Only a Naturals victory kept the Royals’ affiliates from a winless Saturday.
HR Roll Call – Frank Schwindel (6)
BP Kansas City Hitter of the Day – Elier Hernandez: 3-4, 2B, R, 2 BB
BP Kansas City Pitcher of the Day – Jake Junis: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
Omaha Storm Chasers 2 Tacoma Rainiers 3
The Chasers got out to an early 2-0 lead after two innings, but only had one more scoring opportunity when they loaded the bases with one out in the fourth. Whit Merrifield proceeded to ground into a double play, and only one man reached base in the last five innings. Jonathan Dziedzic took the loss, surrendering a run in the fourth after a double, wild pitch, and sac fly, then he gave up a double and a dinger in the seventh, knocking him out of the game. Brett Eibner continued his offensive resurgence, going 1-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored.
Jose Martinez: 2-4, 6 hits in his last 4 games
Brett Eibner: 1-3, R, BB, SB
Travis Snider: 1-4, 2B, R
Northwest Arkansas Naturals 7 Springfield Cardinals 2
Frank Schwindel’s second inning grand slam was more than enough offense in support of yet another solid start from Jake Junis. Following tonight’s 6.2 shutout innings, Junis has allowed just one run in his last 19.2 innings. The 23-year old righty also struck out six without walking a batter, and induced seven groundouts. On offense, the Naturals didn’t get much going for several innings after Schwindel’s blast, but Mauricio Ramos drove in a pair in the eighth with his third hit of the night, and Bubba Starling added an RBI double in the ninth – his league-leading 12th of the season. Benino Pruneda struck out four in 2.1 innings of relief work.
Jake Junis: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
Frank Schwindel: 1-4, GS, 4 RBI
Mauricio Ramos: 3-4, R, 2 RBI,
Wilmington Blue Rocks 7 Salem Red Sox 8 (10)
Despite a 15-hit explosion from the offense, the Rocks dropped another game, this one thanks to a walkoff single from Red Sox prospect Andrew Benintendi in the first extra frame. Every hitter reached base at least once, and six Rocks collected multiple hits on the evening. The Sox jumped all over Matt Tenuta, scoring two in the first, three in the third, and one more in the fourth inning. While the bullpen handed out eight (!) free passes over the following five innings, they only allowed two runs, which gave Wilmington their chance to come back in the ninth inning. Down two runs, and down to their final out, Austin Bailey and Alfredo Escalera hit back-to-back singles, before being driven in on a triple from Humberto Arteaga. They couldn’t capitalize on a two on, one out situation in the tenth, and Benintendi’s single sent everyone home.
Wander Franco: 2-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Corey Toups: 2-4, R, 2 BB, SB (6)
Elier Hernandez: 3-4, 2B, R, 2 BB
Charleston RiverDogs 5 Lexington Legends 1
Nolan Watson struck out a career-high six batters in his four innings of work, but he also gave up two home runs in the first inning, and the Legends were unable to produce any kind of offense to pick up the former first-rounder. Watson’s ERA now stands at 10.52. An ERA starting with a one is good, but not if it’s followed by three more numbers. He did only issue one walk, and 41 of his 69 pitches went for strikes, so perhaps this can get him going. Offensively, the Legends collected just six hits, three of which left the bat of Amalani Fukofuka. The RiverDogs scored two more runs against Niklas Stephenson in the eighth, putting the game out of reach.
Amalani Fukofuka: 3-4, RBI
Nolan Watson: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Chase Vallot: 1-3, 2B, throwing error (6), 2 SB allowed