It was a tough Friday night for the Royals’ affiliates, as the three teams that played all lost, while the Naturals’ game was postponed due to rain.
HR Roll Call – Cheslor Cuthbert (5), Jose Martinez (2), Brett Eibner (2)
BP Kansas City Hitter of the Day – Brett Eibner: 3-6, 2B, HR
BP Kansas City Pitcher of the Day – Colin Rodgers: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
Oklahoma City Dodgers 5 Omaha Storm Chasers 3 (12 innings)
Despite loading the bases with one out in the 12th inning, the Chasers were unable to come back a second time, as a nice play robbed Whit Merrifield of what could’ve been a game-tying single to end the game. Six Dodgers’ pitchers allowed 12 hits and issued six walks on the evening, but Omaha went 0-12 with runners in scoring position, and left 16 men on base. They got a robust 0-18 line from the bottom four spots in the order tonight, and sequencing can be hard when that happens. The three runs they did score were courtesy of three solo home runs. Cheslor Cuthbert hit his fifth of the season in the fourth inning, while Jose Martinez and Brett Eibner went back-to-back in the seventh to tie the game at three. Eibner now has two dingers in his last two games. Both teams had baserunners in every extra inning, but neither cashed in until OKC scored on two walks with the bases loaded, courtesy of Malcolm Culver.
Cheslor Cuthbert: 3-6, HR
Jose Martinez: 3-6, 2B, HR
Brett Eibner: 3-6, 2B, HR
Whit Merrifield: 2-6, SB (now 16-16 on the season)
Wilmington Blue Rocks 1 Potomac Nationals 5
Another frustrating night for the Blue Rocks’ offense resulted in the team’s 10th loss to the P-Nats this season. Nationals’ starter Luis Reyes struck out eight in 5.2 innings, and their bullpen tacked on four more, so even though the Rocks had 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position, they only collected one hit. Corey Toups led off the game with a double, and added another in the fifth inning, but the rest of the lineup could never get him across. Wilmington did have a chance to do some damage in the fifth, when they loaded the bases with two outs. Unfortunately, Elier Hernandez’s struggles continued, as he grounded out to end the threat. Colin Rodgers struck out six in 5.1 innings, allowing just two runs.
Corey Toups: 2-5, 2 2B
Roman Collins: 2-3, 2B, BB, 1 RBI
Elier Hernandez: 1-5, 2 K, hitting .158/.210/.263
Lexington Legends 2 Hickory Crawdads 6
The Legends were unable to get anything going against Crawdads’ starter Erik Swanson, and only collected four hits on the evening. A five-run outburst off of Foster Griffin in the first inning was more than enough to keep Hickory on top. Griffin had only allowed one run before getting the second out of the inning, then, this sequence happened: single, balk, single, stolen base, single, single. It’s like the Royals were cloned and placed in the South Appalachian League, only to face Griffin. The tall lefty did settle down to get through five innings, but the damage was done. The Legends had just two innings with multiple baserunners, and didn’t have a single extra-base hit. D.J. Burt and Cody Jones each stole a base, though, so that’s something.
Xavier Fernandez: 2-4
D.J. Burt: 1-4, SB, 2 RBI
Foster Griffin: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K