Springdale, AR-A ninth inning rally propelled the Northwest Arkansas Naturals to a 3-2 win over the Arkansas Travelers on Monday night.
The Travs took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth but couldn't make it stand up. Back-to-back singles with one out put the tying and winning runs on base before Ruben Sosa's squeeze bunt plated the tying run as the Travelers tried for the out at the plate and came up just shy. After a strikeout of the next hitter, Allan de San Miguel's groundball base hit to center scored the game winner.
The Naturals had received great pitching nearly the entire night. Starter Brett Ash worked through five innings after allowing a solo homer to Samir Duenez in the first. Ash was touched for five hits while striking out two. Ryan Horstman followed out of the bullpen and retired all six hitters he faced including four strikeouts. Tago then worked a scoreless eighth before the decisive final frame. At one point in the game, Ash, Horstman and Tago combined to put down 14 consecutive Naturals batters.
Both Travs' runs came in the top of the second as Joey Wong (walk) and Jay Baum (double) set the table with one out. Nelson Ward delivered a sacrifice fly followed by a two-out RBI hit from Chuck Taylor. Arkansas would have opportunities to extend the lead but could never come through. They finished the night 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left a total of 10 men on base.
Chuck Taylor (2-for-5) and Ryan Casteel (1-for-5) were both able to extend their hitting streaks to now 11 games each.
The Travs will try to shed their skid tomorrow with a day game to wrap up the series in Springdale. First pitch is set for 11:05 a.m. with right-hander Lindsey Caughel (2-2, 4.28) going for the Travelers against lefty Matt Tenuta (1-1, 10.19) for the Naturals. The game will be broadcast on the Sports Animal 920, the First Pitch App, TuneIn radio and milb.tv.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.