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This Week in the Minors: NWArk scoreboard watching with one week left

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Northwest Arkansas maintains the slimmest of leads in the Texas League North; trio of Royals rehabbing with Omaha; one week left of minor league season.

Wade Davis is rehabbing with Omaha, and should return to the Royals soon.
Wade Davis is rehabbing with Omaha, and should return to the Royals soon.
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

This is our weekly look at notable performances from all over the system, from big-name prospects and less heralded guys alike. This week's column covers results from Monday, August 22 through Sunday, August 28. There is just one week remaining in the minor league regular season.

AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (57-76)

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Omaha got nice starts this week from righties Christian Binford and Alec Mills. Binford allowed just three hits and a run against Iowa on Thursday. He also walked one and plunked one, but struck out three Cubs in six innings. On Sunday, Mills pitched six shutout innings with two strikeouts, one walk, and one hit.

Hunter Dozier logged three games in right field this week, plus a pair at first base and one as DH. His line with the Storm Chasers is .299/.362/.514.

AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (60-72 overall; 31-31 in 2nd half)

schedule | roster

The Naturals remain in first place, but only by a half a game, and the whole division is within two games. It should be a wild week in the Texas League North.

1B/DH Samir Duenez was promoted from Wilmington, and hit in five of his first six games at the Double-A level. He doubled four times and drove in five runs.

Third baseman Mauricio Ramos hit a home run and doubled three times as part of a 9-for-26 week.

RHP Josh Staumont struck out 10 in five innings. He allowed seven hits and two walks, but only one run scored. Staumont has maintained his trademark high strikeout rate since being promoted to NWArk in mid-July, with 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings as a Natural.

Lefty starter Eric Skoglund rebounded after a pair of losses with a brilliant game on Sunday. He pitched seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits and a walk. He struck out eight. Skoglund has pitched 149.2 innings, and remained healthy this year after being shut down with elbow issues midway through 2015.

Ashton Goudeau put up a strange line in his Saturday start: he gave up 10 hits in six innings, but didn't walk anyone, and struck out nine. Only two runs scored. Even with all those hits and Ks, he threw just 87 pitches.

Right-handed reliever Aroni Nina has not -- knock on wood! -- given up any runs in 11 outings spanning over a month.

A-Adv. Wilmington Blue Rocks (49-82 overall; 22-40 in 2nd half)

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The Blue Rocks struggled mightily this week, losing all six of their games.

Outfielder Brandon Downes doubled four times and homered. The home run was his 12th of the season. Downes has cut down a bit on his strikeouts for the last few months, but his total of 164 is still second-most in the Carolina League.

Righty Corey Ray struck out eight and walked one in five innings on Thursday. Lynchburg tagged him with seven hits, but only one run scored.

A Lexington Legends (49-83 overall; 24-39 in 2nd half)

schedule | roster

The Legends won one game this week.

Right-handed pitcher Gerson Garabito pitched six no-hit innings on Monday, but did not receive a decision. He struck out three and walked three. One of those who walked scored an unearned run following a passed ball by catcher Xavier Fernandez.

Left fielder Roman Collins had a good week at the plate, knocking down 9 hits including a double and a triple. Catcher/DH Fernandez rode the singles train, with all eight of his hits going for one base.

Catcher Chase Vallot hit a homer and two doubles this week. Vallot is close to the team lead in both categories, despite his season being cut to just 76 games by a pair of injuries.

ETC:

-Wade Davis threw 11 pitches in a scoreless inning for Omaha on Saturday. He allowed a hit, presumably just to play games with the Iowa lineup. That person was erased by a double play.

-Davis was followed by Kris Medlen, also rehabbing with the Chasers. Medlen pitched two shutout innings, allowing no hits and no walks. Only one batter reached base, on an error by catcher Tony Cruz.

-That game was started by yet another rehabbing Royal, Jason Vargas. Vargas threw 74 pitches in five innings. He was touched for four runs on six hits, but struck out six and did not walk anyone.