Royals: Varied Results On Minors Opening Weekend
By Ken Lassiter
The first weekend for the Royals’ minor league teams had a little bit of everything as far as results go — a split in Omaha, 3 wins out of 4 for Lexington, and struggles in NW Arkansas and Wilmington. The stars of the show ended up including Cheslor Cuthbert, Raul Mondesi, Bubba Starling, Hunter Dozier, Chase Vallot, Amalani Fukofuka and Ben Johnson at the plate and John Dziedzic, Alec Mills and Yunior Marte on the mound.
Omaha: Chasers split with New Orleans
3B Cheslor Cuthbert (4 games) 8-16, 2 BB, SF, 2B, HR, 8 RBI, 2 K, RS, 3 E
2B Whit Merrifield (4 games) 5-14, 2 BB, 2 2B, RBI, 3 K, 3 RS, 2 SB
CF Brett Eibner (4 games) 5-15, 3 BB, SF, 2B, 2 RBI, 5 K, 5 RS, SB
1B Balbino Fuenmayor (3 games) 2-12, BB, HBP, 2B, 3 K, RS
LF Jose Martinez (4 games) 3-13, 3 BB, RBI, 4 K, 2 RS
C Tony Cruz (3 games) 4-10, 3 BB, RBI, 2 K, RS
RF Jorge Bonifacio (3 games) 3-14, 2 RBI, 5 K, SB
1B Cody Decker (3 games) 3-8, 2 BB, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5 K, 3 RS, E
RF Jarrod Dyson (2 games) 1-4, 2 BB, K, RBI, 2 RS
SS Dusty Coleman 2 hits, HR, 3 RBI Saturday
DH Travis Snider 2 hits, 2B, RS Sunday
SP Miguel Almonte (start Thursday) 1/3 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 2 H, 4 BB, K, HRA — L, 0-1, 108.00 ERA
SP John Lannan (Fri.) 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 3 K — ND, 3.60 ERA
SP Luke Ferrell (Sat.) 4 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 3 H, 3 BB, 5 K, HRA, 2 WP — ND, 6.75 ERA
SP John Dziedzic (Sun.) 5 IP, 2 UER, 2 H, BB, 8 K, HRA – L, 0-1, 0.00 ERA
RP Brooks Pounders (Thu.) 2 IP, 3 K — 0.00 ERA
RP Brian Flynn (Sat.) 3 IP, ER, 2 H, 2 BB, K, WP
** If not for 2 innings of damage, Omaha would have swept their opening series of the season vs. the Zephyrs. As it is, they had to settle for a split. Miguel Almonte didn’t survive his first inning pitched of the 2016 season as he gave up a grand slam in a 5-run New Orleans 1st. The Zephyrs would win, 6-3.
In Friday’s game 2, the teams combined for 5 runs in the 1st and the Chasers led, 5-2, going into the 8th. Malcom Culver blew the save with a 2-run Zephyr 9th but Cruz took a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 9th to get Omaha the 6-5 win. Game 3 was another slugfest as it was 9-4 Omaha after 3 innings and the Storm Chasers held off the Zephyrs for an 11-8 win behind 4 hits from Cuthbert.
Cody Decker also made his starting debut in style with 2 HR in the win. In Sunday’s series finale, the Chaser bats stalled and the Zephyrs got 4 runs off Culver and RP David Huff in the 7th to make it 7-1. Omaha rallied for 3 in the 8th but the Zephyrs closed out the win to split the set. Decker struck out 5 times and Eibner, Snider and Cruz had 2 hits each in the loss.
Round Rock (AAA Rangers) visits Omaha for 4 games this week.
Next: NW Arkansas