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PLAYER OF THE DAY: Scott Lucas (AZR) – 3-for-3, HR (1), 3 R, 5 RBI, SB (7)
Omaha 1 vs. Nashville 2
The Nashville Sounds snapped Omaha's four-game winning streak, as starting pitcher Kyle Middleton took the loss after allowing two earned runs on seven hits over 5.2 innings pitched. Omaha jumped in front early with Shane Costa's first inning solo home run, but that was all the offense the O-Royals could manage. Costa went 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 16 games, and he's now homered in three straight. On the mound, both Leo Nunez and Ryan Braun registered quality outings in relief. Nunez threw two scoreless innings while striking out a pair, lowering his ERA to 1.64 in 22 innings pitched since his promotion from Wichita. Braun pitched the final 1.1 innings, surrendering one hit and no runs while striking out a batter. In three Triple-A outings since his promotion last week, Braun has yet to allow a run.
Leo Nunez has been excellent since his promotion to Omaha
Wichita 1 vs. Springfield 16
It was an ugly night for the Wranglers, as they found themselves on the wrong side of a Texas League whoopin'. Starting pitcher Seung Song got knocked around for eight runs (seven earned) over five innings pitched, and Juan Cedeno wasn't much better in relief, yielding five runs on four hits and two walks in 2.1 IP. Alex Gordon's batting average fell to .297 after he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, but both Billy Butler and SS Angel Sanchez were 1-for-3 with a walk. Sanchez also stole his seventh base of the year. Catcher Adam Donachie, however, has been struggling since his promotion to Wichita last week. Donachie tonight went 0-for-3, and his batting average now stands at .176.
Donachie is an excellent defensive catcher, but is struggling with the bat in Double-A
High Desert 3 at Lancaster 4
Mavs' starting pitcher Daniel Christensen went the distance but picked up his sixth loss of the season after allowing four earned runs on six hits (including two home runs) and three walks. Christensen's ERA dropped to 5.51 with the outing, but he's having a particularly rough time with the thin air of the California League. He's still a very highly-rated prospect, and his peripheral numbers aren't bad, but his 19 home runs allowed leads all California League pitchers. Christensen is a primary example of how difficult it is to evaluate a pitcher in the California League. His ERA now stands at 5.51, but he's struck out 115 batters (while walking just 34) in 112.2 innings pitched, and he's among the top five in the Cal League in both categories. Despite his 1-6 record and inflated ERA, RC still thinks very highly of Christensen, and we're looking forward to seeing what he does once he escapes hitter's paradise.
Don't let Christensen's record and ERA fool you
At the plate, CF Juan Senreiso went 4-for-5 with two doubles (15) and a stolen base (15), and 1B Mike Stodolka was 1-for-5. High Desert's loss, combined with Lake Elsinore's win, means the Mavs now trail the Storm by 2.5 games.
Burlington 4 at Fort Wayne 2
Starting pitcher Mario Santiago (2-2, 4.43 ERA), the Royals' 16th round pick in the 2005 draft, got the victory after pitching 5.2 innings while allowing two runs on seven hits. CF Jose Duarte paced the offense by going 2-for-4 with his fourth triple of the season, a stolen base (19), and an RBI. He also logged another outfield assist, this time gunning out a runner at the plate. 2B Josh Johnson was 1-for-3 with a walk and his second home run of the season.
Idaho Falls 13, 5 at Billings 1, 4
The Chukars swept a doubleheader on Tuesday night. In the first game, 2006 12th round pick Everett Teaford improved his record to 3-0, surrendering just one run (unearned) on three hits while striking out three. Teaford, a LHP out of Georgia Southern University, has been excellent thus far in his professional career, logging a 2.42 ERA in 22.1 IP. SS Chris McConnell followed up his excellent 2006 Pioneer League debut by going 2-for-3 with a triple and two more RBIs, and he's now 4-for-8 since his return to Idaho Falls. 2B Kurt Mertins continued his offensive tear, going 2-for-4 (current BA: .450) with a double (3), two runs, a walk, a stolen base (6), and an RBI. Catcher Matt Morizio, the Royals' 17th round pick this year, was 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored, and an RBI.
In the second game, fifth rounder Jason Godin got the start but picked up a no-decision after surrendering three earned runs on 10 hits in 4.1 IP. Marc Maddox played second base in the nightcap, going 3-for-4 with his eighth double of the season. CF Joe Dickerson continued his power surge, going 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs and his third home run in four days. He also stole his fifth base of the season, and his batting average is now up to .325.
Arizona League Royals 10 at Arizona League Rangers 8
The Arizona Royals had a nice offensive outburst, and a couple of struggling outfielders had big games. CF Derrick Robinson, this year's fourth round pick, went 2-for-5 with a double (2), SB (6), and two runs while raising his batting average to .214. RF Nick Van Stratten (current BA: .257) was 3-for-5 with three runs, a stolen base (7), and his first two doubles of the season. And of course, 1B Scott Lucas nabbed our "Player-of-the-Day" designation after going 3-for-3 with a home run and five RBIs. Though Lucas isn't much of a prospect, the 24-year-old does have an interesting story. Lucas was born in Kansas City, and after playing baseball for the University of Arizona, he returned to Missouri to play for the independent Frontier League's Mavericks in Columbia in 2004. Last year, he spent some time playing for the T-Bones before being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Twins. We can't find any record of him ever playing in an affiliated game with the Twins, but somehow he wound up in the Royals' organization this year.
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Daily Minor League Update - 7/19
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