Royals Farm Report: April 8

Christian Colon is off to a hot start in Double-A

The Royals' affiliates split their four games on Friday night, with the Kane County Cougars and Northwest Arkansas Naturals earning their first victories of the year. Inside, RC recaps the day's minor league action, complete with full box scores highlighting the performances of the Royals' prospects.

Triple-A: Albuquerque 10, Omaha 6

L: Jeff Suppan (0-1, 15.75)
HR: None

Omaha starter Jeff Suppan was battered for seven runs on seven hits over four innings as the Storm Chasers lost to the Albuquerque Isotopes, 10-6. The ‘Topes jumped on the veteran right-hander immediately, plating four runs in the first inning and two more in the second while building a 6-1 lead.

The Storm Chasers – who scored a run in the top of the first on an Eric Hosmer RBI single – rallied back in the third, plating three runs. Hosmer kicked things off with a line drive double off the center field wall, and after Mike Moustakas moved him to third with a single, Clint Robinson – who homered twice on Thursday – blasted a two-run double off the top of the right-center wall. Johnny Giavotella then drove in Robinson on an RBI single.

The two clubs traded single tallies in the fourth before the Chasers made it a one-run ballgame in the fifth, when Giavotella scored on an RBI single by Paulo Orlando. Unfortunately, that was as close as Omaha would get. In the bottom of the sixth, Albuquerque scored three runs off reliever Luis Mendoza, pushing their advantage to 10-6. Omaha's bullpen performed well in the last three frames, holding the Isotopes scoreless, but the offense couldn't rally. Louis Coleman tossed a perfect eighth, striking out the side on 12 pitches.

Omaha (0-2) and Albuquerque (2-0) meet up again on Saturday night, with Danny Duffy scheduled to make his Triple-A debut for the Storm Chasers.

Other Notes: Lee Warren of omahabaseball360.com reported via Twitter prior to the game that David Lough – who was injured in an outfield collision on Thursday night – "could play tonight if needed, but [Omaha manager Mike] Jirschele wants to give him the day off." Good news.

Player AB R H RBI AVG Notes
Falu, RF 5 0 1 0 .429 K
Zawadzki, SS 5 1 1 0 .100 3B (1)
Hosmer, 1B 5 1 3 1 .500 2B (1), K, E (1)
Moustakas, 3B 4 1 1 0 .222 BB, 2 K, 2 E (3)
Robinson, DH 5 1 1 2 .333 2B (1), K
Giavotella, 2B 4 1 3 1 .444  
Blanco, LF 3 0 0 0 .167 BB, SB (1), GIDP
Pina, C 0 1 0 0 .250 3 BB, SAC
Orlando, CF 3 0 1 1 .286 SAC, GIDP


Pitcher IP H R ER BB SO HR
ERA
Suppan (L, 0-1) 4.0 7 7 7 3 2 2 15.75
Mendoza 2.0 0 3 1 3 1 0 4.50
Chavez 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
Coleman 1.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0.00





Double-A: NW Arkansas 5, San Antonio 4 (11 innings)

W: Eric Basurto (1-0, 0.00)
HR: None

They needed 11 innings to do it, but the NW Arkansas Naturals got their first win of the season in walk-off style, defeating the San Antonio Missions, 5-4. With one out in the bottom of the 11th, Nick Van Stratten singled home pinch runner Anthony Seratelli for the winning score.

John Lamb made his 2011 debut, pitching three innings while surrendering two runs (both earned) on four hits and a pair of walks. After laboring through the third inning, the young southpaw was lifted after throwing 63 pitches. Mario Santiago entered the game and was fantastic, limiting the Missions to just two hits over four frames while fanning five. His performance allowed the offense to build a 4-2 lead, thanks to a two-run double by Christian Colon in the bottom of the fifth.

The Missions tied the game in the eighth off Patrick Keating, who allowed a two-out, two-run home run to Cody Decker. The score remained knotted at 4-4 until Van Stratten delivered the game-winner in the 11th.

The Naturals (1-1) and Missions (1-1) square up again for their rubber match on Saturday evening. Will Smith is scheduled to start for NW Arkansas.

Player AB R H RBI AVG Notes
Robinson, CF 4 1 2 0 .250 BB, 2 SB (3), BB, K, PO
Colon, SS 3 1 2 2 .571 2B (1), BB, HBP, 2 SB (2)
Myers, RF 4 1 1 0 .250 BB, 2 K, SB (1), GIDP
Romak, 1B 5 0 1 1 .111 2 K
Bianchi, 2B 4 0 0 1 .167 2 K, SF
Perez, C 4 0 0 0 .000 BB, K
Smith, DH 4 0 0 0 .000 BB, K
Lisson, 3B 5 1 2 0 .400 2B (1), K
Van Stratten, LF 5 0 2 1 .375 3B (1), GW RBI


Pitcher IP H R ER BB SO HR
ERA
Lamb 3.0 4 2 2 2 2 0 6.00
Santiago 4.0 2 0 0 0 5 0 0.00
Keating (BS, 1) 1.0 3 2 2 0 1 1 18.00
Baumann 2.0 2 0 0 2 1 0 0.00
Basurto (W, 1-0) 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0.00





High A: Myrtle Beach 3, Wilmington 1

L: Tim Melville (0-1, 6.75)
HR: None

The Wilmington Blue Rocks offense struggled in their season opener on Friday night, scoring just a single run on five hits in a 3-1 loss to Myrtle Beach.

