Royals Win 5-1 as Express Skid Hits Eight
OMAHA, NE - The Omaha Royals took their third straight from Round Rock Wednesday, defeating the Express 5-1 on a rainy night in a contest witnessed by 5,740 fans. With Memphis defeating New Orleans 7-4 and Iowa trailing by a large margin in the late innings as of this report at Albuquerque, the PCL American North could have the Redbirds and Cubs tied for first and the Royals two games out, with five games remaining in the season.
The penultimate regular season game at Rosenblatt was scoreless until the fifth and it was the pivotal inning of the contest. In the top of the fifth, Round Rock loaded the bases with one out. But, Matt Herges (8-4) served up an inning-ending double play grounder to Drew Locke. In the bottom of the fifth, the Royals took advantage of the unexpected wildness of Round Rock starter Josh Banks (9-11), who walked two batters and hit another with a pitch, all of whom wound up scoring. Jarrod Dyson's sacrifice fly plated the first run and Irving Falu followed with a single into left-center to score two and give Omaha a 3-0 lead.
The Express got its only run off Herges in the seventh. German Duran stroked a leadoff double and took third on the third single of the night by former Royals catcher Edwin Bellorin. Louis Coleman came on in relief and after striking out the first batter he faced, allowed an RBI single to Oswaldo Navarro. Locke then hit into his second rally-killing double play.
In the bottom of the eighth, Mike Moustakas and Scott Thorman started the inning by hitting back-to-back jacks off Banks, who logged a complete game. Moustakas' homer to right-center extended his hitting streak to seven games and gave him seven home runs and 22 RBI during the stretch. The 21-year old phenom, named Wednesday by Kansas City as the recipient of the George Brett Hitter of the Year award, has 14 homers and 45 RBI in 47 games with Omaha. Between Double-A and Triple-A, he has belted 35 round-trippers and driven in 121 runs this year.
Thorman's blast was a shot down the right field line for his 22nd home run and team-leading 82nd RBI. The Royals first baseman, who hit for the cycle Sunday against Iowa, collected everything but a triple Wednesday night for what would have been his second cycle in four tilts.
Kansas City righty Brian Bannister made his third rehab start with Omaha, allowing five hits in 3.2 scoreless innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out two. Of his 57 pitches, 36 were strikes.
Omaha (77-62) improved to 7-5 on the home stand and to 11-4 vs. Round Rock (55-84), which is riding a season-long, eight-game losing streak.
The series finale is Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Kansas City righty Luke Hochevar (0-0, 0.00) will make his second rehab start for Omaha, facing Round Rock right-hander Sergio Perez (3-3, 5.01).
The final regular season professional baseball game in the history of Rosenblatt Stadium is presented by AT&T. A pre-game Fan Fest begins at 5:30 p.m. outside the ballpark. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the 1st 2,000 fans will receive a miniature Omaha Municipal Stadium seat, circa 1948. The historic event will feature many past Royals players, local and state government officials, honored dignitaries and post-game fireworks, courtesy of AT&T. Plus, it's Thirsty Thursday, when fans enjoy $1 beers and Cokes. The night is also presented by Clear Channel.
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Pacific Coast League Stories from September 1, 2010
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