Casey Haerther wasted no time putting the Travelers on the board first in the bottom of the first inning. The first baseman blasted a two-run home run, his ninth of the season to put the Travs in front. Jimmy Swift capped the three-run fram with an RBI double, his eighth of the season.
Darwin Perez added to the Travs lead with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it 4-0. Naturals' starter Sugar Ray Marimon (3-5) settled in from there. The right-hander went six innings allowing four hits and four runs, while issuing four free passes.
The Naturals were able to cut the deficit in half in the top of the fifth inning. Alex McClure singled and Yowill Espinal worked a two-out walk to get things going for the Naturals. After a successful double steal, Yem Prades knocked in both runs with his 29th double of the season. The 29 doubles for Prades tie him for the fifth most ever by a Natural in a season with Corey Smith (2009).
The two-run inning chased the Travelers starter Matt Oye from the game. The right-hander went four and two-thirds innings allowing four hits and two runs, while walking two and fanning four. Ryan Chaffee (5-1) came on to get the final out of the fifth inning for the Travelers.
The Naturals continued their comeback in the top of the eighth inning. Brian Fletcher was hit by a pitch to start the frame and then advanced to third on a Paulo Orlando single. He later scored on a Manny Pina RBI groundout to make it a 4-3 contest. Caleb Graham was able to work out of the jam though and keep the Travs' in front by one.
Kevin Johnson worked a perfect ninth inning to earn his sixteenth save of the season and preserve the Travs' victory.
The Naturals will continue their four-game series tomorrow night against the Travelers with first pitch at 7:10. Right-hander Yordano Ventura (0-2 5.32) takes the hill for Northwest Arkansas against the Travelers right-hander AJ Schugel (6-7, 2.71). The game can be heard on ESPN 92.1 FM The Ticket.