Strong pitching carried Class AA Northwest Arkansas to a doubleheader sweep of Springfield on Thursday as the Naturals won 8-1 and 3-2.
By PETE GRATHOFF
The Kansas City Star
Sugar Ray Marimon pitched his second straight complete game in a doubleheader as he won the opener by allowing one run on five hits with a walk. He struck out a season-best eight.
Marimon threw 97 pitches in his seven innings and 70 were for strikes. He also tossed a complete game in a twinbill on May 26, although he took a 1-0 loss that day.
Matt Fields hit a two-run homer as part of a three-run first inning for the Naturals. They added five in the fourth inning. Fields had a two-run single in that inning, and Orlando Calixte added a run-scoring hit. The other runs scored via a wild pitch and an error.
In the nightcap, Aaron Brooks won his second straight start at Class AA, giving up one run on seven hits with three strikeouts over six innings. He threw 81 pitches and 57 were strikes. Brooks, a 6-foo-4 right-hander who was promoted from High-A Wilmington, is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA.
Zach Johnson allowed a run in the seventh, but he stranded the potential tying run at second and got the save.
The Naturals scored all their runs in the third inning as Brett Eibner tripled home Whit Merrifield, and Calixte followed with a two-run homer.
Class AAA Omaha
Chris Dwyer gave up one run on nine hits in seven innings as the Storm Chasers won 4-2 at Nashville. Dwyer struck out seven without a walk and of his 107 pitches, 70 were for strikes.
Jarrod Dyson, who is on a rehab assignment (high ankle sprain), opened the game with a double and took third on an error. It looked like he might be stranded there, but Xavier Nady hit his 11th homer of the season as Omaha grabbed a quick 2-0 lead.
In his last 39 games, dating back to April 27, Nady has a slash line of .350/.406/.571 with eight homers, seven doubles and 25 RBIs.
Nashville got a run back in its half of the first, but it stayed 2-1 until the eighth. Willy Taveras singled and took second on a wild pitch. Quintin Berry followed with a two-run homer, his first since joining the Storm Chasers.
Louis Coleman got the save by pitching two innings and allowing just one unearned run.
Winston-Salem scored two in the ninth to tie it and two more in the 11th and stunned the Blue Rocks 5-3.
It ruined a good start from Kellen Moen, who gave up one run on five hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Second baseman Jack Lopez had three hits, scored two runs, doubled and stole home in the seventh inning to give the Blue Rocks a 3-1 lead.
The Legends allowed five runs over the last three innings, including three in the ninth, and lost in walk-off fashion 7-6 at Asheville.
First baseman Mark Donato hit a two-run homer in the first to stake Lexington to an early lead. Catcher Cameron Gallagher hit a two-run shot as part of a three-run third as the Legends took a 5-1 lead.
In the fourth, Fred Ford and Mark Threlkeld hit consecutive doubles to up the advantage to 6-1.
The Legends led 6-3 heading into the eighth when Clayton Schulz took the mound. He allowed a run in the eighth, and in the ninth Asheville got a walk followed by three singles to make it 6-5.
Cory Hall came on and got two outs without a run scoring, but Michael Ramirez hit a double that scored two and the Tourists won the game.