June has been much kinder to the KC Royals than May was. Last week, they went 5-2 and overall they are 11-4 in June. The Royals have won four straight series and look to continue that tonight when they start a three game series at second place Cleveland. Another series win would put them in second place in the American League Central.
Omaha went 4-3 last week on the road and finish up their trip today in Iowa. The Storm Chasers are 30-37 overall and now are in third place in the Pacific Coast League’s American Northern Division (three games back).
NW Arkansas went 5-4 last week as they played two doubleheaders (which killed their bullpen) and used two position players to pitch in last night’s 13 innings victory. The Naturals are 24-45 and are still the worst team in the Texas League with the first half ending tonight.
The first half did not end well for Wilmington, as they were eliminated from the title by going 2-5 to finish the half (overall they are 33-37). They also saw a ton of player movement over the final week, losing third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert and reliever Scott Alexander to Double-A promotions, gaining shortstop Alex McClure (and then losing him to family issues), outfielder Ethan Chapman, first baseman Dennis Raben, and relievers Daniel Hernandez and Ben Tomchick. They also demoted outfielder Alex Hudak and “sent” lefty reliever Antonio Cruz to rookie ball. The Blue Rocks will enjoy the four-day All-Star break (as only pitcher Kyle Smith will be making the trip to California for the event) before opening the second half at home on Friday night against Salem.
Lexington also had a ton of player movement at the end of their first half, as they went just 1-6 (overall they are 33-35). Catcher Cam Gallagher, first baseman Mark Threlkeld, and pitcher Crawford Simmons were reinstated from the DL. They also gained reliever Kevin Allen from extended spring, released first baseman Adrian Morales, and demoted catcher Alex Marquez. The Legends will enjoy the three-day All-Star break (with pitchers Christian Binford and Alec Mills, along with shortstop Raul Mondesi taking part in the festivities) before opening the second half at home for four games against Savannah (the first half Southern Division champs).
Hitter of the Week
Majors: Elliot Johnson. He hit .389 (7-for-18) with a double, a triple, and a homerun in six games last week. He scored five runs and drove in four. He also stole two bases.
Minors: Matt Fields, NW Arkansas. The first baseman went 9-for-29 (.310) last week for the Naturals. He hit two doubles and two homeruns, while driving in seven. He scored seven runs and walked three times.