SAN ANTONIO - Naturals' second baseman, Ruben Sosa, broke up a perfect game chance with one out in the top of the ninth inning with an infield single against Missions' reliever, Eric Yardley for the lone hit on the evening. Northwest Arkansas' late-inning rally fell short in a 2-0 loss on Saturday night to San Antonio at Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium.
Miguel Almonte made his first start since June 28, 2016 when last opening for Triple-A, Omaha, on Friday night. The right-hander mowed down the first 10 consecutive batters before issuing a full-count walk to Noah Perio to snap his streak. Almonte allowed back-to-back singles with one out in the fourth inning; but left the Missions' scoreless inducing a double-play ball fielded by Sosa to start the four-six-three double-play.
Almonte finished four innings, allowed two hits and struck out four with one walk in his dazzling start and turned things over to Ashton Goudeau.
The Missions used a solo home run in the sixth inning by Perio and added one more run in the eighth to take a 2-0 lead entering the ninth frame. Goudeau worked four innings, allowed two runs on four hits and struck out four his third appearance of the season.
San Antonio (6-2) started Enyel De Los Santos (1-0, 0.75) in his second start in Double-A. The Dominican-born right-hander pitched six innings of perfect baseball with seven strikeouts of the Naturals. De Los Santos was lifted after the sixth inning, having thrown 64 pitches. Reliever, T.J. Weir took over and tossed two perfect innings in the seventh and eighth innings.
Yardley entered for the ninth after pitching in Game 1 on Friday night. The submarine right-hander retired his first batter faced to begin the inning, making it 25 consecutive batters retired by San Antonio pitching. Sosa fell behind in the count, 0-1 and connected on the next pitch, dribbling the ball 30-feet between the pitcher's mound and the third-base foul line. Yardley attempted a bare-hand throw to first base; but Sosa beat the throw, arriving safely by a half-step.
Two batters later, the Northwest Arkansas (2-6) rally continued as Donnie Dewees reached on a fielding error to put runners on the corners with two outs. Yardley struck out the final batter, looking, to give the Missions a 2-0 victory. San Antonio wins the series.
The Naturals look to salvage the finale tomorrow night at Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium with right-hander, Christian Binford (0-0, 3.00) slated to make his second start of the season. San Antonio will counter with right-hander, Brett Kennedy (0-0, 4.50) in the 7:05 first pitch.
Join Benjamin Kelly with a 6:45 Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to first pitch on the sister-station of the flagship for the Naturals, AM-1590, the Ticket-2.
Follow the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Facebook and Twitter @NWANaturals all throughout the year by using the hashtag #NaturalPastime and #CrowntoCrown for all of our up-to-date information on Season 10 of Naturals baseball.
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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.