Last week was a short week for the KC Royals, with the four day All-Star break. They won their three game series over first place Detroit, but a sweep would have been much better for their playoff hopes. The Royals are still seven games back in the American League Central and welcome the playoff contending Baltimore Orioles to town for four games (they lost the opener on Monday night).
Omaha also had a short week with the All-Star break. They won their four game series in Albuquerque. The Storm Chasers are just 47-54 and in third place, but are just 1.5 games back in the American Northern Division of the Pacific Coast League. They began an eight game homestand on Monday with a loss to OKC.
NW Arkansas had a very good week, as they won six of seven. Their winning ways have put them in a tie for first place in the North Division of the Texas League. The Naturals finish up their homestand with three games against Arkansas, the team they are tied with (NWA lost on Monday night).
It was a different story for Wilmington, who has lost seven in a row (well, now eight after Monday night’s loss). They went from first place in the Northern Division of the Carolina League to three games back. The Blue Rocks finish up their road trip in Carolina tonight.
Lexington had a great week and have won seven in a row (well, now eight with Monday’s night win). That has propelled them to a 2.5 game lead in the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League. The Legends finish their road trip in Greenville this afternoon.
Now to the awards…
Hitter of the Week
Majors: I have been waiting a long time to put Mike Moustakas on this list, but the time has finally come. Last week, he hit .357 (5-for-14) with a homerun. He scored two runs and drove in one. He also walked twice compared to two strikeouts. Maybe he is finally getting out of his year-long slump?
Minors: Whit Merrifield, NW Arkansas. He has been on a tear since returning from the DL over a month ago. Last week, he went 10-for-23 (.435) with three doubles and two triples. He scored five runs and drove in four. Merrifield is also in the midst of a six-game hitting streak.
Honorable Mention: Teammate Angel Franco. He went 9-for-16 (.562) with a double. He scored three runs and drove in two.
Pitcher of the Week
Majors: Hopefully the opening game after the All-Star break was not the last time Royals fans got to see Ervin Santana make a start for them. Against first place Detroit, he allowed just two hits over 7.1 innings. He walked one and struck out six to pick up the win.
Minors: Matthew Murray, Lexington. He made his first start of the season last Monday against Delmarva and allowed one hit and walked three over 4.2 innings. He did strike out four. Murray followed that up with two hitless innings of relief on July 20th.
*I apologize for being a day late with this. I wasn’t feeling well at all yesterday and didn’t even go near a computer. All stats, records, and standings are as of July 21st.