The KC Royals went 2-4 last week and dropped to six games back of first place in the American League Central. They are now 31-39 overall and welcome the TB Rays to town tonight. The Royals are just 11-23 at home.
Omaha went 3-3 last week, but still have a commanding lead in the American North Division of the Pacific Coast League (15 games). The Storm Chasers are 47-30 overall though they continue to struggle on the road (18-19). They continue their road series in OKC tonight.
NW Arkansas went 4-3 last week, though the first half ended in the middle of a four-game home series against Tulsa. The Naturals are now 2-2 in the second half. They finish up their home series with Arkansas this afternoon (they are playing right now) before enjoying the Texas League All-Star break.
Wilmington began the second half of the Carolina League losing their first four games. The Blue Rocks continue their road series in Potomac tonight.
Kane County opened up the second half of the Midwest League and went 2-1 in Clinton this weekend. They returned home to play Beloit beginning tonight.
Majors: Alcides Escobar hit .409 last week for the Royals (9-for-22). In six games, he doubled and drove in a run, but unfortunately scored just one run.
Minors: Max Ramirez, Omaha. He is in the midst of a five-game hitting streak and five straight multi-hit games. Over the last week, Ramirez was 10-for-22 (.455) with six runs scored and 11 RBIs. He hit three homeruns and struck out just three times.
Pitcher of the Week:
Majors: Luke Hochevar finally stepped up his game this week (hopefully it can continue). In a start at Houston, he pitched into the 8th inning and did not allow a run (over 7.2 innings). He allowed five hits and four walks while striking out six. Hochevar will look to continue his dominance with a start against Tampa Bay tonight.
Minors: It was hard for me to choose, so I’m going with a tie between veteran Doug Davis in Omaha and Michael Mariot in NW Arkansas.
Davis has won three straight starts, including two this past week. Over 12 innings, he allowed just one run on eight hits. Davis struck out nine while walking four.
Mariot also made two starts this past week, though he did not pick up a decision. Over 13 innings, he allowed just one run on 14 hits. Mariot struck out nine compared to two walks.