TULSA, Okla. - The Naturals and the Tulsa Drillers lined up to play a double-header tonight in ONEOK Field from a rain-out on April 29 at ONEOK Field. Northwest Arkansas took game one, scoring twice in the top of the seventh inning for a 4-2 final. In the night cap, the Naturals tied the score at 2-2 on an error and the game went into suspension during the top of the eighth inning with Naturals coming to hit.
In the opener of the twin-bill, Northwest Arkansas (34-31) took 2-0 lead off the Drillers right-hander, Walker Buehler , in the third inning. Parker Morin laced a one-out double down the third-base line and scored on Jack Lopez's run-scoring single to centerfield. After Alfredo Escalera singled and Corey Toups walked to load the bases,Samir Duenez , grounded into a force out and beat the double-play to score Lopez from third, extending the Naturals lead to 2-0.
Left-hander, Onelki Garcia , made his Naturals debut and worked 4.1 innings and left with a man on second and a 2-0 lead. Tulsa (32-33) tied the score on a two-run single in the fifth, leaving Garcia without a decision. The 27-year old worked 4.1 innings, allowed one run on five hits and fanned four his first start for Northwest Arkansas.
The Naturals captured late-inning magic in the seven-inning affair. Donnie Dewees singled with one-out off reliever Shea Spitzbarth (0-1, 2.25) and moved to third base on a single by Nick Dini to centerfield. Tulsa centerfielder, Brayan Morales , bobbled the ground-ball single, allowing Dewees to race home to score the go-ahead run. Lopez singled home Dini from second base for a 4-2 lead.
Pedro Fernandez (4-2, 3.11) earned the win in relief tossing 2.2 innings with a pair of strikeouts. The Naturals moved to two full games ahead of Tulsa in the North Division standings entering the nightcap of the double-header.
In game two, Tulsa struck first with two runs in the first inning off starter, Jake Kalish ; but the left-hander settled in. Kalish allowed just two hits over his final 5.0 innings of work and left with a man first trailing 2-1. Left-hander, Luis Rico , got out of the sixth frame unscathed and kept the Naturals within reaching distance.
Northwest Arkansas broke in to the Drillers lead in the fourth inning. Duenez doubled into the right-centerfield gap and scored a batter later on a single to centerfield by newly acquired, Zach Walters .
The Naturals tied the game in the top of the seventh inning at 2-2. Dini reached on a infield single, moved to third base on a ground ball single by Lopez that skipped off the glove of the diving third baseman, Edwin Rios . The shortstop, Zach McKinstry picked up the loose ball, threw to the plate to get the streaking Dini, but catcher,Wynston Sawyer , and dropped the throw and Dini slid home safe to score the tying run.
The game was official ruled as suspended at 11:06 p.m. and will be resumed tomorrow evening prior to the originally scheduled fourth game of the series. The start time for the suspended game will be resumed at 5:00 p.m. at ONEOK Field.
Right-hander, Zach Lovvorn (3-4, 5.49) will pitch in the fourth game of the series on Friday night against Tulsa's right-hander, Scott Barlow (4-2, 2.09).
Join the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly at 4:45 p.m. for a pregame show, leading up to the resumption of the suspended game on the flagship station of the Naturals, 92.1-FM, the Ticket.
Northwest Arkansas continues the series with the Tulsa Drillers (32-32) with a double-header on Thursday night from ONEOK Field. Game one is slated for a 5:30 p.m. first pitch with the second seven-inning game of the twin bill to follow approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the opener.
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.