North Little Rock, AR-A span of three pitches and just missed opportunities haunted the Arkansas Travelers in a 5-2 loss to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Monday night. Joey Curletta nearly gave the Travs the lead batting with the bases loaded in the third, but his lined shot was caught by a diving Nicky Lopez who doubled a runner off to end the inning. Nick Dini then doubled on the first pitch of the fourth and Samir Duenez homered on the second pitch of that inning and the Naturals led, 3-0. Arkansas had multiple scoring opportunities but finished the night just 1-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 men on base. The Travs are now 3-30 with runners in scoring position for the series with 35 men left on. Northwest Arkansas' bullpen shutdown the Travs comeback hopes by pitching 4.1 scoreless innings from the trio of Sam Selman, Franco Terrero and Jake Newberry.
Moments That Mattered
* Curletta's line drive double play left the Travs down a run after they had loaded the bases on three consecutive walks.
* Two pitches into the fourth the Travs trailed by three after the Duenez homer when they were inches away from taking the lead in the previous inning.
* In the fifth, trailing by three, Curletta blasted a drive to the deepest part of the ballpark in left-center that came up just short of leaving the park. He settled for a two-run double but nearly tied the game.
Notable Travs Performances
* DH Joey Curletta: 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI
* Nathan Bannister: L, 6 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, HR
* Spencer Herrmann: 2 IP, BB, 4 K
Arkansas looks to salvage a split of the four game series on Tuesday night. It is Zoosday Tuesday and Baseball Bingo at DSP with a first pitch of 7:10. Lefty Anthony Misiewicz (0-1, 3.00) starts for the Travs against righty Glenn Sparkman (2-2, 2.96). The game will also be broadcast on the Sports Animal 920, the First Pitch App, TuneIn radio and milb.tv.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.