Lane Adams’ two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Angel Franco on Wednesday night as Class AA Northwest Arkansas beat Midland 6-5.
The Naturals didn’t make it easy on themselves, blowing a 4-2 lead by allowing three in the top of the ninth. Two of the runs, which all came off Scott Alexander, were unearned. But that merely set the stage for Northwest Arkansas’ heroics.
Juan Graterol and Franco had one-out singles in the bottom of the ninth, and Justin Trapp ran for Graterol. Edinson Rincon walked to load the bases and Ethan Chapman’s sacrifice fly scored the game. Adams then delivered the winning hit.
The Naturals had to be thrilled that Adams and Franco came to the plate in the ninth. Adams went two for five, the fifth time he’s had two more hits during an eight-game hitting streak. In that span, he is batting .400 (14 for 35).
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Franco was four for four with a double and two runs scored. During his last nine games, Franco is hitting an incredible .563 (18 for 32).
The downside for the Naturals is that starter Andy Ferguson wasn’t rewarded for another fine outing. He allowed just one run on three hits over six innings with seven strikeouts and two walks. Since June 1, he has a 1.36 ERA over 39 2/3 innings covering six starts.
**Ryan Verdugo allowed two runs on five hits in six innings, but Chris Dwyer gave up a pair in the eighth inning and Class AAA Omaha lost 4-3 at Iowa. Verdugo walked one and struck out five. First baseman Matt Fields had a double and a solo homer and scored twice. Center fielder Paulo Orlando had two RBIs.
**John Walter allowed just one hit in 4 1/3 innings of relief with six strikeouts as Class A-Advanced Wilmington beat Potomac 4-0 in a rain-shortened game. Sean Manaea started and allowed one hit and one walk in one inning with a strikeout. The game was then delayed and Walter eventually took over. Cam Gallagher hit a home run and had two RBIs.
**Class A Lexington was limited to three hits and lost 3-0 to Greensboro. Legends starter Pedro Fernandez, 0-5, allowed two runs on three hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out six.
**Robert Pehl had three hits and Ryan O’Hearn hit a two-run homer, but Rookie-Advanced Idaho Falls lost 10-5 at Ogden. Bryan Brickhouse didn’t retire a batter in the second inning, allowing seven hits and six runs with two walks in one-plus inning of work.
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