Rather than watch the Royals offense not give Zack Greinke a win last night, I elected to head up to Round Rock (roughly 20 minutes outside of Austin, for you non-Texans) to see the Omaha Royals take on the Round Rock Express (the Astros' Triple-A affiliate, for you Royals-only fans).
This was the fourth time I've been to the Dell Diamond this year (and I may be going back tonight) and the second time I've been up there to see Omaha play (the first time was with dart enthusiast and Ranger Rundown and Newberg Report scribe Scott Lucas).
While Bruce Chen wasn't toeing the rubber and imposing his will upon Express hitters this time around, the opportunity to see Royals who should be playing every day on the Major League level presented itself again, as Kila Ka'aihue was once again in the lineup* for the Royals and Alex Gordon was playing the part that Mike Aviles was playing in April.
*Weirdly, this is the third time I've seen Kila this year, as I saw him drive in his RBI in Arlington. As a geographically isolated Royals fan, this is rare indeed.
The O-Royals played fairly well, overcoming some defensive hiccups and a rocky start from Manauris Baez, who got promoted from High-A Wilmington for the start. Given his lackluster minor league career and his unimpressive 45.2 inning body of work at Wilmington thus far (4.73 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, 5.3 K/9, 1.59 K/BB, .335 BAA), it would seem that this was more than likely a temporary promotion of convenience and was part of the Hochevar injury butterfly effect that also killed Manute Bol.
Alex Gordon seemed to read the ball fairly well off the bat in left, and he had a near gem of a play in the corner as he attempted to throw out a runner at home. His arm made what shouldn't have been a close play at the plate a near out. Kind of makes one wonder why they're not trying that arm out in right. I guess with the Royals it's not uncommon to end up scratching one's head when looking at the decisions they make...
Kila crushed a double to deep right-center, plating Gordon and Falu*. Both looked solid, as usual. Gordon extended his on-base streak to 39 straight games.
*I think it was Falu**. It may have been David Lough--I was drinking...
**I checked, and it was Falu. My mind still works with alcohol clouding it.
And, during the home-half of the fourth, I hollered out to Alex Gordon, "You should be in the Bigs, Alex," which he ignored for a second before turning slightly away and laughing to himself.
It's true. There are two legitimate Major Leaguers wasting away in Triple-A with nothing left to glean from their experience down there.