Manaea, Starling stand out for Wilmington in DH

Manaea, Starling stand out for Wilmington in DH

Class A Advanced Wilmington's doubleheader Wednesday turned into an encouraging day for two of the Royals' top prospects.

In the opener, left-hander Sean Manaea struck out 10 batters in five innings in a 9-4 win over the Carolina Mudcats. Manaea, the Royals' No. 4 prospect, picked up the win to improve to 2-2 despite allowing three runs on six hits and three walks.

The Royals selected the 22-year-old lefty with the 34th overall pick in last year's First-Year Player Draft. Manaea hasn't posted overwhelming numbers in his first Minor League season. He owns a 5.40 ERA and opponents have hit .301 against him, but he's struck out 48 batters and only walked 13 in 31 2/3 innings over eight starts as he eases his way into professional baseball following hip surgery.

Meanwhile, scuffling outfield prospect Bubba Starling extended his hitting streak to 10 games with Wilmington. It's been a tough season for Starling, the Royals' No. 7 prospect, who was picked fifth overall in the 2011 Draft. He's still batting just .190 with two homers and 49 strikeouts in 41 games. After the first game of the day, his on-base percentage stood at .299 and his slugging percentage was even lower, at .282.

But Wednesday represented another step in the right direction, and he capped it off with a walk-off, two-run triple, leading the Blue Rocks to a 3-2 victory.

During his 10-game hitting streak, Starling has hit .343 (12-for-35) with a double, triple, nine RBIs, 10 runs, three stolen bases, five walks and seven strikeouts.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.