After an 0-4 Wednesday the affiliates bounced back with a 4-0 Thursday thanks to quality starting pitching at all levels.
HR Roll Call: Cheslor Cuthbert (7), Hunter Dozier (8), Travis Maezes (2)
BP KC Hitter of the Day – Cheslor Cuthbert 2-3, HR, BB
BP KC Pitcher of the Day – Ashton Goudeau 8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K, 91 p/63 strikes
Omaha Storm Chasers 5 Memphis Redbirds 3
A four run 4th inning led to the Chasers salvaging the final game of their three game series with Memphis on Thursday. In that 4th the Chasers got started with a solo home run from Cheslor Cuthbert, his seventh of the young season, before a bases loaded, two out error scored one and allowed Clint Barmes to come to bat. The former major leaguer delivered with a two run single to push the advantage to 4-2 which proved to enough for starter Brooks Pounders and the bullpen to complete the win. It appears Pounders is making a push for a PCL All Star bid, improving to 3-0 while striking out 10.2 hitters per 9.
Brooks Pounders 6.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, ERA of 2.73
Clint Barmes 2-4, 2 RBI
Brian Duensing 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K
NW Arkansas Naturals 3 Springfield Cardinals 2
Another big, late inning home run from Hunter Dozier allowed the Naturals to beat first place Springfield Thursday. Starter Alec Mills had another impressive start despite the no decision, giving the Naturals 7 innings of work while allowing just two runs and matching his season high with nine strikeouts. Trailing 2-1 in the 8th, Springfield went with reliever Kurt Heyer for the righty on righty matchup with Dozier. Things didn’t work out well for the Cardinals as Dozier blasted his organizational-leading eighth home run of the year to give NW Arkansas the lead and the eventual win. The former 1st round pick played his sixth game in left-field during the young season, perhaps in an effort to increase the Royals’ options in the coming seasons.
Alec Mills 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 7-2 GO-FO, 97P/65 strikes
Ryan O’Hearn 1-4
Mauricio Ramos 3-4, 2b, R
Wilmington Blue Rocks 4 Myrtle Beach Pelicans 0
Manager Jamie Quirk challenged the Blue Rock pitching staff to throw strikes after watching the team walk 24 hitters during the two previous games. Starter Ashton Goudeau heard the challenge and rose to it, striking out a career high 11 over eight innings, while allowing just six hits to help break the Rocks 12 game losing streak. The Rocks offense pieced together four runs with a two run single from Brandon Downes in the 1st and a two run triple by Wander Franco in the 7th. The triple for Franco extended his hitting streak to six games. The third baseman is exclusively batting from the right side again after injuring his shoulder. The win for Wilmington was just its second at home this season.
Alfredo Escalera 2-5, 2R, SB (2)
Wander Franco 1-2, 3b, 2BB, 2 RBI
Chad Johnson 3-4, 2b
Lexington Legends 7 Delmarva Shorebirds 5
The Legends offense made good late after their defense didn’t help starter Foster Griffin much in his time on the mound. After working three perfect innings Griffin’s defense let him down in the 4th with a leadoff error by Travis Maezes and a couple plays that resulted in hits that could’ve been outs, leading to a pair of runs. Again, in the 5th a throwing error by Chase Vallot on what should have been the last out of the inning led to two more runs and a 4-1 deficit. The offense would get back two of those runs in the 5th on Maezes second home run in as many games played. After a pair of scoreless innings the Legends completed their comeback in the eighth with a squib double down the right-field line off the bat of Amalani Fukofuka that scored two to give them their first lead since the 4th inning. A Delmarva throwing error on Ben Johnson’s infield single turned into two more runs and a 7-4 cushion that the bullpen was able to hold onto for the win.
Foster Griffin 5.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 9-0 GO-FO, 96p/63 strikes
Franco Terrera 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K – 3 consecutive scoreless outings
Travis Maezes 1-3, HR, 2 RBI