SAN ANTONIO - Royals' catcher, Salvador Perez , homered in the third inning and helped guide Naturals' starter, Glenn Sparkman , through five one-run frames in Northwest Arkansas' 3-2 win on Sunday evening over San Antonio at Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium.
Perez commenced his Major League rehab assignment with the Naturals on Sunday and caught four innings and finished 1-for-3 at the plate. His home run to lead-off the top of the third inning proved to be a key moment in the contest. Northwest Arkansas (4-6) led the Missions, 1-0 in the third before Salvy's solo shot over the left-centerfield fence. He lined out to second base in his first at-bat and groundout to third in his final plate appearance.
Sparkman (1-1, 3.72) opened his start by shutting down the first six hitters on 19 pitches. San Antonio cracked the scoreboard in the third frame. The Missions loaded the bases with one out and Josh Naylor stroked a single into left for the only tally yielded by Sparkman.
The right-hander finished with 5.0 innings, allowed one run on three hits and struck out a season-best six batters in front of family and friends who traveled in from Ganado and San Marcos, Texas.
The Naturals added to their lead with an run-scoring groundout by Jecksson Flores in the seventh inning to make it a 3-1 lead.
Reliever, Jason Adam , bridged the middle innings with 2.0 shutout frames before Franco Terrero and Jake Newberry combined for the final six outs. Newberry entered with one on, and one out in the ninth in a 3-2 game to strikeout Webster Rivas and get River Stevens to line-out to centerfielder Donnie Dewees to end the ballgame.
It's the first save of the season by anyone for the Naturals and the 16th career save for Newberry in his Northwest Arkansas career.
Corey Toups finished the day 2-for-4 for his first multi-hit game of the season while Nicky Lopez ended 1-for-5 with a run scored. Dewees extended his hitting streak to five games with a base-hit in the seventh inning and eventually scored on Flores' ground-out for the deciding run.
Northwest Arkansas looks to clinch its first series on Monday morning against San Antonio (6-4) with left-hander, Foster Griffin (1-0, 1.00) on the hill opposite of Missions' starter, Cal Quantrill (0-1, 1.86).
Join the Voice of the Naturals, Benjamin Kelly, with a 10:45 a.m. pregame show, leading up to first pitch on 92.1 the Ticket and the Naturals Radio Network at 11:05 a.m.
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 the 2018 season 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.