Dozier Drives in a Pair But Naturals Fall in First Half Finale
SPRINGDALE, Ark - Kansas City Royals infielder Hunter Dozier drove in a pair of runs with a single in the third but it was not enough as the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (31-37) fall in the First Half finale to the Amarillo Sod Poodles (34-34) on Monday night by an 8-2 final. With Amarillo's victory and Midland's loss, the Sod Poodles win the First Half title in the South Division.
Eric Skoglund (L, 1-1) made his second start for Northwest Arkansas on Major League rehab assignment and was solid in the early going as he retired six out of the first eight batters he faced. The game remained scoreless into the third before the Naturals jumped out in front with help from another big leaguer. With the bases loaded and two outs, Dozier ripped a line drive single to right-center field that scored Kort Peterson and Khalil Lee to give his team an early 2-0 advantage over Amarillo.
The lead would be short-lived though as the Sod Poodles countered with three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth. Brad Zunica tied the game in the fourth with a two-run triple before scoring on a Ruddy Giron groundout to give the visitors their first lead of the game. Then in the fifth, Edward Olivares had a RBI single while Luis Torrens had a RBI double for the 5-2 lead.
After earning a win over Amarillo last week, Skoglund would exit the game after giving up five runs in just 4.1 innings tonight.
Smelling a chance at a First Half title in their inaugural season, the Sod Poodles added two more runs in the seventh. Ivan Castillo led off with a single and scored before Kyle Overstreet knocked in Olivares with a single for a commanding 7-2 lead. Then in the ninth, Overstreet would add his second RBI single of the game to set the final at 8-2 before the celebration ensued.
Lake Bachar (W, 3-2) earned the win by limiting the Naturals to two runs on two hits through 6.0 innings of work before giving way to the bullpen trio of Blake Rogers, Evan Miller and David Bednar as they tossed 3.0 perfect frames to end the game.
Dozier went 1-for-4 with two RBIs in the first game of his rehabilitation stint with Northwest Arkansas while Angelo Castellano collected the other hit for the Naturals on a night where they were out-hit by their opposition by a 14-to-2 margin.
Tonight's game concluded the First Half of the Texas League season. Tomorrow the records reset as the Second Half begins.
Northwest Arkansas will continue their 7-game homestand tomorrow night - Tuesday, June 18th - with Game 2 of this 3-game series against the Amarillo Sod Poodles (Double-A San Diego Padres) at Arvest Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and it's an Arvest Customer Discount Night with Johnsonville Buck-A-Brats featuring a T-Shirt Giveaway by Grand Lake Casino. The Naturals will send lefty J.C. Cloney (2-2, 2.65 ERA) to the mound where he'll face right-hander Ronald Bolanos (1-1, 9.00 ERA) of the Sod Poodles. Catch all of the live play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on KQSM - 92.1 The Ticket at 6:45 p.m. for the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to first pitch against the Double-A Padres.
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.
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Texas League Stories from June 17, 2019
- Tulsa Defeats Frisco to Close out Half - Tulsa Drillers
- Riders Bid for First-Half Title Falls Short in Tulsa - Frisco RoughRiders
- Dozier Drives in a Pair But Naturals Fall in First Half Finale - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
- Hooks, Toro Bull Past Travs - Arkansas Travelers
- Hooks Close First Half with Win Behind Bailey, McHugh - Corpus Christi Hooks
- Austin Warner Named Texas League Pitcher of the Week - Springfield Cardinals
- Sod Poodles Infielder Owen Miller Named Texas League Player of the Week - Amarillo Sod Poodles
- Homestand Highlights: June 17 - June 23 - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
- Hounds Drop Series Finale to Travelers - Midland RockHounds
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