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Royals vs. Oklahoma City, 6:35 p.m. at Rosenblatt05/03/2010 3:09 PM ET
By Kevin McNabb / Omaha Royals
TONIGHT: The Royals host the Oklahoma City RedHawks in a 6:35 p.m. game at Rosenblatt Stadium. It's the opener of a 4-game series and 8-game homestand. Omaha is coming off a 4-game sweep of Iowa, including winning the final 3 games of the series in Des Moines. This is the 1st of 16 meetings scheduled this year between the Royals and RedHawks. The Royals won the 2009 season series 9-7. Omaha leads the all-time series 399-384. Rotella's Italian Bakery presents $1 hot dog night - Hebrew National hot dogs are just $1. Plus, it's another Nebraska College Savings Program "Hit the Books" game. The night is also presented by 89.7 The River. The pre-game show is on the air at 6:15 p.m. on Omaha's KOIL AM-1180 and at www.oroyals.com.
SUNDAY: Omaha completed the 4-game sweep of Iowa, winning 5-4. With the game tied at 4-4 in the 9th, Marc Maddox lined an RBI single off Blake Parker (1-1) to plate Ed Lucas with the deciding run. Lucas had led off the inning with a bunt single. Maddox had taken the lineup spot of Mike Aviles in the Royals' lineup during a 55-minute rain delay prior to the bottom of the 8th, when Aviles was recalled by KC. Victor Marte (2-0), who blew a save in the 8th when the Cubs scored 2 runs, worked around a leadoff single in the 9th to get the win. He was helped out by his catcher, Cody Clark, who gunned down Jim Adduci trying to advance to 3rd base on a pitch in the dirt for the 2nd out of the inning. Marte then retired Sam Fuld on a fly ball to deep right field to end the game.
ROYALS REPORT: Aviles was recalled following KC's 1-0 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday. To make room for him, Alex Gordon was optioned to Omaha. Gordon lost his hold on 3rd base for KC in favor of Alberto Callaspo, once 2nd baseman Chris Getz was activated from the DL last Friday. In 12 games with KC, the former Nebraska All-American batted .194 (6-for-31) with 1 homer and 1 RBI. He also made 4 errors. Aviles opened the season with KC as a reserve, but was sent to Omaha on April 12 to build up his arm strength following elbow surgery last year. In 17 games with the O-Royals, he hit .271 (19-for-70) with 1 home run and 8 RBI. He also committed 4 errors. *** In other moves, 24-year old right-hander Blake Johnson has been promoted to Omaha from Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Philip Humber was activated from the O-Royals disabled list. Johnson has made only 2 appearances for the Naturals this season, leaving his 1st start on April 12 after just 17 pitches due to a blister on his pitching hand. He returned from the DL and made a relief appearance on April 26. Originally the Los Angeles Dodgers' 2nd round pick in the 2004 draft, this will be Johnson's first action at the Triple-A level. *** The Royals, who trailed 2-1 after 7 innings Sunday, won for the 1st time in 7 decisions this year when down after 7. Omaha won for just the 2nd time in 7 contests this year decided in the final at-bat. *** Going back to 2009, the Royals have won 9 straight meetings with Iowa. The sweep completed Sunday was Omaha's 1st 4-game sweep since a series vs. the Cubs at Rosenblatt August 31-September 3, 2009. Royals pitchers allowed just 13 runs (12 earned) in the just-completed sweep for a 3.27 ERA in the series. *** Kila Ka'aihue was 0-for-2 with 3 walks and 2 runs scored yesterday. His hitting streak was halted at 6 games, but his PCL-leading walk total is up to 22 and he ranks 5th in the league with a .455 on-base percentage. He's also 2nd in home runs (7) and is tied with former O-Royal Cory Aldridge of Salt Lake for 3rd in RBI (20). *** Scott Thorman was hitless in 5 AB's Sunday, ending his hit string at a team-best 7 games. During the streak, he batted .333 (8-for-24) with 2 homers and 6 RBI. *** Irving Falu, who was 3-for-5 Sunday, has hit in 8 of his last 9 tilts at a .306 clip (.11-for-36), scoring 6 runs. *** Anthony Lerew allowed 2 runs in 6.0 innings yesterday, posting his 2nd straight quality start. He has given up 3 earned runs in 12.0 innings over his last 2 starts, shaving his ERA from 3.86 to 3.12.
STARTERS: RH Tommy Hunter (NR) vs. RH Philip Humber (1-2, 5.56)
Humber comes off a short stay on the disabled list to make his 5th start of the season. The 27-year old right-hander's last start was April 24 at Albuquerque, when he took the loss in a 10-2 defeat (6.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R-2 ER, 1 BB, 1K, 1 HR). Humber, who has spent parts of the past 4 seasons in the big leagues with the Mets and the Twins, was signed by KC as a minor league free agent last December. He began the 2009 campaign in Minnesota's bullpen, but spent most of last season as a starter for Triple-A Rochester. He had no record and an 8.00 ERA in 8 relief appearances for the Twins. All but 1 of his 23 games for Rochester came as a starter; he was 7-9 with a 5.34 ERA. Humber was acquired by the Twins along with pitchers Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey and outfielder Carlos Gomez from the Mets in exchange for Johan Santana on February 2, 2008. He won 10 games for Rochester that season and had a 4.63 ERA in 5 relief outings with the Twins. Humber was ranked by Baseball America as the Mets #7 prospect following the 2007 season and had been rated #4 entering 2007. In 2006, he did not pitch until June 22 after having "Tommy John" surgery on July 19, 2005. Humber pitched for Rice University from 2002-2004. He was named First-Team All-America by several publications in 2004, when he led Rice in wins (13) and strikeouts (154). He was a member of the Owls' 2003 National Championship team, tossing a complete game 5-hitter in a 14-2 win over Stanford in the deciding game of the best-of-3 championship series at the College World Series. Humber was the Mets' 1st round pick (3rd overall) in the 2004 draft.
PROBABLES FOR REMAINDER OF SERIES:
Tue., 6:35 p.m.: LH Derek Holland (3-1, 0.53) vs. RH Gaby Hernandez (2-1, 6.49)
Wed., 11:05 a.m..: LH Michael Kirkman (3-0, 2.12) vs. RH Luis Mendoza (0-0, 3.00)
Thur., 6:35 p.m.: RH Guillermo Moscoso (1-2, 43.0) vs. RH Byran Bullington (2-0, 1.63)