Royals Farm Report: April 24

Whittleman drove in five runs on Sunday

The Omaha Storm Chasers and Wilmington Blue Rocks both won on Sunday, each extending their division leads with the victories. Omaha defeated former Royals ace Zack Greinke and the Nashville Sounds, while the Blue Rocks won a slugfest over the Winston-Salem Dash. Kane County was off on Sunday, and the NW Arkansas Naturals were rained out for the third time in four days. Read our report inside.

Triple-A: Omaha 7, Nashville 3

W: Jeff Suppan (2-2, 4.87)
HR: None

Summary: The first place Storm Chasers on Sunday won their seventh straight game, defeating a rehabbing Zack Greinke and the Nashville Sounds, 7-3.

After Nashville plated two runs in the first inning against Omaha starter Jeff Suppan, the Chasers responded with two runs of their own against Greinke in the third. Lorenzo Cain and David Lough hit back-to-back triples, and Lough scored on a sacrifice fly by Eric Hosmer. Greinke exited immediately afterwards, ending his day at 2.2 innings pitched while throwing 32 of his 54 pitches for strikes.

Meanwhile, Suppan settled down after the first inning, holding the Sounds scoreless over the next five frames while the Storm Chasers built a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Every starter except Hosmer recorded at least one hit in Omaha's 10-hit attack. Mike Moustakas (1-for-5) extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

Other Notes: David Lough has hit three triples in the last nine games. The 25-year-old outfielder hit 12 last season for Omaha…After surrendering seven earned runs in his first start, Jeff Suppan has posted a 2.20 ERA over his last three appearances…Lorenzo Cain seems to have rebounded quite well from his dreadful start. The 25-year-old centerfielder has raised his batting average to .263 after going 6-for-13 (.462) over his last three games.

Next Game: Omaha (11-7) can clinch its third straight series win on Monday, squaring up again with Nashville (8-10) for game 3 of their four-game set. Everett Teaford (1-1, 3.27) will start for the Storm Chasers.

Player AB R H RBI AVG Notes
Cain, CF 5 1 2 1 .263 3B (1), K
Lough, RF 5 1 2 2 .299 2B (4), 3B (3), K
Hosmer, 1B 4 0 0 1 .358 SF, K
Moustakas, 3B 5 0 1 0 .239 12-game hitting streak
Robinson, DH 4 2 1 0 .397 2B (6), BB, K
Zawadzki, SS 4 0 1 0 .170 2B (3)
Blanco, LF 1 2 1 1 .250 3 BB, 2B (4), SB (7)
Falu, 2B 4 1 1 0 .242 2 K, E (1)
Pina, C 3 0 1 2 .121 BB, K


Pitcher IP H R ER BB SO HR
ERA
Suppan (W, 2-2) 6.0 3 2 0 0 2 1 4.87
Pucetas (H, 1) 2.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 2.25
Texeira 1.0 2 1 1 1 1 0 9.00





Double-A: NW Arkansas vs. Arkansas – Postponed (rain)

Next Game: At some point, we assume the weather will cooperate and the first place Naturals (8-6) will be able to play again. The club now heads north for a four-game series with the Springfield Cardinals (6-10). On Monday, the Naturals will send Edgar Osuna (2-0, 4.38) to the mound for his third start of the season.

Texas League North Division Standings

CLUB
W
L
PCT
GB
NW Arkansas
8
6
.571
--
Tulsa
9
7
.563
--
Arkansas
7
7
.500
1.0
Springfield
6
10
.375
3.0





High-A: Wilmington 11, Winston-Salem 10

W: Elisaul Pimentel (2-0, 7.53)
S: Ryan Dennick (1)
HR: John Whittleman (3), Nick Francis (4), Tim Ferguson (2)

Summary: The first place Wilmington Blue Rocks banged out 16 hits – including three home runs – en route to prevailing in a slugfest over the Winston-Salem Dash.

The Rocks struck quickly, plating three runs in the first inning and four more in the second as they built an early 7-1 lead. The Dash chipped away at that lead with two runs in both the second and fourth innings before making things really interesting with four tallies against reliever Kevin Chapman in the seventh. In the end, a solo home run by Tim Ferguson proved to be the difference in the final score.

John Whittleman was the offensive star for Wilmington, finishing 3-for-4 with a double and a second inning grand slam. Nick Francis homered for the second straight game, and he scored four runs in the Blue Rocks' triumph.

Other Notes: Nick Francis has homered in four of his last seven games, including three of the last four. The big outfielder has hit safely in nine straight games and is batting .316/.316/.789 over his last 10…Royals Corner recently profiled Rocks pitcher Michael Mariot, thanks to some comments and observations from the outstanding Wilmington announcer John Sadak. You can read the piece here…Ryan Dennick earned his first save of the season despite surrendering his first run of the season on a ninth inning solo home run.

Next Game: Wilmington (11-5) now heads to Lynchburg for a four-game series with the Hillcats (4-11). On Monday, the Blue Rocks send Tim Melville (1-2, 5.02) to the mound for his fourth start of the season.

Player AB R H RBI AVG Notes
Merrifield, LF 5 0 2 1 .298 HBP, K
McClure, SS 5 2 2 0 .148 K, CS (2)
Navarro, 2B 4 2 1 0 .393 HBP
Francis, RF 5 4 3 2 .250 HR (4), 2B (5), SB (2), E (3)
Whittleman, 3B 4 1 3 5 .271 GS HR (3), 2B (4)
Ferguson, CF 3 1 1 2 .196 HR (2), BB, K, HBP
Bonilla, C 5 0 1 1 .167  
Lewis, 1B 5 1 3 0 .295 3 2B (4), K
Batista, DH 5 0 0 0 .178 2 K


Pitcher IP H R ER BB SO HR
ERA
E. Pimentel (W, 2-0) 6.0 6 5 5 1 5 2 7.53
Chapman 2.0 4 4 3 3 1 0 5.68
Dennick (S, 1) 1.0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1.59





Low-A: Scheduled Off-day

Next Game: The Cougars (7-10) on Monday begin a three-game road series with the Cedar Rapids Kernels (10-6). Sugar Ray Marimon (0-1, 5.54) is slated to start the series opener for Kane County.

Midwest League Western Division Standings

CLUB
W
L
PCT
GB
Burlington
12
3
.800
--
Cedar Rapids
10
6
.625
2.5
Beloit
8
6
.571
3.5
Peoria
8
8
.500
4.5
Quad Cities
7
9
.438
5.5
Kane County
7
10
.412
6.0
Wisconsin
5
8
.385
6.0
Clinton
5
12
.294
8.0

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