Around the Minors: April 9

The Royals' four full season minor league affiliates opened the season on Thursday, but only the Wilmington Blue Rocks managed to win their game, topping the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 9-2. RC recaps the day's minor league action inside.

Low-A:

Clinton 6, Burlington 3

Third baseman Kyle Martin put the Bees on top early with an RBI triple in the bottom of the first inning, but Clinton stormed back with two runs in the top of the second to take a lead they never relinquished. The Bees mounted a small rally and scored two runs in the sixth inning, including one on an RBI single by first baseman Eric Hosmer, who was making his Low-A debut. Unfortunately, the Bees wouldn't get on the board again as they fell to Clinton, 6-3. Bryan Casey started the game for the Bees and went three innings, surrendering two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five. The Bees used four relievers to finish out the game, but the bullpen surrendered the final four runs in six innings of work. Offensively, Hosmer went 1-for-4 in his debut, and left fielder Nick Van Stratten was 1-for-3 with two runs scored. Right fielder Nick Francis was 2-for-4 with a triple.

High-A:


Wilmington 9, Myrtle Beach 2

The Blue Rocks received stellar pitching in their opener, which kept the game close until the Rocks exploded for eight runs in the final two frames. Alex Caldera made his High-A debut and pitched very well, going four strong innings while striking out five and allowing just one run on one hit. Chris Chavez followed and picked up the win after surrendering just one run in three innings, and Brandon Sisk picked up the save with two scoreless innings to finish out the game. Trailing 2-1, Wilmington took the lead with two runs in the eighth. First baseman Clint Robinson stroked a double to lead off the inning, and after catcher Ryan Eigsti walked, both runners advanced on a balk. Adrian Ortiz knocked in pinch runner Anthony Seratelli with a sac fly, and Derrick Robinson followed with an RBI single to center, scoring Eigsti. With a 3-2 lead, the Rocks sent 10 batters to the plate in the ninth, taking control of the game with the help of three Pelican errors, a passed ball, and a pair of walks. On the night, Derrick Robinson went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a walk, and two stolen bases, and Clint Robinson finished 2-for-3. Second baseman Johnny Giavotella was 1-for-4 with two RBIs, and both Mike Moustakas and Jeff Bianchi contributed RBIs despite being held hitless.

Double-A:

San Antonio 7, NW Arkansas 2

Dan Cortes' first start of 2009 didn't go very well, as the Naturals fell to the Missions, 7-2. Despite striking out six batters, the young right-handed picked up the loss after surrendering five runs (all earned) on six hits and two walks in three innings pitched. The Naturals' trailed the entire game, and the offense stranded 10 runners while managing just six hits on the night. Both DH Cody Strait and first baseman Brian McFall went 2-for-4, and centerfielder Jose Duarte and second baseman Kurt Mertins were 1-for-4. The Naturals committed five errors in the opener, including two by right fielder Jordan Parraz. The club will look to get back on track on Friday against the Missions, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 CST.

Triple-A:

Albuquerque 14, Omaha 8

The O-Royals were on the losing end of a slugfest on Thursday, falling to the Albuquerque Isotopes, 14-8. Starting pitcher Brian Bannister's quest to return to the big leagues suffered a setback, as the right-hander surrendered five runs on nine hits while failing to get out of the fifth inning. After giving up single runs in the first three innings, Bannister began the fifth by surrendering a leadoff walk and a double, and Tim Hamulack was summoned from the bullpen. Hamulack allowed both runners to score, along with four earned runs of his own in the inning, and he was pulled after retiring just one hitter. In all, the Isotopes plated seven runs in the fifth to take a commanding 10-4 lead. Offensively, outfielders Mitch Maier and Chris Lubanski both had excellent games. Maier went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs, and Lubanski was 2-for-4, including a big three-run home run in the fourth inning. First baseman Kila Ka'aihue was 0-for-4 in his 2009 debut.

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