Led off by three no hit innings from Matthew Murray in his first start of the 2014 season, Northwest Arkansas' bullpen kept the Tulsa Drillers silent all night long in their 5-1 victory at Arvest Ballpark.
Parker Morin drove in Max Ramirez with an RBI double in the bottom of the second as the Naturals jumped out to an early 1-0 lead and never looked back. Murray struck out three in the start, while Ali Williams picked up his third victory in relief with three shutout innings and five strikeouts from the fourth through the sixth. Drillers' starter Richard Castillo picks up his ninth loss of the season.
After Morin walked, Edinson Rincon singled and Ethan Chapman laid down a sacrifice bunt, the Naturals would add an additional run in the fifth on an RBI groundout from Angel Franco to give the Naturals a 2-0 lead.
Tulsa managed to scrape a run across in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to 2-1 after Trevor Story scored on a wild pitch, however that would be all for Tulsa. Northwest Arkansas quickly bounced back in the bottom of the inning with three insurance runs, capped off by an RBI triple from Jorge Bonifacio leading to the 5-1 victory.
Backed by six innings from the bullpen, in which they record 8 strikeouts and allow just two hits, the Naturals quickly get back in the win column after splitting a four game series at Springfield, while Tulsa drops their third straight.
Northwest Arkansas sends RHP Andy Ferguson (6-7, 3.45) to the mound for tomorrow night's 7:05pm tilt with Tulsa on a Monday Night Lights by Ozarks Electric Cooperative Corporation with Tyson $1 Hot Dogs featuring Baseball Bingo by Indigo Sky Casino. Tulsa will counter with LHP Carlos Hernandez (2-4, 2.84). It will be the second of the four game series.
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 6:50 p.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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.