The affiliates split their day with wins at the two upper levels and losses below.
HR Roll Call Cheslor Cuthbert (6), Hunter Dozier (7)
BP KC Hitter of the Day Hunter Dozier 2-4 Hr (7), 2b (8), R, 2 RBI, BB
BP KC Pitcher of the Day Brian Flynn 5 IP 4 H 0 R 1 BB 6 K 5-1 GO-FO 66 P/40 K
The Royals have promoted Ryan O’Hearn to AA NW Arkansas following an impressive start in which he hit .352/.408/.670 in 22 games with Wilmington. The 15 home runs in 68 games for O’Hearn at High-A is only bested by Matt Field’s 17 in 67 games for the Rocks back in 2012.
Omaha Storm Chasers 4 Memphis Cardinals 3
The Chasers used a familiar formula of getting timely hits and quality pitching in winning the first of a four game series at Memphis. The most timely hit of the evening was that of Cheslor Cuthbert’s third inning three-run home run off former teammate JC Sulbaran. Those three runs gave starter Brian Flynn plenty to work with as the lefty spun five innings of shutout ball in his first start as a member of the Royals organization. Having allowed just four hits and a walk, Flynn used six strikeouts and a Jorge Bonifacio assist at home to peg Carlos Peguero to turn things over to the bullpen. That pen did just enough, working the final four innings while allowing three runs and taking advantage of an insurance run provided by Balbino Fuenmayor in the sixth to earn the win.
Cheslor Cuthbert 1-4 HR (6), 3 RBI
Jorge Bonifacio 1-3 2b, R
Jose Martinez 2-4 2b, R
NW Arkansas Naturals 9 Tulsa Drillers 3
Christian Binford gave the Naturals another quality start in the series finale against Tulsa on Monday. Much like his last start, Binford struggled in the first inning, giving up a pair of runs on three singles and a wild pitch but found his groove to keep his club in the game. Following the run scoring single Binford allowed in the 1st, just a controversial solo home run in the third to Drew Maggi the rest of the way dented his line. The ball appeared to have bounced off the fence and Hunter Dozier’s glove prior to heading over the fence, but manager Vance Wilson argued with umps about that case to no avail. The home run was the only blemish the Naturals starting pitcher had over the last six innings of his outing, retiring 20 of the final 21 hitters he faced on the day. Staying close is what the Naturals offense needed as it took them until the 9th inning to explode for seven runs to capture the lead and the eventual series sweep. Two big hits by Hunter Dozier, a leadoff solo home run and an RBI double, were sandwiched around five other hits and three Tulsa errors to lead to the seven run inning and eventual 9-3 win.
Christian Binford 7 IP 4 H 3 R 2 ER 0 BB 3 K 7-6 GO-FO 89 P 65 K
Ramon Torres 1-4 2b, RBI, R, BB reached base in 14 consecutive games
Bubba Starling 1-4 HBP, 2R, SB (6)
Frederick Keys 11 Wilmington Blue Rocks 2
With Ryan O’Hearn no longer in town, Pedro Fernandez picked the wrong day to have his worst start of the year. The right-handed starter struggled controlling his secondary pitches which led to Frederick sitting on the fastball and connecting as the innings drug on. Coming into the game with just a 1.20 ERA and over a K per inning, Fernandez was unable to earn a strikeout while allowing five earned runs in just 4.1 innings of work. Bullpen mate Derek Gordon didn’t fare much better, giving up five runs in his 1.2 innings and the offense continued their struggles in dropping the team’s tenth game in a row. First baseman Josh Banuelos was promoted from Lexington to take O’Hearn’s roster spot.
Brandon Downes 1-4 2b, RBI
Wander Franco 2-4 R
Corey Toups 1-3 3b, R, BB
Hickory Crawdads 8 Lexington Legends 4
The Royals moved Emilio Ogando into the rotation and Julio Pinto out for the Legends Monday but received similar results dropping the series finale against Hickory. The left-handed Ogando yielded 10 hits and a pair of walks in just 4.2 innings of work while using seven strikeouts to limit the damage the best he could but ultimately giving up six runs (5 ER) in his time on the hill. The Legends offense kept pace for three innings thanks to an RBI double and run scored by Chase Vallot but some questionable base running by Marten Gasparini killed a 7th inning rally and ended the Legends hopes of a comeback. In that 7th the Legends down two runs, 6-4 had placed Gasparini and Samir Duenez on base with a pair of two out singles, the powerful Vallot at the dish with a shot at tying or taking the lead with a home run watched as Gasparini unfathomably attempted to steal third and was caught for the third out in the inning. The home squad would quickly end any other chance at a Legends comeback with an insurance run in the bottom of the inning and another in the 8th while Lexington went six up and six down to complete the game.
The Royals moved former Michigan shortstop and third baseman Travis Maezes to Lexington to start the month. He appeared in the game at third base following Gasparini’s attempted steal in the 7th inning.
Marten Gasparini 2-3 BB, R
Chase Vallot 2-4 2b, R, RBI
DJ Burt 2-4 3 SB, 2 R hitting .242 w/ 13 BB – 15 SO