Royals Clout 6 Homers, Win 8th in a Row
OMAHA, NE - The Omaha Royals belted six home runs Sunday afternoon at Rosenblatt Stadium en route to their eighth straight win, a 10-2 pounding of Round Rock. A crowd of 3,096 fans witnessed the power display, which was the first six-homer game for the Royals since a 17-8 victory at Albuquerque on July 26, 2004. Omaha's eight-game winning streak is the first for the team since 2003. With all of those wins coming on this 9-2 home stand, it marks the first eight-game win string at Rosenblatt since April 2001.
The Royals began taking advantage of a strong wind blowing out towards right field in the first inning, when Kila Ka'aihue hit a two-run homer to right-center for his team-leading tenth round-tripper of the season, giving him ten RBI in the first three games of this series and 33 RBI in 34 games this year. Scott Thorman immediately followed with a home run down the right field line. It marked the first time in 48 games this year that the Royals hit back-to-back jacks.
Omaha turned that trick again in the second inning off Express starter Josh Banks, as David Lough cranked a two-run shot to right-center. Alex Gordon followed with a blast to right for his eighth homer and 22nd RBI in his 25th Triple-A contest. Banks (5-4), who entered the game with a 3.00 ERA, a 4-0 record in his last five starts and only six home runs surrendered in his first ten starts, wound up allowing six runs on nine hits in four innings. He became the first pitcher to yield four homers in a game against Omaha since the 2008 season.
Round Rock reliever T.J. Burton came on to start the bottom of the fifth and was greeted rudely by Ka'aihue, who doubled to right for his third and final hit of the day. One out later, Jordan Parraz was hit by a pitch for the 11th time this season - most in the league. Jai Miller followed with a three-run blast to right for his second extra base hit of the day to give the Royals a 9-0 lead.
Express third baseman Chris Johnson took advantage of the jet stream to right with two outs in the sixth, homering off Royals starter Philip Humber to snap a 22-inning scoreless streak for Royals pitchers in this series. The seventh inning featured the only two taters of the day to left field, as Drew Locke hit his sixth of the year for Round Rock and Omaha's Ed Lucas belted his first Triple-A home run to cap off his third consecutive three-hit game.
Humber (4-3) allowed one run in six innings and got the win to finish May with a 3-1 record and a 2.79 ERA. Chris Hayes pitched two innings of one-run ball and Bryan Bullington finished with a scoreless ninth to trim his ERA to 1.60. Royals pitchers did not record either a walk or a strikeout in the contest. The staff has issued only two free passes in 32 innings over the first three game of this series.
Omaha (27-21), which began the day one-and-a-half games behind first-place Nashville in the American North Division, tries to make it nine wins in a row on Memorial Day. The Royals haven't won as many as nine straight home games since they won eleven consecutive at Rosenblatt in 1998. For the last time Omaha won as many nine straight overall, you have to go back to May 1993 when the Royals put together an eleven-game win string.
The pitching matchup for Monday's 12:05 p.m. game is Round Rock lefty Polin Trinidad (2-2, 4.50) vs. Royals righty Luis Mendoza (3-2, 2.28). ½-price Omaha Steaks burgers are presented by 1110 KFAB.
For tickets, call (402) 738-5100, or print tickets online at www.oroyals.com.
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