With the big league club losing for a 12th straight game, understandably Royals' fans are either in the midst of deep depression or have reverted to general apathy. But as has been the Royals' rallying cry for several years, there was good news on the farm.
The best news came for high Class A Wilmington, where righthander Yordano Ventura struck out a career-high 10 batters in 4 2/3 innings as the Blue Rocks beat Salem 4-3. According to Wilmington play-by-play announcer John Sadak, Ventura was getting ahead with his fastball, which was clocked as high as 99 mph by scouts tonight, and also had a dominating curveball.
Ventura can touch 100 mph when he wants to, but he tends to get into trouble when he tries to throw to the radar gun. On nights like Tuesday when he focuses on staying in control and throwing at less than max effort, his stuff is still good enough to handcuff hitters.
It wasn't nearly as dominating a performance but at the Triple-A level, lefthander Mike Montgomery was solid for a second consecutive start. Montgomery struck out six, walked one and gave up seven hits and three runs, all earned, in seven innings. He improved to 2-0 as his Omaha Storm Chasers edged Nashville 4-3.
Montgomery was awful in his first two starts of the season, but since then he has allowed four earned runs in his last 14 innings, striking out 13 while walking three. He had walked seven in his first two outings, which stretched a total of 7 2/3 innings.
And if Royals' fans want to follow a deep sleeper, check out Wilmington closer Nick Rogers. Rogers, singed as an undrafted free agent out of North Carolina A&T, Rogers kept his perfect 0.00 ERA while picking up his second save on Tuesday night. Only five baserunners have reached (four hits and one walk) in seven innings while he's struck out eight. Rogers has an excellent arm with a fastball that's been clocked at 95 mph in the past.