Fresh off a four-game sweep of the Iowa Cubs, the Omaha Royals returned home to begin a new series against Oklahoma City. Starting pitcher Philip Humber kept the Redhawks off balance all night with excellent breaking stuff while the offense scraped together four runs. The Royals went on to win 4-2.
Humber, who was working on a 75-90 pitch limit because he’s just coming off the disabled list with a tired arm, ended up throwing 91 pitches – 67 of which were strikes. He got ahead of hitters often and then used his breaking pitches to get guys out. He gave up just two singles and he struck out seven.
Omaha scored their first run in the fourth inning when Jordan Parraz reached first on a fielding error by third baseman Emerson Frostad, allowing Kila Ka’aihue to score from third. They scored again in the sixth inning on an RBI single up the middle by Ed Lucas. And they scored two more runs in the seventh inning – one coming off a solo home run that Scott Thorman blasted to right field and the other coming off an RBI triple down the right field line by David Lough.
Redhawks pitchers had a hard time keeping Lough off the bases all night. He ended up going 3-for-4. Mark Maddox also had three hits.
Relief pitcher Blake Johnson made his Omaha Royals, and Triple-A, debut in the eighth inning and it didn’t go the way he was hoping. He gave up one earned run on two hits and a walk in his inning of work. The Redhawks also scored an unearned run in the eighth.
Johnson was just promoted from Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He was only able to make two appearances there however due to a blister problem on his pitching hand and that led to him being placed on the disabled list. Johnson was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2004 draft.
Omaha manager Mike Jirschele turned to Greg Holland for the save in the ninth with a two-run lead. Blake Wood, the Royals closer, was unavailable after being used extensively in Des Moines over the weekend. Holland sat the Redhawks down in order for the save.
The Royals have now won five straight games and are in sole possession of second place in the PCL American North, four games behind division leading Nashville.
The series continues tomorrow night at 6:35 pm at Rosenblatt. Gaby Hernandez (2-1, 6.49) is scheduled to start for Omaha. He’ll go up against Derek Holland (3-1, 0.53).
In other news, the Royals have made several roster moves:
- The Royals traded pitcher Carlos Rosa to Arizona for shortstop Rey Navarro. The Kansas City Star reported that one club official said Rosa didn’t have an out pitch and he had the lowest strike percentage in Omaha.
- Kansas City recalled infielder Mike Aviles.
- Kansas City optioned Alex Gordon to Omaha and announced they want him to learn to play left field in Omaha and they also want him to log some time at first base.
- The Royals sold the contract of pitcher Roman Colon to the Kia Tigers in Korea.
Finally, Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore was at Rosenblatt on Monday to watch Omaha play. According to Omaha general manager Martie Cordaro, Moore was in town as a routine visit. Moore likes to visit the various minor league affiliates from time to time. He’s expected to be in town through Wednesday.