CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Naturals' third baseman, Mauricio Ramos, clubbed a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to pull Northwest Arkansas within a run; but the final frame rally fell short as Corpus Christi wins the series in the rubber match bout by a 10-9 final score on Tuesday night at Whataburger Field.
Northwest Arkansas (4-8) finished the 2017 opening road trip through Texas with a 2-4 record with five of the six contests decided by two runs or fewer during the stretch.
The score teetered back-and-forth through the first five innings with the Naturals holding leads of 2-0, 4-2 and 7-5 before Corpus Christi plated two runs in the bottom of the fifth frame to maintain the lead for good.
Ramos along with second baseman, Ruben Sosa, finished with three hits in five at-bats on the night. Both players drove in two runs. Sosa gave the Naturals a 4-2 lead in the third inning with a full-count, two-out two-run double that he drove deep into left-centerfield. Ramos has now homered in back-to-back games for the Naturals.
Samir Duenez finished with his second home run in as many games and ended the three-game series against the Hooks 7-for-15 with two home runs and eight runs batted in putting his season total at a Texas League best of 14 through the first 12 games of the season.
Right-hander, Ashton Goudeau (0-2, 3.60) took the loss for Northwest Arkansas despite working 3.0 innings of two-run baseball, scatter four Corpus Christi hits in his outing.
The Naturals tallied double-digit hits in the finale against the Hooks giving the four games in the six-game trip with a double-figure hit total. Northwest Arkansas hit five home runs over the three-game series at Whataburger Field.
Wednesday, April 19 will be an off-day for the Naturals as the club travels back to Springdale, Ark. to begin an eight-game homestand at Arvest Ballpark. Northwest Arkansas opens with a four-game series against the Tulsa Drillers (Los Angeles Dodgers) on Thursday, April 21 with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Scheduled starter for the series opener is right-hander, Miguel Almonte (0-0, 1.35) who pitched four shutout inning on Friday, April 14 against San Antonio in his first start of the season.
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.