August 6, 2017 - Texas League (TL) - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -Randy Arozarena, ended a four-hour and eight-minute marathon in devastating fashion for the Naturals. The Springfield outfielder slugged a 3-1 pitch over the left-field wall to end the game in 12 innings by an 8-7 final score on Saturday night at Hammons Field. It marked the first walk-off home run against Northwest Arkansas this season.
In the back-and-forth affair, the Naturals (55-58/16-27) struck first against Cardinals' starter, Zac Gallen. After Paulo Orlando coaxed a one-out walk in the top of the first inning, Samir Duenez, hit a towering, fly-ball home run over the right-field wall against a vicious cross-wind to vault the Naturals in front 2-0.
Duenez tied the game in the third inning, after the Cardinals captured a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the first, with his second home run of the evening. The 21-year old prospect punched a Gallen fastball over the leftfield wall - the opposite field - and tied the game at 3-3.
The Naturals regained the advantage later in the third after Mauricio Ramos bounced a pitch to third base. The ball was fielded by third-baseman, Jacob Wilson, but thrown away to allow Donnie Dewees to score from second base. Ramos came around to score on a run-scoring single by Anderson Miller, capping off the three-run frame and giving the Naturals a 5-3.
Springfield tied the game at 5-5 in the fourth inning; but the Naturals scored twice in the sixth to take a 7-5 advantage. The Cardinals again tied the score in the eighth inning on a two-out, two-strike single by back-up catcher, Jesse Jenner and the deadlock held through 11 full frames.
Starter, Corey Ray, worked 5.0 innings, allowed five runs on eight hits with one strikeout in his 23rd start of the season. The bullpen combined to pitch six-plus innings of two-run relief between three left-handers, Matt Tenuta, Richard Lovelady and 2.2 innings from Tim Hill. Right-hander, Mark Peterson (0-1, 2.70) worked the final 1.2 innings.
The Naturals pounded out a season-high 18 with just three extra-base knocks. Duenez finished 3-for-6 on the evening with a pair of home runs, giving him 15 on the season - good for a new career-best. Duenez hit 13 between three levels during 2016. The 21-year old now has 67 RBIs - the most he's recorded at any single level in one year; he tabbed 100 in three levels in 2016.
Five different Naturals recorded two-or-more hits in the game with Dewees collecting three hits including his 21st double on the year.
The loss marks the 12th consecutive road loss for the Naturals, setting a new franchise record.
The Naturals conclude the four-game series on Sunday evening at Hammons Field with a 6:10 p.m. first pitch. Left-hander, Foster Griffin (8-3, 3.33) will make his 14th start of the season for the Naturals against right-hander, Ryan Helsley (0-0, 2.25) takes the hill for the Cardinals.
Join the Voice of the Naturals, Benjamin Kelly, for a 5:50 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.