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Naturals Capture Finale in Frisco, 5-3

August 25, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Northwest Arkansas Naturals News Release

FRISCO, Texas - The Naturals accomplished a lot in the final game of the last road trip of 2019: Major League rehabber, Danny Duffy worked five innings of one-run baseball, the team set a new franchise record for most stolen bases in a single-season with three more thefts tonight, breaking the 2011 club mark of 205 and Northwest Arkansas snapped a four-game losing skid.

The Naturals never trailed in the finale against the RoughRiders on Sunday night and came away with a 5-3 win at Dr. Pepper Ballpark.

Duffy made his first rehab appearance since landing on the 10-day injured list on August 6 due to a left hamstring strain and pitched five strong innings to earn the win. It marked his first competitive outing since he last pitched for Kansas City on August 3 at Minnesota.

Northwest Arkansas (53-76/22-39) gave the big league rehabber an early lead. Kevin Merrell catalyzed the offense all night and started the game with a lead-off single. He moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a ground out and scored on a base-hit up the middle by Emmanuel Rivera to give the Naturals a 1-0 lead.

Merrell produced the next two runs an inning later. With the bases loaded, Merrell stroked a single into left-centerfield and brought home a pair to add to the Naturals lead, 3-0 off starter, Ronald Herrera (2-5, 5.74). Later in the inning, Merrell swiped second base, setting a new single-season record for most stolen bases in a season, breaking the 2011 club record of 2011.

Leading 3-1 entering the fifth, the Naturals added another run. Dairon Blanco lashed a single to right, stole second and third base and scored on a base-hit by Rivera, giving him a pair of RBIs on the night and pushed his season-total to 57.

Following Duffy's outing of five innings, four hits, one-run baseball with four strikeouts, left-hander, Emilio Ogando entered with a 12 and two-third inning scoreless streak. Frisco's Charles LeBlanc - who homered off Duffy in the second - roped a two-run double down the left-field line to cut the lead to 4-3. The Naturals responded in the eighth.

With Gabriel Cancel on second, Jordan George drove a single up the middle, past the shift, and scored Cancel to make it a 5-3 game.

Right-hander, Andres Sotillet logged a scoreless inning of relief in the seventh and left-hander, Jake Brentz followed suit in the eighth. Right-hander, Tyler Zuber locked down the save - his ninth of the season - with three fly outs to centerfielder, Blanco, to complete the win.

The Naturals finished 2-4 on the road trip and head home for the final homestand of the 2019 season, set to play nine games in eight days. Northwest Arkansas welcomes in the Midland RocKhounds (Oakland A's) - a team that's won five straight and took two of three from the Naturals during the road trip - for a four-game series starting on Monday, August 26 at Arvest Ballpark.

Right-hander, Brady Singer (5-3, 3.87) takes the hill for his 15th start of the season against right-hander, Grant Holmes (6-4, 3.26) for Midland. Singer owns a 2.20 ERA over his last seven starts entering his outing on Monday night.

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 NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.


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