Around the Minors: April 13

Monday was a successful day for Royals' affiliates, as all the clubs that played won their games. Wilmington second baseman Johnny Giavotella tied a franchise record with seven RBIs in a 3-for-4 performance for the Blue Rocks, while Omaha won its fourth straight game behind another impressive offensive showing. Inside, RC recaps all of Monday's action around the Royals' minor league system.

Low-A:

Rain in the Chicago area on Monday forced the postponement of the Burlington Bees' game against Kane County. The two teams try again on Tuesday afternoon, and a double-header has been scheduled for Wednesday to make up for Monday's rainout.

High-A:

Wilmington 9, Kinston 1

Second baseman Johnny Giavotella, who entered the game with just two hits in 14 at bats, was the hero on Monday as the Blue Rocks took the first of a four-game set with the Kinston Indians. Giavotella slammed two home runs, including a grand slam in the seventh inning, while going 3-for-4 with a franchise record-tying seven RBIs. That offense was all the Rocks' pitchers needed, as starting pitcher Everett Teaford did well in his first outing of the season, pitching into the fifth inning while surrendering just three hits and one run and striking out six batters. Chris Chavez entered the game in the fifth in relief, and he picked up the win with 2.2 scoreless innings before handing off to Brandon Sisk and Kelvin Villa, who each pitched scoreless innings to close out the game. At the plate, both catcher Ryan Eigsti and right fielder Adrian Ortiz were 1-for-3 with two runs scored, and first baseman Clint Robinson was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. The first pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 6:00 PM (CST), with Alex Caldera on the mound for Wilmington.

Double-A:

Northwest Arkansas 8, Corpus Christi 4

The Naturals used six hits in the eighth inning to break open a tie game in the eighth by scoring four unanswered runs. In the process, the Nats won their second game in a row against the Hooks, and are assured of winning the three-game series. At the plate, right fielder Jordan Parraz paced the offense with a 2-for-3 night and two RBIs. Second baseman Kurt Mertins and centerfielder Cody Strait also chipped in two hits apiece, as the Naturals banged out 11 hits. Matt Kniginyzky got the start for Northwest Arkansas, and the 26-year-old right-hander did well in his Double-A debut, pitching five strong innings and striking out a pair of hitters while allowing three runs on five hits. He turned over a one-run lead to the bullpen, but southpaw Carlos Sencion surrendered the tying run in the seventh inning. However, Sencion was otherwise excellent, and he closed out the game's final four innings while picking up the win. The Naturals go for their first sweep of the season on Tuesday, with Dan Cortes likely on the mound making his second start of the season.

Triple-A:

Omaha 8, Round Rock 4

The big league club may be having trouble scoring runs, but the same cannot be said of the Royals' Triple-A affiliate. On Monday, the O-Royals scored eight more runs while winning their fourth straight game. So far this season, Omaha (4-1) has crossed the plate at least eight times in every game, and through five games, the club leads the Pacific Coast League in runs and team OPS by wide margins. On Monday, the O-Royals knocked out 10 hits and drew eight walks, with catcher J.R. House, third baseman Travis Metcalf, and DH Ryan Shealy each contributing two hits apiece. Shealy added three RBIs, and shortstop Luis Hernandez plated a pair with a two-out single in the seventh inning. With his 1-for-3 effort on Monday, left fielder Chris Lubanski has hit safely in every game thus far this season, and the 24-year old is hitting .450 in 20 at bats. On the mound, Bruce Chen made his first start of the season and was excellent, pitching 5.1 innings while surrendering just three hits and two runs (one earned). Roman Colon picked up the win in relief with 2.2 effective innings, and Dusty Hughes closed out the game by allowing one run in his inning of work. The O-Royals match up with Round Rock for game two on Tuesday, with Brian Bannister on the hill looking to rebound from his rough outing last Thursday.


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