Greene, Naturals Shutout Cardinals
SPRINGDALE, Ark - Facing his former team for the third time this year, Northwest Arkansas starter Conner Greene (W, 2-0) continued his dominant ways with 6.0 scoreless innings as the Naturals (7-9) shutout the Springfield Cardinals (5-11) by a 1-0 final on Friday night. The victory moves the Naturals to 6-0 against their North Division rivals at Arvest Ballpark this season.
Greene, 24, made his fourth start of the season and dazzled once again. The 6-3, 200 pounder out of California shutout his former mates through 6.0 innings of work while striking out three in the game. Through three starts against Springfield, Greene is 2-0 and has only allowed four earned runs in 17.0 innings of work to go along with 15 strikeouts compared to seven walks.
Northwest Arkansas gave their starter the advantage he needed with a run in the fifth frame. Samir Duenez singled to right-center before moving to second on a one-out single by Taylor Featherston. After a fielder's choice retired Duenez at third, Anderson Miller delivered the game-winning knock with a sharp single through the hole at second base for the 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals put up their biggest threat against Greene in the sixth. Two walks eventually setup runners at second and third with two outs but the right-hander was able to coax an inning-ending groundout by Jose Godoy to keep the visitors scoreless.
Naturals' manager Darryl Kennedy called upon a couple of veteran arms out of his bullpen to preserve the shutout and they did just that. Right-hander Yunior Marte (H, 2) worked 2.0 scoreless innings before lefty Gabe Speier (S, 2) closed out the ninth.
Cardinals' starter Anthony Shew (L, 0-2) took the tough loss in the pitcher's duel as he gave up just the lone run on four hits in 7.0 innings while striking out five. However, it was not enough to overcome the pitching trio of Greene, Marte and Speier.
With the shutout victory, the Naturals secured their third straight win as well as their second series victory of the year.
Northwest Arkansas will conclude their short 3-game homestand against the Springfield Cardinals (Double-A St. Louis) on Saturday night - April 20 - with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. for the return of Princess & Cowboy Night featuring an in-game Easter Egg Hunt at the conclusion of the first inning as well as a Bullpen Craft Beer Bar Happy Hour from 4:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Kansas City Royals' left-hander Danny Duffy will be making a MLB rehab start for the Naturals and he'll be opposed by right-hander Williams Perez (1-1, 9.75 ERA) of the Cardinals. Catch all of the live play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on AM 1590 - The Ticket 2 beginning at 5:45 p.m. for the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to the first pitch of the series finale against the Double-A Cardinals from Arvest Ballpark.
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, group outing opportunities, and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.
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