Naturals Start Second Half with Win over Poodles
SPRINGDALE, Ark - The starting second baseman for the Texas League North Division in the upcoming All-Star game spelled trouble for the First Half Champions of the South Division as Gabriel Cancel had three hits and drove in two in the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (32-37/1-0) 7-3 win over the Amarillo Sod Poodles (34-35/0-1) in the Second Half opener at Arvest Ballpark.
The visitors literally raced out to an early 1-0 advantage in the first against Naturals' starter J.C. Cloney as Kyle Overstreet and Edward Olivares pulled off a successful double steal, which resulted in Olivares stealing home for the game's first run.
The game remained 1-0 until the home half of the second. With the bases loaded and one out, Hunter Dozier gave Northwest Arkansas their first lead of the game with a double down right field line to plate Anderson Miller and Taylor Featherston. Cancel then followed with his first hit of the game, an RBI single, before an RBI groundout by Khalil Lee completed the scoring.
The Naturals would push another run across in the fourth as Featherston led off with a double then scored on a Heath single.
The Sod Poodles would cut the four-run deficit to 5-3 with two-runs in the fifth off Naturals' reliever Drew Storen. Outfielder Buddy Reed led things off with a solo home run to right field and then Overstreet plated Ivan Castillo with a run-scoring single.
Clinging to the two-run lead, the Naturals would put the game away with two more runs in the sixth. Cancel doubled home Heath, whom walked to begin the frame, before eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Emmanuel Rivera to set the final at 7-3.
The Naturals scored seven runs on eight hits and were led by the top of their order as the trio of Heath, Dozier and Cancel combined for six hits of the eight hits, scored four runs and drove in a combined five runs in the victory on Tuesday night.
Right-hander Andres Sotillet (W, 4-1) earned the win with 2.0 scoreless innings of relief. Cloney, whom started, did not factor into the decision after tossing 4.0 innings of one-run ball while striking out five. Meanwhile, Ronald Bolanos (L, 1-2) took the loss for the Double-A Padres after giving up five runs, three earned, on six hits while walking three and striking out six.
Northwest Arkansas will continue their 7-game homestand tomorrow afternoon - Wednesday, June 19th - with the series finale against the Amarillo Sod Poodles (Double-A San Diego Padres) at Arvest Ballpark. Join us for Matinee Baseball at Arvest Ballpark on Summer Camp Day with first pitch slated for 12:05 p.m. The Naturals will send the Royals top-ranked prospect to the hill in right-hander Brady Singer (1-0, 9.24 ERA) where he'll square off against left-hander Adrian Morejon (0-4, 4.56 ERA) of the Sod Poodles. Catch all of the live play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on KQSM - 92.1 The Ticket at 11:45 a.m. for the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to first pitch against the Double-A San Diego Padres.
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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