April 18th Minors Recap

Triple-A Omaha lost their series opener in Round Rock, 5-4 in 11 innings. The Express won on a bases loaded wild pitch by Yender Caramo.

omahaThe Storm Chasers out-hit the Express, 12-10, but went 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Peter O’Brien gave Omaha a short-lived lead in the seventh with a solo home run (2-for-6). Jorge Bonifacio and Corey Toups each had three hits in the loss.

Josh Staumont got the start for Omaha and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks over five innings. He struck out seven. Lefty Matt Strahm struck out two in his scoreless inning of relief, needing just 12 pitches. Kevin McCarthy rebounded from a rough start to the season with 1.1 scoreless innings of relief.

*In roster news, right-hander Jake Junis was optioned back to Omaha and will start tomorrow afternoon’s game. Utility man Whit Merrifield was called up to the big leagues, where he started in right field tonight. He is currently 2-for-3 with a solo home run off SF Giants starter Matt Cain (the KC Royals lost in 11 innings). Infielder Carlos Diaz was added to the roster (he was thrown out trying to steal as a pinch runner in the 11th inning), with reliever Mark Peterson being “sent” to Idaho Falls.


Double-A NW Arkansas lost their series in Corpus Christi, losing the finale, 10-9. The Naturals now return home for an eight-game homestand beginning Thursday.

The Naturals blew a 7-6 lead after four innings and still had a chance in the ninth. Mauricio Ramos hit a two-run home run in the ninth and the Naturals had the tying run on second base with no outs, but could not come up with the big hit (Terrance Gore also failed on the sac bunt attempt).

The Naturals collected 13 hits, with Ramos and Ruben Sosa having three hits each. Sosa doubled twice. Leadoff hitter Donnie Dewees and Frank Schwindel each had two hits in the loss.

It was another rough start for Matt Tenuta, who has yet to pitch more than 4.1 innings in three outings this season. On Tuesday night, he allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits and three walks over three innings. Tenuta left with a runner on base in the fourth, but Ashton Goudeau allowed the run to score and then two more in the fifth to take the loss and drop to 0-2. Tim Hill and Evan Beal each allowed a run on two hits in their inning each of work.

*Former Royal Kyle Smith got the start for the Hooks: 2.2IP, 6H, 4R, 2BB, 2K.


Nicky Lopez

Blue Rocks shortstop Nicky Lopez on April 8, 2017 (Jen Nevius).

High-A Wilmington blew a 5-1 lead, losing in walk off fashion in Salem, 6-5. The Blue Rocks and Red Sox finish up their series on Wednesday night.

Yunior Marte started the ninth trying for his second save of the season, having not allowed a run so far in 2017. The Red Sox started the inning with a single and a sac bunt. A single to center tied the game and the ensuing poor throw home put the winning run in scoring position. A stolen base followed, with Salem winning on a sac fly.

There were some positives in the loss. Blue Rocks leadoff hitter Nicky Lopez went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored. He is in the midst of a 12-game on-base streak, along with teammates DJ Burt (0-for-4, BB) and Roman Collins (2-for-3).

Reliever Jake Kalish continued his dominant start to the 2017 season, with two scoreless innings. He allowed a hit and struck out two.


Low-A Lexington lost to Greenville, 3-2. The Drive scored two runs in the sixth to take the lead. The two teams finish up their series tomorrow morning.

All of the Drive’s runs came via the long ball against Legends starter Gerson Garabito (1-1). Garabito allowed a solo home run in the first and a two-run shot in the sixth. Overall, he allowed just three hits and struck out five over seven innings. Grant Gavin followed with two scoreless innings.

The Legends tied the game in the bottom of the first on a Chris DeVito RBI single (2-for-4 with a double). They took the lead in the third on Khalil Lee‘s solo homer. The Legends went just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

About Jen Nevius

I first became a KC Royals fan way back in 1995 when I attended my first Wilmington Blue Rocks game. I fell in love with minor league baseball then and began following the Royals as former Blue Rocks clawed their way to the big leagues. 3+ years ago I started covering the Royals for Aerys Sports, but since the site has been shut down, I am going out on my own.
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