The KC Royals went 4-2 last week and are 12.5 games up on Minnesota in the American League Central. The Royals have the best record in the AL at 75-48 and begin a four-game series against Baltimore tonight. Kris Medlen will be making his first start.
Triple-A Omaha went 4-3 last week and moved into a second place tie in the Pacific Coast League American Northern Division at 71-58. However, the Storm Chasers are 7.5 games back and continue their series against Sacramento tonight. They will however have Alex Gordon on a rehab assignment for the foreseeable future (he went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run last night).
Double-A NW Arkansas went 3-3 last week and are still in last place in the Texas League North Division. The Naturals return home for their final seven regular season home games beginning Tuesday night against Springfield.
High-A Wilmington went 2-4 last week and are still in last place in the Carolina League Northern Division. The Blue Rocks begin their final regular season road trip (seven games) tonight in Carolina (a team they are 1-8 against in the second half).
Low-A Lexington went 3-4 last week and were eliminated from the South Atlantic League postseason. The Legends begin a four-game series at home against Rome on Tuesday night.
Now to the awards…
Royals Hitter of the Week: Fans have been waiting all season for a breakout from right fielder Alex Rios and it has finally happened. Last week, Rios went 8-for-23 (.348) with a double and an RBI.
Royals Pitcher of the Week: The bullpen has been shaky of late, but Wade Davis earned two saves last week. Over four innings, he allowed three hits and walked two while striking out five.
Minor League Hitter of the Week: After not playing for a week, Casey Kotchman returned to his pre-Pan Am Games form. With the Storm Chasers, he went 10-for-21 (.476) with two doubles and three RBIs. Kotchman also scored four runs.
Honorable Mention: Raul Mondesi has been switching between shortstop and second base on defense, but hasn’t let that ruin his offense. Mondesi went 9-for-24 (.375) with a double, a triple, and six runs scored last week.
Minor League Starter of the Week: It has been a tough season for Legends starter Foster Griffin, but he finally seems to be putting it together. He has won his last three starts (his only wins of the season). Last week, he went 2-0. Over 11 innings, he did allow 12 hits, but only three runs and three walks while striking out eight.
Minor League Reliever of the Week: With September looming, right-hander Michael Mariot is making sure the Royals think of him for a callup. In two games last week (totaling 4.2 innings), Mariot allowed two hits and walked one while striking out five. He did not allow a run.
Streakin’: In the bottom of the ninth on Sunday, Blue Rocks DH/second baseman Carlos Garcia extended his hitting streak to ten games with a triple. Over the last week, he went 8-for-22 (.364) with a double and two triples. The leadoff hitter scored four runs and drove in two.
Naturals utility man Alex Liddi extended his hitting streak to 15 games on Sunday, as he went 9-for-24 (.375) last week. Liddi hit four doubles, drove in four, and scored three runs.