Paulo Orlando got things started for the Naturals offense with a lead-offsingle to start the fourth inning. EricDuncan followed by delivering a big blow, his fourth home run of the season,over the right field fence to put the Naturals in front 2-0.
The Naturals (35-33) offense picked up an insurance run in the top of theseventh inning. Carlo Testa led off theinning with his tenth double of the season. He moved to third when Nick Van Stratten reached on a fielder's choiceand later scored on an error by Cardinals first baseman Xavier Scruggs. The Naturals then loaded the bases againstCardinals' starter Seth Maness. ManagerMike Shildt elected to go with reliever Justin Wright. Wright worked out of the jam striking outboth Duncan and Johnny Whittleman.
Maness went six and a third innings allowing seven hits and three runs, whilewalking one and striking out two. Thestart was the sixth in Double-A this season for Maness (3-1).
Dwyer (4-6) was dominant on the mound working seven innings allowing fivehit and two runs while striking out six. Dwyer came out for the eighth inning after tossing seven-shutout and walkedthe Cardinals lead-off man Vance Albitz, and then surrendered a single to JoseGarcia. He was lifted from the game infavor of Ryan Dennick after the Garcia single. Dennick issued a walk to Jermaine Curtis and then allowed a two-run singleto Oscar Taveras to make it a 3-2 game.
Dennick went on to strike out Chris Swauger and Jake Shaffer before beinglifted in favor of Bryan Paukovits. Paukovits fanned Scruggs on five pitches in order to preserve the Naturals'one-run lead.
Yem Prades picked up the pitching staff by belting his fourth home run of theseason to left field. The home run gavethe Naturals a 4-2 lead entering the bottom of the ninth inning.
Paukovits struck out Cardinals' (35-33) pinch-hitter Travis Tartamella for thefirst out of the inning before surrendering a single to Adam Melker and beinglifted in favor of Buddy Baumann. Thefirst pitch Baumann threw was ripped down the line for an RBI single by KoltenWong. Naturals' defensive replacementMario Lisson cut off the throw from Van Stratten to gun down Wong at third forthe second out. After allowingback-to-back walks Baumann fanned Taveras to preserve the 4-3 win. The save was the first of the season forBaumann.
The Naturals will return home on Monday to begin an eight game home stand at7:00 PM. The Naturals will send right-handerEthan Hollingsworth (0-2, 6.10) against the Drillers right-hander Joe Gardner (3-3,4.70). The game can be heard on NewsTalk 1030 KFAY.