May 15, 2017 - Texas League (TL) - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
HERNANDEZ DRIVES IN THREE, WILSON EARNS 400TH CAREER WIN
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Naturals' newcomer, Elier Hernandez, drove in three runs with a pair of doubles on Monday night to secure win No. 400 in the minor league managerial career for Vance Wilson as the Naturals defeated the Arkansas Travelers 6-2 at Dickey-Stephens Park.
Hernandez got the offense going early in the first inning against Travelers' starter, Lindsey Caughel (2-4, 4.24). After Frank Schwindel drove home the Naturals' first run in the inning, Hernandez dropped a two-run double down the left-field line to plate Samir Duenez from second and score Schwindel from first to jump over Arkansas, 3-0.
Northwest Arkansas (19-16) padded the lead in the third inning on the second double of the night by Hernandez, scoring Duenez from second base.
Right-hander, Miguel Almonte, protected the advantage over three and two-thirds of scoreless pitching and punched out four hitters. Right-hander, Ashton Goudeau (2-2, 2.63) worked four innings of relief, allowed one run on five hits and struck out two.
The Naturals tacked on an insurance run in the eighth and then another in the ninth inning. Mauricio Ramos singled to left-center in the eighth on a two-strike, two-out pitch by Arkansas (14-22) reliever, Thaygo Vieira to plate Ruben Sosa from second, extending the lead to 5-2.
Alfredo Escalera moved his hitting streak to six games with a run-scoring infield single in the ninth to make the score 6-2.
Left-hander, Sam Selman, notched the final four outs to secure his first save since 2015, striking out the final two batters of his outing.
The win marked the fifth consecutive victory over the Travelers for the Naturals on the season, improving to 5-0 on the overall season-series.
Northwest Arkansas remains tied for first place following the victory on Monday night with the Springfield Cardinals. The Naturals have held at least a share of first place in the Texas League North Division for the past 14 consecutive days.
The series continues at Dickey-Stephens Park on Tuesday night as the Naturals send right-hander, Zach Lovvorn (2-3, 4.26) to the hill for his eighth start of the season against right-hander, Max Povse (3-1, 3.51) countering for the Travelers with a 7:10 p.m. first pitch.
Join the Voice of the Naturals, Benjamin Kelly, with a 6:50 p.m. pregame show, leading up to first pitch on the flagship station of the Naturals, 92.1-FM, the Ticket.
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.