SPRINGDALE, Ark - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals (32-30) were limited to one run on five hits as the Arkansas Travelers (29-33) take Game 3 of this 4-game series by a 8-1 final at Arvest Ballpark on Monday night. Even with the loss, the Naturals still remain 1.0 game ahead of both the Springfield Cardinals and the Tulsa Drillers in the Texas League North Division standings.
Northwest Arkansas registered the first run of the game in the bottom of the second when Sunday's hero Alfredo Escalera singled and then came around to score on a throwing error by the Travelers' right fielder after a Nick Dini single. The early 1-0 lead would only last until the fourth when Arkansas would tie it up at 1-1 on a solo home run by clean-up hitter Dario Pizzano .
The fifth inning is when the visitors from North Little Rock were able to put the game out of reach as they put up a six spot to take a commanding 7-1 lead. In the deciding frame, Arkansas was able to chase Naturals' starting pitcher LHP Emilio Ogando (L, 3-4) as they received run-scoring singles from Jeff Kobernus , Marcus Littlewood , and Kyle Petty . Joey Wong then completed the scoring with a two-run single with the bases loaded against RHP Pedro Fernandez , whom had come on in relief of Ogando.
Kobernus would go on to add an insurance run in the eighth with a RBI single to plate Nelson Ward to set the final at 8-1.
Former big leaguer RHP Justin DeFratus (W, 2-1) earned the win with 6.0 strong innings while Ogando suffered the loss.
Northwest Arkansas will conclude their long 9-game homestand with the series finale against the Arkansas Travelers (Double-A Seattle Mariners) tomorrow afternoon - Tuesday, June 13 - with first pitch scheduled for 12:05 p.m. at Arvest Ballpark. It is Matinee Baseball at Arvest Ballpark with Summer Camp Day as Northwest Arkansas looks to extend their Texas League North Division lead. Fresh off his complete-game shutout, RHP Corey Ray (4-3, 4.43 ERA) will get the ball for the Naturals while the Travelers will counter with RHP Dylan Unsworth (4-5, 4.42 ERA) in the series finale. Catch all of the play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on KQSM - 92.1 The Ticket at 11:45 a.m. for the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show.
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.