The Pelicans did all of their damage in the first inning against starter Tim Melville, plating three runs on four hits, a walk, and a hit batter. Melville settled down after that, holding the Texas Rangers' High-A affiliate scoreless over the next three frames. He gave way to the bullpen in the fifth, with Manauris Baez and Ryan Dennick combining for four shutout innings.

The Blue Rocks scored their lone run in the top of the eighth. After Joey Lewis singled to lead off the inning, Deivy Batista drilled a double to center. With runners on second and third, shortstop Alex McClure lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Lewis. Unfortunately, that was all the offense the ‘Rocks could manage.

Wilmington (0-1) and Myrtle Beach (1-0) go again on Saturday evening, with hard-throwing right-hander Tyler Sample scheduled to make his High-A debut for the Blue Rocks.

Other Notes: Prior to the game, the Blue Rocks placed outfielder Adrian Ortiz and pitchers Glenn Gibson and Julio Pimentel on the club's 7-day disabled list.

Player AB R H RBI AVG Notes
Merrifield, LF 4 0 0 0 .000 3 K
McClure, SS 3 0 0 1 .000 SF, K
Navarro, 2B 3 0 1 0 .333 BB
Francis, RF 4 0 0 0 .000 3 K, OF Assist
Whittleman, 1B 4 0 1 0 .250 2 K
Ferguson, CF 4 0 0 0 .000 K
Graterol, C 4 0 1 0 .250 2 K
Lewis, DH 3 1 1 0 .333 2 K
Batista, 3B 3 0 1 0 .333 2B (1), 2 K


Pitcher IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Melville (L, 0-1) 4.0 8 3 3 3 0 0 6.75
Baez 3.0 5 0 0 1 2 0 0.00
Dennick 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00





Low-A: Kane County 7, Wisconsin 6

W: Matt Mitchell (1-0, 0.00)
HR: None

The Kane County Cougars on Friday night earned their first victory of the season, defeating the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, 7-6. The Cougars jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning, thanks in part to a two-run double by Alex Llanos.

The Timber Rattlers struck back in the bottom of the third, touching Kane County starter Sugar Ray Marimon for a pair of runs on a two-run homer by Reggie Keen. The score stayed 3-2 until the top of the fifth, when the Cougars struck for four runs on four hits and a pair of walks. Llanos led off the inning with a triple and scored on a single by Brett Eibner. Brian Fletcher followed with a two-run double. After a Murray Watts groundout, Geulin Beltre singled home Fletcher to push the Cougars' lead to 7-2.

Wisconsin promptly responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Marimon loaded the bases with nobody out on two walks and a single before being lifted for reliever Matt Mitchell, who allowed all three runners to score. After surrendering three singles, however, Mitchell settled down and tossed a scoreless sixth inning, ultimately earning the win. Chase Boruff and Chaz Byrne combined to pitch three solid innings in relief to preserve the victory, with Byrne earning his first save.

The Cougars (1-1) and Timber Rattlers (1-1) meet up for game three of their four-game set on Saturday afternoon. Leondy Perez is scheduled to make his 2011 debut for Kane County.

Other Notes: The news for the Cougars wasn't all good on Friday. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Eibner made an outstanding diving catch in center to end the inning. Unfortunately, he had to leave the game. Scout.com's David Malamut speculated on Twitter that he may have injured his right wrist on the play. It was also his right wrist that kept him out of action after he signed last summer, so hopefully the injury isn't too serious.
UPDATE: Eibner reports via Twitter that he injured his thumb, not his wrist. No word yet on the extent of the damage. -RC

Player AB R H RBI AVG Notes
Llanos, RF-CF 5 1 2 2 .222 2B (1), 3B (1)
Franco, 3B 4 1 0 0 .125 BB
Eibner, CF 3 1 1 1 .333 BB, K -- left game in 8th (wrist)
Stovall, LF 1 0 0 0 .000 Entered in 8th
Fletcher, LF-RF 5 1 1 2 .222 2B (1), K
Watts, 1B 2 0 0 0 .000 2 BB, K
Beltre, DH 4 1 2 1 .500 K, CS (1)
Espinal, 2B 2 0 1 0 .167 2 BB, K, CS (1)
Jones, C 4 1 0 0 .000 K, E (1)
Hall, SS 2 1 0 0 .000 2 BB, K


Pitcher IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Marimon 4.0 5 5 5 3 2 1 11.25
Mitchell (W, 1-0) 2.0 3 0 0 1 3 0 0.00
Boruff (H, 1) 2.0 3 1 1 0 4 0 4.50
Byrne (S, 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00


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