The Royals affiliates went 2-2 on Easter Sunday, with an extra inning win at High-A and a near no-hitter in Triple-A.
HR Roll Call: Jorge Bonifacio (3), Ramon Torres (3), Zane Evans (1), Anderson Miller (1), Manny Olloque (3)
BPKC Hitter of the Day: Chris DeVito 3-4, 2R, 2b, RBI
BPKC Pitcher of the Day: Jon Dziedzic 6.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 10-2 GO-FO, 100p/61k
Omaha Storm Chasers 7 New Orleans Baby Cakes 0
One day shy of 20 years since the Triple-A Royals affiliate threw a combined no-hitter, the Storm Chasers came within three outs of their own no-hit effort. Left-hander Jonathan Dziedzic got things started, working five and one-third perfect frames until Ramon Torres’ nonchalant play at short ended in a misthrow, allowing Isaac Galloway to reach via error in the sixth. A walk followed to the next hitter before Dziedzic worked through the sixth and got a couple more outs in the seventh before getting pulled due to reaching his scheduled pitch count. Reliever Bobby Parnell would finish the seventh and toss a perfect eighth frame before turning things to Matt Strahm for the ninth. Facing former Storm Chaser Ryan Jackson, lefty Strahm battled until losing a seven-pitch confrontation when the right-handed hitter singled on a ground ball just inside the first base bag.
The Royals reliever would quickly earn three outs to finish off the game and secure the win, giving Omaha their second one-hit win of this homestand. For Dziedzic, it was his best performance of his pro career and reminded him of his last college start. During that start, he limited Ryan O’Hearn and his Sam Houston State squad to no hits over 8.2 innings.
Leading the offense was Torres with a grand slam in the second inning and Jorge Bonifacio with a home run in the fifth inning. For Torres, it was his third home run of the season after hitting just two in 73 games with Omaha last year.
Jorge Bonifacio 1-3, 2R, 2RBI, BB
Whit Merrifield 3-4, R
Matt Strahm 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1-1 GO-FO, 19p/12k
Corpus Christi Hooks 10 NW Arkansas Naturals 3
The Naturals got knocked around by the Houston Astros Double-A affiliate in the first game of their series. Starter Corey Ray gave up a pair of home runs and the bullpen got knocked around during the rout. The Naturals collected 10 hits but were limited to just three runs as only Zane Evans’ first home run of the year went for extra bases. Reliever Tim Hill had a tough go of things, giving up five runs on a walk and five hits in just 1.1 innings.
Samir Duenez 2-3, BB
Zane Evans 2-4, HR, 2 RBI
Corey Ray 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, 4-0 GO-FO, 76p/45k
Wilmington Blue Rocks 5 Potomac Nationals 4 F/11
The Blue Rocks scored a run in the eleventh inning to win their first series of the season. The Rocks trailed two separate times with lefty Cristian Castillo giving up four runs (3 ER) in his five innings, but that didn’t deter the offense from continuing to put on the pressure in the seventh. In that frame, trailing 4-1, the Rocks received a one-out walk by Chase Vallot and back-to-back singles from Roman Collins and Wander Franco to plate a run and put the tying runners on base. A two-out walk to Colton Frabasilio loaded the bases before Nicky Lopez’s single tied the game. From there, it would stay knotted until the eleventh inning when Franco and Collins paired up once again for one-out singles in front of Jonathan McCray’s double that gave the Rocks a lead and the eventual win.
The Blue Rocks, now 5-5, will head to Salem for a three-game series with the Red Sox affiliate.
Anderson Miller 2-5, HR, CS
Wander Franco 3-5, R, RBI
Cristian Castillo 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 4-5 GO-FO
The Legends Nolan Watson continued to struggle to limit hard contact in the 13-5 loss on Sunday. The former 1st round pick gave up a home run and four doubles in 5.1 innings while surrendering six other hits and eight runs. Reliever Jose Veras didn’t fair much better, getting knocked around for a dinger and four runs in his 2.2 innings. The middle of the order did pretty much all of the damage for Lexington, collecting nine of the team’s ten hits on the day.
Kort Peterson 2-5, 2R, 2-2b
Manny Olloque 1-5, HR, 2 RBI
Nolan Watson 5.1 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 7-3 GO-FO, 95p/63k