Better late than never for Orlando Calixte and Class AA Northwest Arkansas.
Calixte, who made his season debut Saturday, hit a walk-off home run with one out in the ninth inning on Sunday as the Naturals beat Springfield 9-8. Calixte, who is from the Dominican Republic, reportedly had trouble with his visa and missed the start of the season. When he got to the U.S., Calixte spent time at extended spring training, but the Royals assigned him to Northwest Arkansas on Saturday.
The winning home run was Calixte’s second of the game. He hit a solo shot in the fifth inning that gave the Naturals a 7-3 lead. However, the bullpen couldn’t maintain the lead as the Cardinals scored three in the sixth. Justin Trapp homered in the seventh, but the Cardinals tied the game at 8-8 with a two-run eighth inning.
That set the stage for Calixte’s heroics.
Northwest Arkansas trailed 2-0 in the third when it pushed across six runs. Jorge Bonifacio’s grand slam was the key blow. It was his second home run of the season.
Starter J.C. Sulbaran allowed three runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out two.Other games
• Carlos Garcia’s two-out triple in the ninth inning scored Samir Duenez and Class A Lexington beat Greensboro 3-2. Duenez singled ahead of Garcia’s winning hit. Garcia had two hits and two RBIs. Starter Matt Tenuta gave up two runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out one. Matt Alvarez
, 1-0, allowed just one walk in two scoreless innings.
• New Orleans has had Class AAA Omaha’s number this season, winning all six meetings between the clubs, including Sunday’s 10-4 victory.Pedro Ciriaco had the biggest hit for the Storm Chasers: a three-run homer in the ninth inning. Starter P.J. Walters, 1-2, allowed six runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings. He walked three, struck out two and has a 9.10 ERA. Michael Mariot
tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings with two walks and two strikeouts in his return to the Storm Chasers.
•Sean Manaea gave up four runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings in Class A-Advanced Wilmington’s 5-4 loss to Lynchburg. Manaea, who walked three and struck out five, threw 47 strikes among his 75 pitches. He has a 5.96 ERA. Michael Antonio hit a two-run homer for Wilmington.