The Arizona Royals clinched their division while a pair of Royals affiliates in playoff races lost during a 2-2 day for the system.
HR Roll Call: Kort Peterson (5)
BP KC Hitter of the Day – Angelo Castellano 4-4, 2R, 3b, 3 RBI
BP KC Pitcher of the Day – Jason Freeman 3.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 2-1 GO-FO
Arkansas Travelers 5 NW Arkansas Naturals 1
The Naturals bullpen surrendered four late runs, while the offense came up empty on numerous occasions to drop the series finale in Arkansas. In his third Double-A start of the season, Glenn Sparkman gave up a run in the first inning on three singles. From there Sparkman tossed three scoreless frames to leave the game tied after Ryan O’Hearn singled in Alfredo Escalera. The game remained knotted until the seventh, when reliever Eric Stout would give up a two-out triple that plated one Arkansas run prior to a wild pitch that allowed another. A solo home run in the eighth was followed by a double and a single to push the score to 5-1 while the offense came up empty for any answer by the Naturals. The loss put the Naturals behind Arkansas by a half of a game with seven to play. The two teams will meet in a three game series to finish the season.
Alfredo Escalera 1-4, R, 2b
Ryan O’Hearn 1-4, RBI
Glenn Sparkman 4 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Idaho Falls Chukars 18 Ogden Raptors 7
A barrage of hits lead the Chukars to a lopsided win over first place Ogden. The victory cut their division deficit to three games. In all, Idaho Falls put together 21 hits while walking three times and using three Ogden errors to plate 18 runs with three multi-run innings. All nine Idaho Falls batters had a hit during the game with seven of the nine having multi-hit games. The Chukars had a slim 9-7 in the seventh inning when they exploded for eight runs with nine hits and thirteen hitters coming to bat in the frame.
Jace Vines 4.2 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Meibrys Viloria 3-5, 2R, 2-2b, 4 RBI
Luke Willis 3-5, 4R, 3b, BB
Pulaski Yankees 4 Burlington Royals 2
The Royals couldn’t get much going in their loss in Monday’s finale with Pulaski. Shutout for eight innings, the Royals put together a pair of runs in the ninth off of a Kort Peterson two-run home run, but came up short despite putting the potential game-tying runs on base. The loss was credited to David McKay despite just a fourth inning solo home run allowed in his four frames of work. Reliever Alex Close was dinged for three runs in his two innings to put the Royals in a hole that they fell just short of climbing out of. The loss didn’t hurt the Royals in the standings as both Princeton and Bluefield lost in their pursuit. The Royals current lead stands at three games with four to play.
Kort Peterson 1-4, HR, 2 RBI
David McKay 4 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 4-2 GO-FO
Jose Sanchez 1-3, R, BB
AZL Royals 5 AZL Mariners 1
The Royals pitching staff came up big in clinching their second half division title over the Mariners on Monday. Starter Colton Howell worked five shutout innings to get the Royals off on a good foot. With the pitching in place, rehabbing infielder Wander Franco knocked in a run in the first inning as well as leading off the fifth with a single, igniting a three-run inning. With a 5-0 lead through five, three different pitchers finished off the final four innings with just one run allowed to earn the Royals a playoff berth.
Wander Franco 3-4, R, RBI, BB
John Brontsema 3-4, 2R, 2b, RBI
Jake Wakamatsu 2-4, R