Naturals Drop Decision to Roughriders
SPRINGDALE, Ark - Third baseman Angelo Castellano doubled home a run and then doubled again to make it interesting in the ninth but the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (56-81/25-44) would drop a 2-1 decision to the Frisco RoughRiders (68-70/35-34) on Sunday night in front of a crowd of 6,091 at Arvest Ballpark. The win gives Frisco the series victory as Northwest Arkansas will look to close out the 2019 season with a victory in the season finale on Labor Day - Monday, September 2nd - at 1:05 p.m.
Trailing 2-1 with just an out remaining, Northwest Arkansas began to rally with two outs in the ninth. Jordan George reached on an error before Castellano doubled for the second time in the game to put runners on second and third against Walker Weickel; however, the 'Riders reliever was up to the challenge as Weickel (S, 3) got D.J. Burt to groundout sharply to end it.
Frisco scored their runs on Sunday evening in the top of the third on a two-run double by Leody Taveras. Michael De Leon reached by a fielding error before Brendon Davis walked to setup the two-out hit by Taveras to give the visitors the 2-0 lead.
Northwest Arkansas would add their tally to the scoreboard in the home half of the seventh. Khalil Lee led off the frame with a single and stole second, his league-leading 53rd steal of the season, before George worked a walk to put runners at first and second. Castellano followed with a RBI double to left field, which scored Lee and brought the Naturals to within a run at 2-1.
Both starting pitchers were excellent in the contest. Naturals' right-hander Gerson Garabito (L, 6-12) suffered another hard-luck defeat as he gave up the two unearned runs in 8.0 innings of work while striking out six. The runs didn't impact his ERA, which finishes at 3.77. In his last two outings, both defeats, Garabito gave up three runs, two earned, in 15.0 innings pitched.
Left-hander Dan Tillo fired a scoreless ninth out of the Northwest Arkansas bullpen to keep it within one for the final at-bat.
Tyler Phillips (W, 7-9) earned the win with 6.1 innings of one-run baseball as he struck out 10 and allowed just three hits. Weickel worked the last 2.2 innings, keeping Northwest Arkansas off the board, to earn his third save of the season.
Northwest Arkansas will conclude their 2019 season with the home finale against the Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A Texas Rangers) at Arvest Ballpark on Monday, September 2nd. Fan Appreciation Weekend by Crain Buick GMC of Springdale concludes with an Unused Ticket Day presented by Ozarks Electric Cooperative featuring $1 Hot Dogs courtesy of Tyson Foods, Inc. and Indigo Sky Casino Baseball Bingo as gates will open at 12:00 p.m. for the Labor Day game at 1:05 p.m. The Naturals will give the baseball to left-hander J.C. Cloney (2-6, 4.02 ERA) and he'll be opposed by right-hander Richelson Pena (1-4, 4.68 ERA) of the RoughRiders. It's your last chance to catch the play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on KQSM - 92.1 The Ticket starting at 12:45 p.m. with the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to the finale.
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, promotions, group options and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.
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