MIN@KC: Herrera fans Willingham to earn the save

KANSAS CITY -- Danny Duffy set a Double-A Northwest Arkansas record with 13 strikeouts Wednesday night in a 4-3 loss to Tulsa. Duffy, pitching for the Naturals while Triple-A Omaha is on its All-Star break, threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk.

Right-hander Kelvin Herrera followed Duffy in the game, pitching a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts. Kansas City also optioned Herrera to Double-A during the Omaha's break, but recalled him Thursday for his third big league stint this season. He went 3-5 with a 5.20 ERA in 29 appearances over his two previous stays with the Royals.

• Left-hander Chris Dwyer represented Omaha in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday and stranded an inherited runner in the second inning, recording one out. Dwyer and the Pacific Coast League lost, 4-3, to the International League.

• Double-A center fielder Brett Eibner was named the Texas League Offensive Player of the Week for July 7-14. He went 12-for-27 with three doubles, three homers, a triple, five RBIs and six runs scored in six games during that time.

• Right-hander Kyle Zimmer took home Pitcher of the Week honors for Class A Wilmington. He went 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk, striking out 23 batters in 11 innings.

Worth noting

• Major League Baseball announced the Royals will draft fifth in the Competitive Balance Round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

The Competitive Balance Lottery, agreed upon as part of the 2012-2016 Basic Agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association, allows teams with lower revenues to obtain additional draft picks. The 10 smallest-market clubs were entered into a lottery for six selections following the first round of the Draft.

The Royals had the first competitive balance pick in June's Draft and selected left-hander Sean Manaea from Indiana State.

• The Royals will continue the celebration from last year's All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium with a series of events this homestand.

The team will recognize this year's class of All-Star Scholars, who will be attending local two- and four-year colleges, on Friday. Then, using funds from the 2012 All-Star celebrations, the Royals and Royals Charities will support the groundbreaking of new baseball fields in Independence, Mo., and Olathe, Kan., next week.

The Royals will host a Miracle League Game at the Blue KC Little K on Saturday from 4-5 p.m. CT for area children with physical disabilities. They will also host the annual Ban Johnson All-Star Game for top college ballplayers Sunday at Kauffman Stadium from 9-11 a.m.

• The ratings for Royals games on FOX Sports Kansas City are up 43 percent this year, which is the biggest improvement in the Major Leagues, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The top five highest-rated Royals games on FSKC have all come this season, and the most popular one was June 11 against Detroit, which averaged an 8.8 rating and peaked at 11.2. With 16 night games in June, FSKC ranked No. 1 on 11 of those nights, higher than the NBA and NHL Finals.