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Big Lead Vanishes in 12-8 Loss at Hodgetown

July 19, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Northwest Arkansas Naturals News Release

AMARILLO, Texas - Northwest Arkansas witnessed a pair of seven-run leads vanish on Friday night at Hodgetown. Amarillo stormed back to take the series opener, 12-8 in-front of 6,811.

The Naturals jumped all over No. 3 prospect in all of Minor League Baseball, Mackenzie Gore in the first inning with a three-spot to begin the contest. Kevin Merrell drove in the first run with a two-strike single, Khalil Lee followed with a run-scoring double and Taylor Featherston brought in the third tally with a ground-out.

Gabriel Cancel whacked his 15th home run of the season in the third inning to extend the lead to 4-0 and then in the fourth more homers came. Freddy Fermin, with a man aboard, laced his second homer of the season off Gore to give the Naturals' a 6-0 lead and on the very next pitch, Angelo Castellano cranked his fourth of the season to go back-to-back with Fermin and giving the Naturals a 7-0 lead.

Amarillo scored twice in the fourth inning off starter, J.C. Cloney who had thrown just 31 pitches through his first three innings of work up to the fourth frame. He kept Amarillo off the board in the fifth and Castellano roped a no-doubt home run in the sixth inning to give the Naturals' an 8-2 lead over the hometown team.

Cloney went back out for the sixth inning and Amarillo put up five runs, four earned, capitalizing on two miscues in the field by the Naturals to trim the lead to 8-7. Right-hander, Conner Greene ended the sixth innings by getting the lone batter faced in the inning. Cloney went five and two-third innings, allowed seven runs, six earned, on nine hits with one walk and no strikeouts.

Greene (3-8, 5.46 ERA) suffered the losing the decision after Amarillo tied the game in the seventh and scored four in the eighth inning to make it a 12-8 final score.

Cancel finished three-for-four in the contests and a triple shy of the cycle. Castellano became the third player this season to hit two homers in the same game, first since Heath did so on July 2. Fermin and Castellano combined to go back-to-back for the third time this year, first since Anderson Miller and Travis Jones on May 14 did so at home.

The Naturals (42-53/11-16) entered the game having scored just eight total runs in the first three games of the road trip and put up eight runs in the first six innings against Amarillo to begin the series. The 11 hits are the most in a nine-inning game since Northwest Arkansas put-up 17 hits on Amarillo at home on June 19. The Naturals recorded 15 hits in a 13-inning game against Arkansas at home on July 2. The seven extra-base hits are the second-most in a game this season, as are the four home runs.

The series continues on Saturday, July 20 at Hodgetown. Right-hander, Ofreidy Gomez (6-7, 3.86 ERA) looks to bounce-back after his previous losing decision and even the series at a game each. Left-hander, Adrian Morejon (0-4, 4.25 ERA) will take the hill for the hometown team.

Join the "Voice of the Naturals," Benjamin Kelly on 92.1-FM, the Ticket and the Naturals Radio Network for a 6:45 Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to the 7:05 p.m. 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, and more, please visit, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and

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