Early Walks Doom Naturals in 4-0 Loss at Midland
MIDLAND, Texas - The RockHounds scored three runs with one hit in the opening inning and that proved to be enough. Midland evened the best-of-three game series with a 4-0 win over the Naturals on Wednesday night at Security Bank Ballpark.
Starter, Gerson Garabito (6-10, 4.14) walked the first three hitters of the game, struck out the next two and then gave-up a bases-clearing double to put Northwest Arkansas in an early 3-0 hole. The 24-year old settled in after the double and retired seven of the next eight batters and gave five innings of three-run baseball with six strikeouts.
Northwest Arkansas (52-73/21-36) struggled to find the clutch hit against the RockHounds' pitchers on Wednesday night, leaving eight men on base and going 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The Naturals also made two key base-running blunders late in the contest to thwart any potential rally.
Infielder, Kevin Merrell continued his homecoming back to the Permian Basin. The former Midland infielder finished a homer shy of the cycle with a first inning triple, third inning bunt double and an infield hit in the seventh. Merrell pushed the bunt past the charging third baseman and, with the over-shift employed the right-side of the infield, Merrell raced into second with a feet-first slide for his 17th double of the season.
Merrell's three-hit performance is his fifth of the season and his second as a member of the Naturals. Merrell has now hit safely in four straight games with seven hits in his last 17 at-bats with two doubles and a triple. Jordan George singled twice for the other multi-hit performance by a Natural.
Left-hander, Emilio Ogando extended his scoreless inning streak to 12.1 innings with a shutout frame in the sixth. Newly added left-hander, Jake Brentz allowed a two-out double to the Texas League leader in two-baggers, Edwin Diaz, which accounted for the RockHounds' fourth run of the game.
Right-hander, Grant Gavin, struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning.
The Naturals saw the club's three-game road win streak snapped; but have won five of the last seven ballgames. Northwest Arkansas looks to clinch the club's second straight series victory on Thursday night in the rubber-match of the series. Left-hander, J.C. Cloney (2-4, 3.53) takes the ball against right-hander, James Kaprielian (1-1, 2.50) for the RockHounds.
Join the "Voice of the Naturals," Benjamin Kelly on 92.1-FM, the Ticket and the Naturals Radio Network for a 6:40 Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to the 7:00 p.m.
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.
• Discuss this story on the Texas League message board...
Texas League Stories from August 21, 2019
- Amarillo Drops Extra Innings Showdown - Amarillo Sod Poodles
- Drillers Outlast Amarillo in 11-Inning Win - Tulsa Drillers
- Long Ball Helps Travs Level Series - Corpus Christi Hooks
- Travs Homer 3 Times in Support of Dunn to Beat Hooks - Arkansas Travelers
- Eighth-Inning Push Falls Short Wednesday - Frisco RoughRiders
- Hounds Blank Naturals, Even Series - Midland RockHounds
- Early Walks Doom Naturals in 4-0 Loss at Midland - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
- Cardinals Book Drive = $1 Tickets for Donations on August 27 - Springfield Cardinals
- Brock Burke Makes Big League Debut - Frisco RoughRiders
- Teammates Dawson, Adcock Overcome College Rivalry... Sort Of - Corpus Christi Hooks
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.