SPRINGDALE, Ark - Starting pitching has been a highlight recently for Northwest Arkansas and Tuesday night was no different as Gerson Garabito (L, 6-11) picked up right where Brady Singer left off the night before. The right-hander was strong in his 7.0 innings but the Naturals (54-77/23-40) would fall to
SPRINGDALE, Ark - Starting pitching has been a highlight recently for Northwest Arkansas and Tuesday night was no different as Gerson Garabito (L, 6-11) picked up right where Brady Singer left off the night before. The right-hander was strong in his 7.0 innings but the Naturals (54-77/23-40) would fall to the Midland RockHounds (68-65/34-30) by a 2-0 final at Arvest Ballpark.
After giving up a run on a two-out single by Tyler Ramirez in the top of the first, Garabito settled into the game and was dominant over the next 6.0 innings. The 24-year old was making his team-leading 25th start of the season and set a career-high with nine strikeouts while limiting the RockHounds to just the early run over 7.0 innings of work. The mid-season All-Star scattered five hits and walked four while lowering his ERA to 3.99 on the year, which is the sixth best mark in the Texas League.
Over the last five games, Northwest Arkansas starting pitchers are now 2-1 while allowing just five earned runs and striking out 34 hitters in their last 34 innings pitched. Garabito ultimately suffered the tough luck loss and now sits at 6-11 on the season.
Trailing 1-0 after one, the Naturals offense was unable to get anything going against Midland starter James Kaprielian . The former first round pick by the New York Yankees struck out five in 4.2 innings pitched but would not factor into the decision.
Reliever Seth Martinez (W, 3-1) came into the game in the fourth to replace Kaprielian. Northwest Arkansas found success against the right-hander as they recorded three hits and worked two walks. The biggest play of the game occurred in the sixth when centerfielder Mickey McDonald made a diving catch to rob D.J. Burt of extra bases and a pair of RBIs to end the inning.
The game remained 1-0 in favor of the 'Hounds until Taylor Motter set the final score at 2-0 with a solo home run in the ninth.
Closer Jesus Zambrano (S, 5) recorded the four-out save, including a perfect ninth inning, to secure the important win for Midland as the victory combined with Amarillo's loss to Tulsa pulls the RockHounds to a game out of first in the South Division.
The Naturals were out-hit by a 7-to-6 margin with Dairon Blanco leading the way with two hits against his former club.
Northwest Arkansas will continue their 9-game in 8-day homestand on Wednesday, August 28th with Game 3 of this 4-game series against the Midland RockHounds (Double-A Oakland A's) at Arvest Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on a $1.50 BBQ Sliders Night. The Naturals will give the baseball to left-hander J.C. Cloney (2-5, 4.03 ERA) to the mound to square off against right-hander Matt Milburn (7-9, 5.01 ERA) of the RockHounds. Catch the play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on KQSM - 92.1 The Ticket at 6:45 p.m. for the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading 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, promotions, group options and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.