There were a series of firsts for the KC Royals minor league affiliates on Thursday. Two teams played their first road games, while another played their home opener.
But let’s start with Triple-A Omaha, who won their third straight over Round Rock, this time by a 3-0 score. The two teams finish up their series tomorrow night.
Three Storm Chasers pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout. It started with Josh Staumont, who earned his first Triple-A victory. Staumont allowed the lone hit, walked two, and struck out 12 over the first six innings. He threw 92 pitches, 58 for strikes. Staumont struck out the side in the third and fourth innings. The Express picked up their lone hit with two outs in the fifth (a single by Ronald Guzman).
Lefty Matt Strahm struck out three in two innings before Bobby Parnell earned his first save with a scoreless ninth. He walked one and struck out one.
Jorge Bonifacio broke the scoreless tie in the fourth with an RBI double. Ramon Torres singled in a run in the seventh and Bubba Starling hit a solo home run in the eighth (his first of the season).
Double-A NW Arkansas played their first road game, but lost in San Antonio, 5-4 in 14 innings.
After striking out two in his first Double-A inning of the season, just activated lefty Luis Rico took the loss. He hit the first batter of the fourth and after two walks, allowed a walk off RBI infield single with one out.
It was the first runs allowed by the Naturals since the 4th inning. Starter Matt Tenuta allowed four runs on six hits and a walk over 4.1 innings. He struck out six. Lefty Tim Hill followed with two scoreless innings (one hit and a strikeout). Pedro Fernandez worked around a hit and a walk in his one inning of work. Reid Redman struck out four over 2.2 perfect innings of relief before Jake Newberry worked around two walks in his two scoreless innings of work.
The Naturals collected 11 hits, worked four walks, and stole four bases. However, they went just 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position. They also hit into two double plays. Alfredo Escalera went 3-for-7 with an RBI and a run scored. Samir Duenez, Frank Schwindel, and Humberto Arteaga each had two hits in the loss. Duenez tripled in a run in the first and Schwindel followed with an RBI single in the first. Arteaga stole his first base of the season.
Terrance Gore made his season debut with the Naturals and went 1-for-5 with a run scored and a strikeout. He was replaced on defense in the bottom of the 12th inning by Logan Moon.
*In roster news, infielder Carlos Diaz was “sent” to Idaho Falls.
High-A Wilmington, also playing their first road game, lost in Potomac, 6-4. Both teams scored runs in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.
Scott Blewett allowed all six runs (five earned) on nine hits, three walks, and a hit batter over 4.1 innings. In taking the loss, he struck out two, but allowed two home runs.
The Blue Rocks bullpen was stellar, as Jake Kalish pitched 2.2 perfect innings. He struck out four. Jacob Bodner made his season debut with a scoreless inning.
The Blue Rocks collected nine hits, but hit into two double plays. Six of the hits came from the top three in the order. Two-hole hitter DJ Burt went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Elier Hernandez went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Wander Franco went 2-for-4 with his second triple of the season.
Low-A Lexington won their home opener over West Virginia, 14-5 as almost 7,000 were in attendance.
The Legends scored a run in the first on a wild pitch and added four more in the 2nd inning. Back-to-back two out run-scoring doubles by Khalil Lee (2-for-5) and Gabriel Cancel (2-for-4) capped the scoring in the second. Angelo Castellano capped the Legends six-run 4th inning with a two out, three-run home run (2-for-4).
Kort Peterson went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Chris DeVito, Nick Dini, and Marten Gasparini each had two hits in the win.
Starter Gerson Garabito picked up his first win of the season. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks over five innings. Garabito struck out seven. Vance Tatum allowed a run on two hits and three walks over 2.2 innings before Julio Pinto got out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth.