celebration.
“He’s one of the toughest competitors you’re ever going to meet,” Blue Rocks manager Brian Buchanan said about Starling. “For him to do what he’s doing now, it’s good to see.” Starling is hitting .308 (though he did strike out two times). “He works his tail off and is not going to let himself fail.”
Lopez, Starling, Frank Schwindel, and Mauricio Ramos each had two hits in the win.
Luke Farrell got the start (his first of the season) and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out seven. The Keys scored their first run of the game (in the second) on a double-steal.
Cody Reed earned his second win of the season, the first out of the bullpen. Reed allowed four hits over four scoreless innings while striking out five. He topped out at 95 mph in his first inning of work (the sixth). Buchanan had this to say about Reed’s outing: “Reed just dominated from the get-go. He kept all his pitches down and threw some real good sliders to the lefties to get them out. There weren’t too many comfortable swings off him tonight.’’
Buchanan talked after the game about the team’s win: “I’ve been happy with everything – defensively, our pitching’s been outstanding, we’ve been swinging the bats really well…I’m really, really pleased with how they’re playing.”
Lexington lost their home opener to West Virginia by a 4-2 score.
The Legends led 2-1 heading into the eighth when the Power scored two runs (and one more in the ninth). Nik Stephenson took the loss in relief (4IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K). Emilio Ogando took the no decision, as he allowed a run on three hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out five.
On offense for the Legends, Elier Hernandez and Brandon Downes each had two hits, while Corey Toups went 2-for-4 with his second homer of the season (a solo shot in the fifth).