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 Omaha Storm Chasers

Royals Game Notes

September 1, 2008 - Pacific Coast League (PCL1)
Omaha Storm Chasers News Release

SEPTEMBER 1, 2008, 1:05 p.m.: OMAHA ROYALS (62-81) at Iowa (83-58)

HOME: 30-42 (45-27 in '07) AWAY: 32-39 (28-44 in '07) vs. Iowa: 3-12 (10-6 in '07)

TODAY: The Royals visit Principal Park in Des Moines, taking on the Iowa Cubs at 1:05 p.m. It's the final regular season game of 2008. Iowa leads the series 2-1 and is 12-3 in the season series. The pre-game show airs at 12:45 p.m. on News Talk 1420 KOTK and at

SUNDAY: Kila Ka'aihue's solo home run in the 10th inning lifted the Royals to a 6-5 victory. With 1 out in the top of the 10th, Ka'aihue belted a 1-0 pitch from Justin Berg (4-6) over the right-center field wall. The home run made a winner of Yasuhiko Yabuta (4-3), who blew a save opportunity in the 9th when the Cubs scored 2 runs to tie the contest at 5-all. Brett Richardson retired the Cubs in order in the 10th for his 1st Triple-A save. Trailing 3-2 in the 8th, the Royals took a 5-3 lead on Brett Bigler's 1st Triple-A home run, a 3-run shot off Jesse Estrada. Omaha's Devon Lowery also blew a save chance in the 6th, when Iowa rallied for 2 runs to take a 3-2 lead. Ryan Shealy's solo homer in the 3rd put the Royals on top 2-1.

ROYALS REPORT: Sunday's win snapped the Royals' 10-game losing streak vs. Iowa. The victory, combined with Nashville's game being cancelled by rain in New Orleans, clinched 3rd place for Omaha in the PCL's American Conference North. The Royals lead the Sounds by 1.5 games with 1 game remaining. *** Ka'aihue's home run Sunday was his 11th in 32 games with Omaha and his 37th on the season, tied for 4th-most in the minors. He needs 1 RBI today for 100 on the year. *** Prior to yesterday's comeback win, the Royals were 2-62 this season when trailing after 7 innings, and were 10-22 in games decided in the final at-bat. *** Bigler's 1st homer came in his 16th game with Omaha. He began this season with class-A Wilmington and did not hit a home run in 132 at-bats over 54 games. Over his last 9 Triple-A tilts, he's hitting .370 (10-for-27) with 7 RBI and 5 runs scored. *** Brayan Pena was 0-for-5 Sunday, snapping his hitting streak at 14 games. It was his longest streak of the year and the 3rd-longest for a Royal. Over his last 15 contests, he's batting .333 (19-for-57) with 3 home runs and 9 RBI. *** If Shealy hits a home run today, it will mark the 6th time this season he has homered in at least 2 straight games (had a 3-game streak in April). It would be the 4th time Shealy has turned the trick since August 5-6. *** Brad Salmon made another strong spot start for Omaha yesterday, allowing just 1 unearned run in 5.0 innings and striking out a season-high 7. In his 4 starts this season, Salmon was 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA. He was 6-7 with a 5.18 ERA and 3 saves in 43 relief appearances. *** Josh Labandeira has hit in 6 straight games, going 8-for-22 (.364) with a homer and 4 RBI. *** Chad Spann has hit in 4 straight, going 7-for-15 (.467) to raise his batting average from .250 to .299 after 18 games with Omaha. *** After being retired in his 1st Triple-A at-bat, Jorge Gutierrez has hit in each of the 1st 3 games of this series, going 4-for-11 (.364). *** Omaha went 12-19 in August. Royals batters hit .245 and smacked 35 home runs. The pitching staff had a 4.97 ERA last month and went 7-for-11 in save chances, despite recording 2 blown saves yesterday. *** Mike Aviles was hit by a pitch on his right hand in the 7th inning of KC's 4-2 loss at Detroit on Sunday. He left with a contusion on his index finger. X-rays were negative and his status is listed as day-to-day.

STARTERS: LH Dusty Hughes (3-2, 4.59) vs. LH Jason Stanford (3-0, 4.22)

Hughes makes his 10th start (11th appearance) with Omaha. The 26-year old lefty's last outing was in relief vs. New Orleans last Wednesday. He was not involved in the decision as the Royals won 4-2 (5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR). Hughes has faced Iowa once, getting the start on June 30 at Principal Park. He was not involved in the decision as the Royals lost 3-2 (5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR). He had a memorable Triple-A debut on June 22 at New Orleans, combining with Devon Lowery on a 5-hitter in the Royals' 3-0 victory. Hughes opened this season with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. In 20 games (4 starts) for the Naturals he was 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA and 3 saves. In 2007, Hughes was named by KC as Double-A Wichita's Pitcher of the Year, after he went 6-2 with a 3.08 ERA and 1 save in 25 games (16 starts). In 108.0 innings last year, he surrendered only 5 home runs. Following last season, he was 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 6 starts for the Surprise Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, earning AFL Pitcher of the Year honors in a fan vote. Last year was an impressive rebound by Hughes, who missed the entire 2006 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Entering this season, he was ranked by Baseball America as KC's #28 prospect. On April 12, 2004, he combined with Burlington (IA) reliever Jake Mullis on a no-hitter. In his 1st professional season, he was named the 2003 Pitcher of the Year for the Surprise Royals of the Rookie Arizona League, after going 5-2 and ranking 4th in the league with a 2.84 ERA. Hughes was selected by KC in the 11th round of the 2003 draft out of Delta State University in Mississippi, where he earned all-conference and team MVP honors as a junior and senior. He led the Statesmen to the Division II World Series in both 2001 and 2002. The Tupelo, Mississippi native was selected by the Marlins in the 50th round of the 2002 draft, but did not sign.

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