Another 3-2 day for the Royals minor league squads with wins at the Double-A and rookie leagues in Idaho Falls and the Dominican. Thursday will see the first full slate of minor league games with all eight Royals affiliates participating.
BP KC Hitter of the Day – Frank Schwindel 3-4, 2R, RBI
BP KC Pitcher of the Day – Jonathan Dziedzic 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 3-8 GO-FO, 90p/57k
New Orleans Zephyrs 4 Omaha Storm Chasers 2
Chasers pitching limited the Zephyrs to just six hits Wednesday. Unfortunately four of them left the yard, leading the club their seventh consecutive loss to New Orleans. Starter Jonathan Dziedzic used a minor change in his delivery to work through six one-hit innings while navigating around three walks. He was helped by a south breeze that kept a couple balls from the leaving the yard. Dziedzic was pulled in the seventh following a solo home run and things got sloppy from there. After getting a ground out, reliever Kevin McCarthy quickly gave up back to back home runs to turn what was a Omaha 2-1 lead into a 3-2 deficit. Following a scoreless eighth, Scott Alexander gave up the Zephyrs fourth solo home run to extend the deficit to two. While New Orleans was doing home run damage, the Chasers were doing very little after scoring a pair of runs in the first. They waste one out doubles in the third and fourth and went hitless from the sixth inning on. Omaha is now just 9-23 since Whit Merrifield’s promotion to the major leagues.
Jorge Bonifacio 1-3, RBI, BB
Reymond Fuentes 2-3, R, 2b, BB
Jon Dziedzic 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 3-8 GO-FO, 90p/57k
NW Arkansas Naturals 8 Arkansas Travelers 6
More offense for the Naturals to finish off the Travelers and earn a split in the series and a 2-0 start to the 2nd half of the season. Each Naturals hitter had at least one hit on the day with team banging out 13 singles, a Terrance Gore RBI triple and a pair of walks. The game was a back and forth effort with the Travelers tying the Naturals on two different occasions and getting within a run late, but NW Arkansas answered each time. Starter Jake Junis was improved over his last start versus Arkansas, but wasn’t good enough to earn the win as he left with just a one run lead that the Naturals couldn’t hold. Junis allowed four runs in 5.1 innings, giving up a pair in the third inning on three well-placed Arkansas hits, two of which reached the outfield off the gloves of Naturals fielders, while the third was an infield job that went off Junis. A Logan Moon two-run single with the bases loaded in the seventh gave NW Arkansas a final lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
Alex Gordon 1-4, 2R, BB
Frank Schwindel 3-4, 2R, RBI
Terrance Gore 2-4, R, 3b, RBI
Idaho Falls Chukars 5 Orem Owlz 4
The Chukars used quality early pitching and a four-run fifth inning to jump ahead and hang on for a win against Orem in the third game of their series. Trailing 1-0, the Chukars put together four consecutive one-out singles in front of a Yeison Melo triple to take a 4-1 lead. Starter Matt Portland struggled with the zone most of the night, walking five, but worked through five innings with just one run allowed thanks to six groundouts and four K’s. The Chukars would answer a Owlz run with one of their own via a Melo sac fly in the seventh. After reliever Sam Lewis gave up two more runs in the eighth, Idaho Falls turned things over to Reinaldo Cepin who quickly finished off the victory.
Yeison Melo 2-3, 2R, 3b, 2 RBI
Tanner Stanley 2-3, R, 2b, RBI
Matt Portland 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 6-1 GO-FO, 72p/37k
AZL Rangers 5 AZL Royals 3
Royals second round pick A.J. Puckett made his minor league debut Wednesday night in Arizona, tossing three innings while giving up a pair of unearned runs. Sketchy defense behind Puckett cost him baserunners in the first and third, when shortstop Jeison Guzman made errors in both innings. Puckett was able to work around the problems in the first but gave up a pair of singles in the third to allow two runs. Fourth rounder Jace Vines didn’t fair so well, giving up a pair of runs on three hits in the sixth to put the Royals down 4-0. It took until the seventh for the blue squad to collect their first hit, a John Brontsema single that lead to their first run when he stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error before eventually coming home on a groundout. The Royals would tally two more runs in the eighth before falling short on their comeback bid.
A.J. Puckett 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, WP, 4-3 GO-FO
Khalil Lee 1-4, R, 2b, BB
Robby Rinn 1-3, 2b, BB, RBI
DSL Royals 3 DSL Rays 1
The Royals used the most of their four hits combining two of them in the fourth inning with a pair of walks to score three runs and take a victory. Juan Peguero had the big knock in the inning, connecting on a one-out triple that plated two runs and left him in scoring position to score on a Rubendy Jacquez single. Those runs were enough for Enderson Rodriguez and Joel De La Cruz to finish off the win as the pair allowed just one run over nine innings.
Joel De La Cruz 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Juan Peguero 2-3, R, 3b, 2 RBI
Cristian Perez 1-3, R, BB