SPRINGDALE, Ark. - A lead-off walk by Angel Franco followed by Orlando Calixte's ninth double of the season to open the ninth had the Naturals (12-14, 37-59) threatening late, but they were unable to overcome the two-run deficit and dropped the series finale to Tulsa (12-14, 50-45) 2-0 on Wednesday.
RHP Christian Binford (1-1) made his third Double-A start and dazzled for Northwest Arkansas despite being saddled with the loss. The Royals 10th-ranked prospect tossed seven innings of two-run baseball, his longest outing at the Double-A level. He did not walk a batter and struck out eight.
RHP Jason Adam made his first-career relief appearance upon Binford exiting and was very sharp in firing two perfect innings to finish the game for the Naturals. Like Binford, he also did not walk a hitter and struck out two. Including his previous two starts, Adam has not allowed a run in three-consecutive outings stretching over 14 innings of work.
It was Tulsa scratching the scoreboard first in the second inning. Will Swanner led off with a bunt single and later scored on an RBI single by Brian Humphries. The game's final run was scored on Trevor Story's first homer of the season in the fourth.
Parker Morin converted in the eighth inning with a five-game hit streak on the line. His single extended his hit streak to six games, his longest of the 2014 season.
The Naturals will hit the road four a four-game series against the Springfield Cardinals at Hammons Field beginning tomorrow, Thursday, July 17 at 7:10 p.m. RHP Tim Melville (1-8, 4.98) will get the nod in the series opener against Springfield's LHP Kyle Hald (7-3, 3.30). Northwest Arkansas will return to Arvest Ballpark for seven games against the Arkansas Travelers, three games, and the Springfield Cardinals, four games, beginning Monday, July 21.
You can catch all live play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on your home for the Naturals 92.1 the Ticket at 6:55 a.m. Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to first pitch.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The Naturals play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Ark. For more information including statistics, ticket options, and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.