An impressive start from Joey Lucchesi propelled San Antonio to a 6-1 win over Northwest Arkansas Sunday evening at Wolff Stadium.
The Missions entered Sunday looking to snap a three-game losing streak. On the bump for San Antonio was Lucchesi, who was making just his second start at the Double-A level and his first in the Alamo City.
The 24-year-old southpaw gave the first-half champs just what they needed. Lucchesi survived a big jam in the first, escaping a second and third, no-out situation with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout. From there, it was cruise control. In five innings of work, Lucchesi (2-0) allowed just one unearned run on six hits and one walk, while striking out seven. The Newark, CA native threw 57 of his 87 pitches for strikes.
Another ailment cured in Sunday's win was the offense. Framil Reyes made sure the Missions got off to a strong start on that side as well, belting a deep two-run homer onto the berm in left in the first off lefty Emilio Ogando.
With a 2-1 lead in the sixth, the Missions went back on the attack against Ogando (8-6) as Auston Bousfield drove in Luis Urias from second with a single up the middle.
San Antonio pulled away in the seventh with a three-run rally against reliever Yunior Marte, capped by another Bousfield RBI-single.
The bullpen trio of Yimmi Brasoban, Eric Yardley and Trey Wingenter combined to allow just two hits, while striking out four over the final four innings to wrap up the club's league-leading 51st win of the season.
San Antonio (10-7, 51-36) wraps up its three-game series against Northwest Arkansas (9-8, 48-39) Monday with a special 11:05 AM start. Chris Huffman (3-2, 2.98) will get the ball for the Missions, while the Naturals counter with fellow righty Corey Ray (5-5, 4.38).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.