It wasn’t the start to the second half that High-A Wilmington wanted (3-5), but they won their series opener over visiting Winston-Salem, 7-4. The Blue Rocks were down 4-0 heading into the bottom of the third.
The Blue Rocks got on the board in the bottom of the third on back-to-back RBIs (a double by Raul Mondesi and a ground out from Alfredo Escalera) after back-to-back walks to start the inning from the bottom of the order. In the fifth, the Blue Rocks took their first lead on Wander Franco‘s two-run double (after a Samir Duenez RBI double). In that inning, the Blue Rocks had four hits.
That offense came against Dash starter Spencer Adams, who had gone at least seven innings in two starts against the Blue Rocks, one of those being a 91 pitch complete game shutout on June 5th.
In the sixth, the Blue Rocks tacked on some insurance runs against 2016 first round pick Zack Burdi. With one out, Austin Bailey (who walked twice) hit a ground rule double and scored on a two out home run from Mondesi (it was to dead center on a 100 mph pitch).
Starter Colin Rodgers didn’t have his best stuff (ie, he didn’t have his curveball according to manager Jamie Quirk) and made it through just four innings. He also took a grounder off his foot/leg in the fourth.
But the Blue Rocks bullpen put up zeroes and allowed the offense to go to work. Kyle Kubat earned the victory, as he allowed just two hits and a walk over four scoreless innings. Brennan Henry (or Hank or Sparky Lyle as Quirk calls him) earned his second save with a perfect ninth.
“Kyle Kubat was outstanding,” Quirk said after the game. “He gives you four shutout innings and it allows our offense to get into the game and take the lead. That’s the key we talk about it all the time. When you’re bullpen can keep a game in hand and go off that.”
*An interesting note: prior to June 4th, the Blue Rocks and Dash had not played. By July 4th, the two teams will have played 15 times (and not again for the rest of the year).
**The Blue Rocks are the worst offensive team in the Carolina League, having scored just 270 runs (20 runs behind the next closest team). However, they have scored seven runs in two straight games.
You can watch the entire interview with Mondesi below:
How did the rest of the KC Royals full season minor league teams do on this Thursday night?
Triple-A Omaha lost their series opener to Memphis, 5-2.
A four-run fifth for Memphis did in the Storm Chasers and rehabbing starter Kris Medlen. He allowed a solo home run to Randal Grichuk in the fourth and two, two-run homers in the fifth (another to Grichuk). Medlen’s final line looked like this: 5.2IP, 6H, 5R, 2BB, 5K). Malcom Culver followed with 1.1 scoreless innings, before lefty Joe Beimel worked two scoreless.
The Storm Chasers collected nine hits, two each by Hunter Dozier and Tony Cruz.
I will have to keep an eye on Reymond Fuentes, as he was pinch-hit for in the fifth (0-for-2).
Former Storm Chaser Jose Martinez went 0-for-4 with a strikeout while playing left field for the Redbirds.
*In roster news, catcher Allen De San Miguel was added.
Double-A NW Arkansas lost their series opener to Midland, 5-3. The Naturals had a 3-1 lead after four innings.
The longball beat Naturals starter Matt Strahm, as he allowed three home runs accounting for four runs (6IP, 4H, 4R, 2BB, 9K). Evan Beal followed with two scoreless before Aroni Nina allowed an unearned run in the ninth.
The Naturals scored two runs in the bottom of the first on All-Star Frank Schwindel‘s two out double (he went 2-for-4). Ryan O’Hearn, Logan Moon, and Terrance Gore also had two hits in the loss. The Naturals collected ten hits, but hit into four double plays and struck out eight times.
*In roster news, reliever Benino Pruneda and shortstop Humberto Arteaga were officially added. Arteaga went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his Double-A debut (batting seventh and playing shortstop). Catcher Zane Evans was also added from his rehab assignment with Burlington (he pinch-hit and made the final out of the game). Reliever Matt Alvarez was placed on the DL.
Low-A Lexington won their series opener over Rome, 5-4. The Legends scored four runs in the first, but needed a solo home run from Brandon Dulin with two outs in the seventh to break the tie (Dulin had three hits).
Xavier Fernandez hit a two out, three-run home run in the first (one of his two hits).
I will also have to keep an eye on second baseman DJ Burt, as he was pinch-hit for in the fourth (he did steal his 22nd base).
The ball was flying out of Whitaker Ballpark, as the Legends hit two homers and the Braves hit three. Starter Nolan Watson allowed two of them over five innings (5H, 3R, 0BB, 5K). Reid Redman got credited with the win, despite allowing a solo homer in the sixth to tie the game (2IP, 2H, R, BB, 3K). Gabe Cramer earned his first save with two scoreless innings.
*In roster news, reliever Nik Stephenson was released. The Legends also got catcher Nick Dini back from Wilmington.