It was a rough week for the KC Royals, as they lost seven in a row before finally winning on Sunday. The losing streak pushed them outside of the playoff picture, 11.5 games back of first place in the American League Central and 5.5 games back of second place Cleveland. The Royals are also seven games back of the final Wild Card spot, with five teams in front of them. They are currently playing a makeup game with the TB Rays before heading out on the road to face Minnesota and Toronto on Tuesday.
Omaha went just 2-5 last week, but still hold a two game lead in the American Northern Division of the Pacific Coast League. The Storm Chasers have eight games remaining, four beginning tonight in Iowa (the Cubs are six games back) and four at home against Round Rock.
NW Arkansas went 4-2 last week and are now just one game back of first place in the North Division of the Texas League (tied for second place with Springfield). The Naturals finish up their series with first place Arkansas tonight before welcoming Tulsa to town for four games. They finish the season with three games at Arkansas.
Wilmington saw their playoffs hopes slip away, as they went 3-4 last week. The Blue Rocks are 12.5 games back of first place Potomac (who they finish up their series with tonight) and six games back of the wild card spot with seven games to play. They return home for six games against the Southern Division on Tuesday.
Lexington went 4-3 last week, but slipped to 4.5 games back in the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League. The Legends begin a pivotal three-game series on Tuesday at first place Augusta. They follow that series up with four games at home against West Virginia (who is tied atop the Northern Division).
Now to the awards…
Hitter of the Week
Majors: Eric Hosmer has been on a tear of late, FINALLY getting out of his year-long slump and showing signs of the hitter he was during his rookie season. In six games last week, he went 9-for-23 (.391) with a double and a home run. He scored four runs and drove in five. Hosmer struck out as many times as he walked (three each).
Minors: This is going to two players who bat back-to-back in the Lexington batting order: Bubba Starling and Hunter Dozier. Starling has rebounded from a poor start (though he is still striking out at an alarming rate). He is currently in the midst of a six-game hitting streak, going 11-for-29 (.379) with a double, a triple, and two home runs. Starling also scored two runs and drove in three. Dozier (who was hit by a pitch on Saturday night) went 10-for-22 (.455) with four doubles. He also scored four runs and drove in six.
Honorable Mention: Cheslor Cuthbert, NWA. He was named the Texas League’s Player of the Week after going 8-for-19 (.421) with three doubles and a home run. He is also in the midst of a six-game hitting streak. Cuthbert scored four runs and drove in seven. He also walked five times compared to just two strikeouts.
Pitcher of the Week
Majors: Though Luke Hochevar took the loss on Thursday, he only allowed one run across three appearances (totaling six innings). He allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out eight.
Minors: Though he is not credited with a combined no-hitter (because his reliever allowed a single to the first batter he faced in the ninth), Wilmington‘s Sam Selman did not allow a hit over his eight shutout innings of work on Saturday. He walked two and struck out a career-high 12 in his best ever start. Selman threw 65 of his 97 pitches for strikes. This start came off a terrible start against the same team in Wilmington (Potomac) where he did not get out of the third.