Northwest Arkansas Pounds Frisco; Completes Sweep
SPRINGDALE, Ark - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals (23-26, 58-61) pounded the Frisco RoughRiders (28-22, 52-68) by a 13-2 final to complete the three-game sweep and finish their 10-game homestand with a 9-1 record. Northwest Arkansas won all three of their series, two by sweeps, and completely dominated the RoughRiders as they outscored them 31-to-5 in the series.
Northwest Arkansas got the offense going with a run in the first. Erick Mejia singled to open the frame, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error by Pedro Payano on a pickoff attempt, and then came into score on a wild pitch for the 1-0 lead.
Frisco came back to tie it in the top of the second on a Luis Mendez RBI single to right field. Northwest Arkansas would answer with three runs in the home half as Xavier Fernandez had a two-run double while Mejia had a sacrifice fly for the 4-1 lead.
The Naturals took over from then on as they exploded for two runs in the fourth, two in the fifth and five in the sixth. Alex Liddi extended the lead to 6-2 with a bases loaded, two-run single to center field in the fourth inning. Payano (L, 4-9) would exit after 4.0 innings but reliever Tyler Davis would not fare any better as the righty gave up singles to Alfredo Escalera and Fernandez before Jecksson Flores tagged him for a two-run double off of the base of the wall in left center for the 8-1 lead after five.
After Frisco scored a run in the sixth on a solo home run by Michael O'Neill, Northwest Arkansas put the game out of reach with a RBI groundout sandwiched between a pair of two-run doubles by Liddi and Mejia for an insurmountable 13-2 lead.
The scoring would end after the sixth as the relief trio of Gabe Speier, Grant Gavin, and Andres Machado would toss 3.0 scoreless innings down the stretch to close out the 13-2 victory, which earns the Naturals a sweep to close out the homestand.
Naturals' starter Luis Lugo (W, 1-1) earned his first professional victory in almost a year as he tossed 5.0 innings of one-run ball.
Today's game concludes the Naturals 10-game homestand. After a league-wide off day tomorrow, Northwest Arkansas will hit the road for a six-game trip in Texas that beings with a three-game series in Midland from Tuesday, August 14 through Thursday, August 16 before traveling to Frisco for the final three-games of the trip against the RoughRiders. The Naturals will enjoy an off day on Monday, August 20 before opening up a series at Arvest Ballpark against Springfield on Tuesday, August 21.
The Naturals will send RHP Jace Vines (2-1, 5.76 ERA) to the mound on Tuesday night in the series opener against Midland. Catch the live play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on KQSM - 92.1 The Ticket starting at 6:10 p.m. for the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to the 6:30 p.m. first pitch from Security Bank Ballpark in Midland, Texas.
Follow the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Facebook and Twitter @NWANaturals all throughout the year by using the hashtag #NaturalPastime and #CrowntoCrown for all of our up-to-date information on the 2018 season of Naturals baseball.
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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