KC Royals Bubba Starling Shines in Naturals Victory
Omaha lost their series opener in Colorado Springs, 5-3. The loss kept them at 4.5 games back of OKC, who lost to second place Iowa on Monday night.
The Storm Chasers scored their three runs in the top of the first. Whit Merrifield led off the game with a single and stole second base. After a Reymond Fuentes walk, Brett Eibner singled in a run. On a strikeout, there was a double steal before Casey Kotchman singled in the final two runs.
Unfortunately, starter J.C. Sulbaran allowed four runs in the bottom of the first. He ended up allowing all five runs on ten hits and a walk over five innings. After Joba Chamberlain struck out two in the sixth, Troy Patton struck out two over two scoreless innings of relief.
*Angel Franco was activated from the DL and went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. He started at second base and committed an error.
NW Arkansas won their series against first place Arkansas, winning the finale, 7-4. The win moved them out of last place and are now 4.5 games back of the Travelers. The Naturals now head out on the road for their final seven regular season games (three come against Arkansas).
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After the Travelers retook the lead in the top of the fourth, the Naturals came right back with three runs in the bottom of the inning, which was capped byParker Morin
‘s two out, two-run home run. He went 2-for-3 and stole his first base of the season.
Bubba Starling and Hunter Dozier each had three hits in the win. Starling tripled and scored two runs, while Dozier doubled, drove in a run, and scored two runs.
Luke Farrell earned the win, though he allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk over 6.2 innings. He struck out five. Sam Selman entered and stranded a runner (1.1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K). Mark Peterson earned his third save with a scoreless ninth.
*In roster news, Edward Salcedo was activated from the DL (0-for-3 with an RBI in left field) and pitcher Matt Murray was placed on the temporarily inactive list.
Wilmington begins their final regular season homestand on Tuesday night, starting with Winston-Salem (who is in first place in the Carolina League’s Southern Division).
Lexington beat West Virginia, 8-1. The Legends scored two runs each in the first, seventh, eighth, and ninth innings.
Chase Vallot went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run. Austin Bailey, Wander Franco, Samir Duenez, and DonAndre Clark all had two hits in the win. Franco scored two runs and drove in a run.
Scott Blewett earned the victory, as he allowed one run on five hits and a walk over seven innings. He struck out four. Jake Newberry followed with two scoreless innings (H, 0BB, 4K).
Mike Hill can apparently play everywhere, as he entered on defense at shortstop to replace the traded Luis Valenzuela (the leadoff spot was the only one without a hit). Hill has now caught, while playing third base, first base, left field, and right field.
Burlington lost to Bluefield, 4-2. Both teams scored in the sixth.
The four runs allowed by Royals starter Alex Luna were unearned (there were two errors in the inning). Luna allowed four hits and struck out three over 5.1 innings. Jake Kalish allowed a hit while striking out three over 2.2 scoreless innings of relief.
Leadoff hitter Brian Bien went 3-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Colton Frabasilio had two hits in the loss.