Ball Star

Naturals flex muscles in 21-6 win at Springfield

Updated: 2013-08-21T04:44:26Z

The Naturals scored in just four innings on Tuesday and trailed after five innings.

So, yeah, it’s kind of surprising that Northwest Arkansas ended up winning 21-6 at Springfield. The Naturals were down 5-3, but scored six in the sixth, five in the eighth and seven in the ninth. Not bad considering they scored eight runs in the previous five games.

Northwest Arkansas, 28-29 in the second half, pulled within a game of Texas League North co-leaders Springfield and Arkansas. Tulsa, which was the first-half champion, is two games off the lead.

On Tuesday, the Naturals hit four home runs, and each was a three-run shot: Lane Adams in the first inning, Matt Fields (his 30th of the year) in the sixth, Cheslor Cuthbert in the eighth and Whit Merrifield in the ninth.

Adams had six RBIs, scored three times and added a double. It was a second straight terrific Tuesday for Adams, who a week earlier hit three homers in a game and had seven RBIs.

Merrifield had three hits and four RBIs, Brett Eibner added three hits, including two doubles, and scored three times, and Jorge Bonifacio scored three times, walked twice and knocked in two runs.

Starter Andy Ferguson allowed five runs on six hits in four innings with four strikeouts and one walk. Sam Runion, 4-2, allowed two hits in two scoreless innings.

Class AAA Omaha

Left-hander John Lamb settled down after a rough first inning but still took the loss as the Storm Chasers lost 4-0 at Memphis.

Lamb, 0-2, gave up two runs in the first, but allowed just three overall in his six innings of work. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out two. Lamb threw 54 of his 96 pitches for strikes.

Omaha managed just three singles.

Class A-Advanced Wilmington

Ali Williams allowed four runs in the eighth inning and the Blue Rocks lost 6-2 to Potomac.

Wilmington starter Tripp Davis gave up two unearned runs on four hits in five innings.

Right fielder Geulin Beltre had two hits and an RBI, while first baseman Dennis Raben doubled and scored.

Andrew Edwards, who was promoted recently from Burlington, pitched two perfect innings.

Class A Lexington

Mark Donato’s three-run home run capped a four-run seventh inning as the Legends rallied for a 6-3 win against Augusta.

Lexington trailed 3-1 after five innings, but got a run back in the sixth when Donato scored on a ground out by Terrance Gore.

Mark Threlkeld opened the seventh with a double and took third on a groundout. Hunter Dozier’s double scored Threlkeld and tied the game at 3-3. Cameron Gallagher then walked and Donato launched his home run to right field, giving the Legends a 6-3 lead. The team estimated the blast at 420 feet.

Donato, Dozier and Gallagher each had two hits. Gore had two RBIs and stole his 65th base of the season.

Starter Daniel Stumpf allowed three runs on six hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked one. Kevin Allen, 3-1, struck out four in two innings scoreless innings. Mark Peterson got his 17th save with a perfect ninth inning. He struck out two.

Rookie Burlington

Mark Tenuta allowed one run on four hits in five innings and was the hard-luck loser as the Royals fell 1-0 at Kingsport.

Cruz Guevara (no hits), Ryan Mattes (one hit) and Jose Miguel Rodriguez (one hit, one walk) each pitched one scoreless inning.

Burlington was held to two singles.

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/pgrathoff

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