For the second straight night Northwest Arkansas (22-24) got out to an early lead but was unable to pull out the victory. The Naturals went ahead 1-0 after John Suomi's sixth home run of the season. He is now tied with Corey Smith for second on the team in home runs.
Midland (27-20) tied things up at 1-1 after Josh Donaldson's first double plated Tommy Everidge. The Hounds would take a 3-1 lead during the fifth frame. Blake Wood allowed Archie Gilbert to score after casting a wild pitch past Suomi. Josh Horton would later score after Kurt Mertins misplayed an infield single that should have ended the inning. Wood's night was over after the Naturals infield was unable to turn two.
Carlos Fernandez (5-4) allowed two earned runs over his 6.0 innings of work. He struck out six Naturals and issued two walks before turning the game over to the bullpen. Jon Hunton and Mike Benacka finished off the Naturals in their final three at bats, preserving the Hounds win.
Chris McConnell, who recorded his second straight game with three hits, cut the Hounds lead to 3-2 after a Kurt Mertins single brought in the shortstop. The Naturals would be held scoreless over the final four frames. Five players recorded multi-hit games for Northwest Arkansas. McConnell's three hits were a team high.
Midland capitalized on a Josh Johnson error to increase their lead to 6-2 during the eighth inning. Johnson's fielding error to begin the inning allowed three unearned runs to cross the plate. Chris Hayes was hit hard during the inning, allowing two doubles, but all three runs were unearned. On the night the Naturals allowed four unearned runs. Josh Donaldson and Adrian Cardenas provided the offensive spark for the Hounds. Both players knocked in two runs, Donaldson recorded two doubles, one run, and two runs batted in.
Blake Wood (2-3) struggled during his outing. He allowed six hits over 4.2 innings while walking and striking out four. Chris Hayes pitched the final 4.1 innings allowing four runs to score (all unearned) and scattering six hits.
The Naturals will welcome the Frisco RoughRiders into town for the first time in 2009. Heading into tonight's game the Riders were 23-22 and in second place in the Texas League South. Dan Cortes (2-4, 3.86 ERA) will look to continue his recent success against lefty Michael Kirkman (0-0, 5.40 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. The Naturals have a toll-free ticket hotline (1-877-444-2637) for fans to purchase Naturals tickets. Our website, nwanaturals.com offers fans the opportunity to purchase tickets online and avoid lines at the ticket windows by printing their tickets at home or at the office.