KC Royals Minors Recap: Francisco Pena Powers Omaha to Victory


Omaha won the series opener in New Orleans, 3-2 in 11 innings. With two outs in the top of the 11th inning, Francisco Pena homered to give the Storm Chasers the lead.

Buddy Baumann earned the win in relief, his first of the season. Michael Mariot earned his fourth save by striking out two in the bottom of the 11th.

Aaron Brooks pitched well in the start, as he allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings. He struck out six. Louis Coleman followed with three perfect innings, striking out five.

The Storm Chasers collected 13 hits. Moises Sierra had three hits, including a solo home run in the fifth. Casey Kotchman also had three hits. Brett Eibner, Pena, and Orlando Calixte each had two hits in the win.

NW Arkansas won their second straight over Tulsa, winning 7-3. With an Arkansas loss, the Naturals now have a four game lead in the North Division of the Texas League.

The Naturals used a five-run 3rd inning, which started with a Kenny Diekroeger first pitch home run (his first in Double-A). The inning was capped by a Hunter Dozier bases clearing double.

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Outside of the Drillers’ two-run 4th inning,

Luke Farrell

dominated. He allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in the fourth. Farrell threw seven innings and only allowed a total of five hits and that one walk while striking out six.

The game was televised on CBS Sports and the Naturals defense, especially on the left side of the field (left fielder Alex Liddi, Dozier at third base, and Raul Mondesi at shortstop), was very impressive.

The Naturals collected nine hits, two hits each coming from leadoff hitter Lane Adams, Mondesi, and Diekroeger.

Wilmington lost the series finale in Winston-Salem, 3-2. With Frederick and Lynchburg both winning, the Blue Rocks have a five game lead with ten games to go.

The Blue Rocks collected just three hits and struck out 11 times, but made the most of those three hits. They scored their two runs in the top of the fifth on Dominique Taylor‘s two-out, two-run double.

Jake Junis took the loss, as he allowed three runs on six hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out one, but allowed a two-run homer in the first. Estarlin Cordero then struck out three in two scoreless innings.

Lexington lost the series finale to Lakewood, 7-6 in 11 innings. Both teams scored two runs in the tenth, before the Blue Claws scored in the top of the 11th inning.

With two outs in the bottom of the tenth, catcher Chad Johnson (who entered the game on defense in the ninth) hit a two-run home run to tie the game.

Brennan Henry took the loss, as he allowed a solo home run in the top of the 11th inning. Overall, he allowed three runs on five hits while striking out three in three innings.

Nik Stephenson got the start and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out six. Apparently Kyle Zimmer‘s shoulder is better off than the Royals were letting on. He threw three innings of relief. Zimmer allowed one run on four hits while striking out three.

On offense, both teams collected 13 hits. Alfredo Escalera-Maldonado had two hits, including his eighth home run of the season. Elier Hernandez and Mike Hill each had two hits, including a double. Brandon Downes hit two doubles. Samir Duenez also had two hits in the loss.

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