Diamonds in the Rough 5-29-16

On the same day the big club takes over 1st place in the AL Central, the affiliates go 5-0 with a combination of pitching and power.

HR Roll Call: Jack Lopez (4), Wander Franco (4), Chase Vallot (8), Travis Maezes (6)

BP KC Hitter of the Day – Chase Vallot 3-5, HR, 2b, 6 RBI

BP KC Pitcher of the Day – Jake Junis 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 4-3 GO-FO, 78p/50k

With the injury to Salvador Perez the Royals called up Tony Cruz from Omaha, optioned Peter Moylan to Triple-A and moved Zane Evans to Omaha from NW Arkansas to replace Cruz.

Omaha Storm Chasers 3 El Paso Chihuahuas 2 

Over 9,000 were in attendance on an absolutely beautiful night for baseball in the third of four games for Omaha versus El Paso. That crowd saw lefty John Lannan give the Chasers his fourth quality start in his last five starting chances, spinning 7.2 innings of two-run ball. The lefty navigated around eight Chihuahua hits, giving up a run in the first on a Alex Dickerson double in the first and another in the third.

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Photo via @OMAStormChasers

One reason for Lannan’s solid start is the Royals amazing analytics department as they continually have their fielders in a terrific position to field the ball. Whether it is moving the shortstop over 2nd base or a shift in the outfield, the defenders are regularly where they need to be to track down a ball as exhibited by shortstop Ramon Torres and his ten putouts on the evening. The Chasers offense did enough to earn the win, scoring a run in the first and adding two more in the fifth. It was Torres in that fifth coming through with a double to drive home catcher Parker Morin.

Boxscore Link

Ramon Torres 2-4, 2b, RBI, CS
Parker Morin 1-1, 2b, RBI, R, BB
Jorge Bonifacio 1-4, 3b, RBI

NW Arkansas Naturals 4 Corpus Christi Hooks 1

Naturals starter Jake Junis continued his dominance in the month May in his latest start on the road in Corpus Christi. The righty navigated a prospect-laden Astros farm club over 7 innings with just a solo home run given up to former Virginia outfielder Derek Fisher. The pitch was somewhat of a mistake as it came on a 3-0 count and caught too much of the plate and Fisher sent it over the left-center fence. That would be all Junis would allow however, as he finished off the Hooks with just four hits and no walks allowed. The Naturals offense rewarded Junis with four runs and the win, thanks to two runs in the sixth and a two-run home run from Jack Lopez in the ninth. Lefty Kyle Bartsch, in his return to the Royals organization, worked the final two innings to earn his first save of the season.

Boxscore Link

Ryan O’Hearn 1-2, RBI, BB
Corey Toups 1-3, R, 3b, RBI, BB
Jack Lopez 1-3, HR, 2RBI, BB


Game 1
Wilmington Blue Rocks 8 Myrtle Beach Pelicans 4

Former 1st round pick Foster Griffin did just enough to earn his first High-A win Sunday, thanks to a nice offensive game by the Rocks. Every Rocks hitter in the lineup reached base with Wander Franco having the biggest impact in the game, connecting on a two run double as part of a three run third inning . A Pelicans three run fourth narrowed the gap after an umpire ruled that Alfredo Escalera didn’t catch a ball where he made a sliding attempt. That opened the door versus Griffin, who couldn’t get around the two on and no out jam without some damage. The score remained at 5-4 until the seventh when Franco gave the Rocks the cushion they needed, driving a ball to left that cleared the fence and pushed the Wilmington lead to 8-4.

Boxscore Link 

Alfredo Escalera 3-4, 2R, 2b, RBI
Foster Griffin 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 8-3 GO-FO, 83p/57k
Brandon Downes 1-2, 2R, 2b, BB
Wander Franco 2-4, 2b, HR, 5 RBI

Game 2
Wilmington Blue Rocks 3 Myrtle Beach Pelicans 1

A little less offense in game two for the Rocks prevented their starter from a win. The former sixth round pick Zach Lovvorn just can’t catch a break, despite the righty tossing six innings of one run ball (0 ER). He allowed just two hits and one walk over that span and striking out five; he received a no decision. Both of the Pelicans hits off Lovvorn came in the fourth as back-to-back singles started the inning and combined with Brandon Downes and Luis Villegas errors to plate the one run Myrtle Beach would score in the game. The Rocks first run came in the first off Alfredo Escalera’s seventh double of the season and the game was tied through the seven innings of doubleheader regulation. The game remained tied into extra innings until a two-run triple from Austin Bailey with two down in the ninth gave the Rocks the lead and the eventual sweep of the two parter. The Rocks will attempt to complete their first sweep of a series this season on Sunday, having been swept themselves six times already.

Boxscore Link

Austin Bailey 1-2, 3b, 2 RBI
Alfredo Escalera 1-4, 2b, RBI
Zach Lovvorn 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 6-5 GO-FO, 85p/52k

Lexington Legends 11 Hagerstown Suns 8

The Legends offense got rolling today, thanks to a big day by the 2-3-4 hitters in the lineup. That threesome of Ramon Collins, Samir Duenez and Chase Vallot had three hits apiece and accounted for plenty of the Legends run scoring. A solo home run from Travis Maezes in the fourth got the offense started. That was soon followed by a two run trip from Duenez. He was then driven in by a Vallot single to give Lexington a five run inning. It was Vallot two innings later with another big knock, this one a three run blast to push the Legends lead to 8-3. Hagerstown would score single runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh, but again it was Vallot to pack the punch as the catcher crunched his 11th double of the season to score Collins and Tanner Stanley to put the game out of reach.

Boxscore Link

Samir Duenez 3-5, R, 3b, 3 RBI
Roman Collins 3-4, 3R, BB
Julio Pinto 2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 2-4 GO-FO, 60p/31k

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