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Errors befell Naturals in season opener

April 9, 2009 - Texas League (TL) - Northwest Arkansas Naturals News Release

SAN ANTONIO, TX- Dan Cortes struggled and the Naturals offense stranded ten runners as the San Antonio Missions beat Northwest Arkansas by a 7-2 margin Thursday in the first regular season Texas League contest for both clubs. San Antonio (1-0) got to Cortes early, scoring two runs in the first frame. Eric Sogard walked with one out and advanced all the way to third on a single by Cedric Hunter (2-for-4, 2 runs, RBI) before scoring on a groundout by Mike Baxter. Hunter came in on a triple by Craig Cooper.

Although the Naturals (0-1) would get a run back when Brian McFall scored on a sacrifice fly by John Suomi, it was all Missions after that point, as San Antonio put up a three-spot in the bottom of the third. Speedy leadoff hitter Luis Durango singled and promptly ended up at third when a throwing error by Cortes while attempting to gun down the runner ended up in center field. Sogard tripled in Durango and scored himself on a single by Hunter. A single by Mitch Canham scored the third run of the frame.

Six different San Antonio hitters recorded an RBI in the game. The Missions would get two more runs in the sixth off of Naturals' reliever Gilbert de la Vara, making his first appearance since returning from the Astros' organization, where he spent his spring after being selected in December's Rule 5 Draft.

The miscue by Cortes (0-1) was just one of five errors for the Naturals on the evening. The young righty tossed three innings, allowing six hits and walking two. He fanned six hitters but allowed five runs in his short outing.

Right fielder Jordan Parraz had two of the errors, and infielders Mario Lisson and Kurt Mertins also had one apiece.

The Naturals did manage to get a second run in the ninth when McFall singled in Lisson, who had reached on an error to lead off the frame, but the ten runners stranded by Northwest Arkansas in the game combined with several extra bases San Antonio was able to take on the Naturals' fielding miscues doomed their efforts.

San Antonio starter Stephen Faris (1-0) went six innings, allowing four hits and a run while striking out two and issuing no free passes.

The two teams meet again Friday night. Right-hander Anthony Lerew takes the hill for the Naturals opposite Missions' right-hander Will Inman.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. The home opener is Thursday, April 16th against the San Antonio Missions. The Naturals have a toll-free ticket hotline (1-877-444-2637) for fans to purchase Naturals tickets. Our website, offers fans the opportunity to purchase tickets online and avoid lines at the ticket windows by printing their tickets at home or at the office.

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