SPRINGDALE, Ark - The Naturals (16-23) three-game winning streak comes to an end as the Springfield Cardinals (18-22) take the series opener by a 10-4 final on Thursday night. Northwest Arkansas had it to within a run but Springfield scored four runs in the eighth and two in the ninth to put it away. The loss drops the Naturals to 7-1 against the Cardinals at Arvest Ballpark.
Northwest Arkansas found themselves playing catch-up most of the game as the visitors from Missouri raced out to an early lead in the fourth on a towering three-run home run off the bat of Johan Mieses . Springfield would use the long ball again in the fifth to extend their lead to 4-0 as this time it was Dylan Carlson getting into the act with a home run over the wall in right.
After hitting the ball so well in their series against the Drillers, the Naturals finally saw their bats awaken in the home half of the fifth. Meibrys Viloria collected a one-out single and scored on a triple by Kort Peterson . With a runner at third, Blake Perkins followed with a sharp single to right-center field to make it a 4-2 game. Then on a beautifully called hit-and-run, Perkins used his elite speed to score on an Angelo Castellano single down the right field line to bring Northwest Arkansas within one at 4-3.
The one-run game stayed intact until the Cardinals were able to blow it open in the later innings. In the eighth, Jose Godoy singled home Mieses before Carlson delivered the knockout punch with a three-run triple to extend the advantage to 8-3. After Northwest Arkansas scored a run on a wild pitch, Godoy doubled home two more in the ninth to set the final score at 10-4.
Peterson, Viloria and Anderson Miller each had multi-hit games as the Naturals ended up with 10 hits on the night. Meanwhile, the Cardinals cranked out 14 hits with Carlson leading the way as he finished a single shy of the cycle while driving in four runs.
Gerson Garabito (L, 2-3) took the loss for Northwest Arkansas after giving up four runs on five hits in 5.0 innings of work. His counterpart, Johan Oviedo (W, 1-0) picked up his first win of the season by limiting the Naturals to three runs on seven hits through 7.0 innings while reliever Merandy Gonzalez (S, 2) earned his second save with 1.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Northwest Arkansas will continue their 7-game homestand with Game 2 of this 4-game set against the Springfield Cardinals (Double-A St. Louis) tomorrow night - Friday, May 17 - at 7:15 p.m. The weekend slate of games begin with Faith and Family Night featuring a pre-game concert by Tori Harper on a Fireworks Friday by Sam's Furniture. Northwest Arkansas will send right-hander Ofreidy Gomez (1-3, 4.58 ERA) to the mound while the Cardinals will counter with a righty of their own in Williams Perez (4-1, 4.30 ERA). Catch the live play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on AM 1590 - The Ticket 2 at 6:55 p.m. for the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to first pitch against the Cardinals from Arvest Ballpark.
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.