Royals at Las Vegas, 9:05 p.m.

By Kevin McNabb / Omaha Royals | May 17, 2010 11:34 AM

TONIGHT: The Royals visit Cashman Field in Las Vegas for a 9:35 p.m. game. It's game 3 of a 4-game series, which is tied 1-1. Omaha is 3-3 on the road trip. Last season, the Royals and 51s split a 4-game series at Rosenblatt Stadium. The pre-game show is on the air at 8:45 p.m. on Omaha's KOIL AM-1180 and at www.oroyals.com.

SUNDAY: The Las Vegas pitching staff, last in the Pacific Coast League in team ERA, held the Royals to just 5 hits in the 51s 6-2 victory. Las Vegas starter Rey Gonzalez (4-2), who entered the game with an 8.83 ERA, pitched 6.0 innings of 1-run ball to get the win. Jai Miller staked Omaha to a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning by smacking his 1st home run of the season, but the 51s responded with 6 unanswered runs over the next 5 frames off Royals starter and loser Gaby Hernandez (3-3). One of those runs came on a solo homer in the 5th off the bat of Brett Wallace - his league-leading 11th home run of the season.

ROYALS REPORT: Alex Gordon was named today as the PCL Batter of the Week for the week that ended yesterday. In 6 games with Omaha last week, the Royals left fielder hit .500 (11-for-22). He belted 3 doubles and 3 home runs, with 10 RBI and 7 runs scored. In 12 Triple-A games this year, the former Husker All-American is batting .364 (16-for-44) with 4 doubles, 5 homers and 12 RBI. Gordon is the 1st Omaha player to receive the weekly honor since Brian Buchanan on August 23, 2009. *** Tonight's scheduled starter, Bryan Bullington, had his contract purchased by KC on Sunday. To make room for him on their roster, KC optioned 1st baseman Kila Ka'aihue back to Triple-A; he will join the Royals in Omaha on Thursday. Since being recalled by the parent club on May 5, Ka'aihue played in only 2 big league games, getting 1 hit in 4 at-bats. Bullington, a 29-year old right-hander, was 2-0 for Omaha and posted a 1.71 ERA - 4th-best in the PCL - in 7 games, including 5 starts. He'll be used as a reliever by KC. *** Omaha's offense has been running hot-and-cold this road trip. In their 3 wins on the trip, the Royals have scored 35 runs on 61 hits, for an average of 11.7 runs on 20.3 hits. In the club's 3 defeats, Omaha has scored just 7 runs on 15 hits, averaging 2.3 runs on 5 hits. *** Irving Falu has hit in 4 straight games, all of them multi-hit efforts. During the streak, he's 10-for-23 (.435), boosting his average 24 points to .306, and has scored 5 runs. *** Jordan Parraz was 0-for-1 with 3 walks Sunday. He has coaxed 11 walks in his past 11 games, after working for only 4 free passes in his first 22 contests. Over the last 11 games, his average has gone up from .153 to .214. *** Omaha batters accepted a season-high 8 walks yesterday. However, the Royals were just 1-for-8 at the plate with runners in scoring position, leaving 11 men on base. *** Hernandez allowed 11 hits Sunday, matching the season high for an Omaha pitcher, set by Brad Thompson on April 11 in an 11-3 loss vs. Memphis. Meantime, the 3 hits given up by Gonzalez equaled the season low for an opposing pitcher who went at least 5.0 innings. *** Scott Thorman, who took a foul ball below the belt Saturday night, missed Sunday's game. He's day-to-day. *** After hitting in each of his first 3 Triple-A tilts, Kurt Mertins was 0-for-4 yesterday, striking out once and leaving 6 runners stranded.

STARTERS: RH Blake Johnson (0-0, 7.11) vs. RH Lance Broadway (0-5, 6.94)

Johnson makes a spot start after 4 relief appearances for Omaha. The 24-year old right-hander was promoted from Double-A Northwest Arkansas on May 3, when Roman Colon signed with the Kia Tigers in Korea. Johnson's last appearance was Friday at Reno; he was not involved in the decision as the Royals won 10-7 in 10 innings (1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K). He did make 1 start with the Naturals, but gave up 3 runs on 1 hit and 2 walks in one-third of an inning, when he was lifted from the April 12 contest with a blister on his pitching hand. In his next appearance with Northwest Arkansas 2 weeks later, he pitched 2.0 innings of no-hit relief. Johnson spent each of the past 2 seasons as a starter for Northwest Arkansas. Over the 2 years combined, he was 18-17 with a 4.72 ERA. His 10 wins in 2008 tied for 3rd in the Texas League. In 2007, he went 9-6 with a 3.28 ERA for high-A Wilmington, helping the Blue Rocks reach the playoffs by going 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA over his final 10 outings. Johnson was acquired by KC from the Los Angeles Dodgers along with LHP Odalis Perez and RHP Julio Pimentel in exchange for RHP Elmer Dessens on July 25, 2006. In 2005, Johnson was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team after going 9-4 with a 3.33 ERA for Columbus. He was selected by the Dodgers in the 2nd round of the 2004 draft out of Parkview Baptist High in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a senior, he was 8-3 with a 1.31 ERA in 12 games and entered the 2004 draft rated as the 79th-best overall prospect by Baseball America.

PROBABLES FOR REMAINDER OF SERIES:

Tue., 12:30 p.m.: RH Anthony Lerew (1-2, 2.89) vs. RH Marty McLeary (0-2, 11.57)

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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