Left fielder Whit Merrifield continued his strong play of late, collecting three hits and three RBIs Friday night as Class AA Northwest Arkansas won 8-5 at Springfield.
Merrifield was three for four with a triple and two runs scored. Over his last nine games, Merrifield is hitting .382 with two doubles, two triples, a home run and nine RBIs.
Right fielder Jorge Bonifacio had two hits and an RBI.
The Naturals trailed 3-1 after five innings, but they scored two in the sixth, four in the seventh and one in the ninth and got the win.
Starter Tim Melville, 1-1, allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks in six innings. He struck out six.OTHER GAMES
• Class AAA Omaha outhit Oklahoma City 9-6, but lost the game 3-1. Starter Brett Tomko allowed three runs on six hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out five. Casey Coleman and Donnie Joseph each pitched a scoreless inning. Third baseman Johnny Giavotella had three hits, while Brett Eibner hit a solo homer in the first inning. Lorenzo Cain, who is on a rehab assignment, was zero for four.
• Class A-Advanced Wilmington scored twice in the top of the first and a trio of pitcher struck out a combined 14 in a 3-1 win at Carolina. Raul Mondesi opened the game with a single and, after an out, took second when Hunter Dozier walked. Zane Evans’ double scored Mondesi and Johermyn Chavez’s single brought home Dozier. In the fifth inning, Bubba Starling’s single scored Daniel Rockett, who had doubled and stole third. Jonathan Dziedzic gave up just one run on five hits in 4 2/3 innings, but he walked two and struck out seven. He threw 94 pitches before being relieved by Glenn Sparkman, who gave up just one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out five. Mark Peterson got his fifth save after allowing one hit in two scoreless innings. He fanned two.
• Every player in the lineup for Class A Lexington had at least one hit as the Legends thumped Hagerstown 12-4. Lexington was ahead 2-1 after the first inning, then pushed six runs across in the second and three more in the fifth. First baseman Frank Schwindel had a solo homer in the second inning and later added a double. DH Michael Antonio had three hits and three RBIs, while second baseman Ramon Torres also had three hits. Shortstop Humberto Arteaga, left fielder Fred Ford and center fielder Dominique Taylor each had two hits. Starter Jake Junis, 2-2, wasn’t crisp, allowing four runs on 12 hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out eight. Kenny Swab tossed two-hit ball in his three shutout innings of relief.