Class AA Northwest Arkansas made the most of its five hits in a 6-2 victory at Springfield on Thursday.
Yem Prades hit a solo homer in the top of the fourth as the Naturals took a 1-0 lead. In the fifth, Roman Hernandez and Angel Franco hit consecutive doubles to make it 2-0. Alex McClure was hit by a pitch. After a bunt and a strikeout, Rey Navarro was intentionally walked to load the bases.
That strategy failed when Mitch Canham walked and a run scored. The Cardinals replaced pitcher Seth Blair with Kevin Thomas, who promptly walked Yem and the Naturals’ lead was 4-0.
It was 4-1 in the eighth when Matt Fields hit a two-run homer, and that was more than enough for Northwest Arkansas.
Naturals starter Justin Marks allowed just one run (a solo homer by Audry Perez) on four hits in 5 2/3 innings as his ERA dropped to 1.59. He walked three and struck out seven. Marks has 12 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings this year.
Class AAA Omaha
Nate Adcock had a rough night as he failed to make it out of the first inning and the Storm Chasers lost 9-3 to Omaha.
Adcock opened the game by walking Logan Watkins and Brent Lillibridge. After an out, Ryan Sweeney hit a three-run homer.
A walk, a strikeout, an RBI single and another walk ended Adcock’s night. Everett Teaford came on and gave up an RBI single, a walk and another RBI single. But that last single ended the inning because Anthony Seratelli threw out a runner the plate.
At that point it was 6-0. Second baseman Johnny Giavotella hit a solo homer in the bottom of the first, but the Cubs went on to the victory.
Teaford pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings, Francisley Bueno struck out five in three shutout innings, while Louis Coleman gave up a run on two hits in one inning. George Sherrill and Dan Wheeler also each gave up a run on two hits in one inning.
Sherrill, who continued his return from Tommy John surgery last year, threw had 18 strikes among his 31 pitches.
Class A Wilmington
Third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert and center fielder Lane Adams had consecutive two-out RBI singles as part of a three-run third, but that was the high-water mark in a 7-3 loss at Salem.
Starter Spencer Patton lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing three hits, one run and two walks, while striking out four.
Reliever Cody Fassold gave up five runs (three earned) in 2 2/3 innings and took the loss. Fassold allowed five hits, walked two and struck out three.
Class A Lexington
The Legends managed just two singles (one by designated hitter Michael Antonio and the other by center fielder Ethan Chapman) and lost 3-0 at Ashville.
Lexington starter Christian Binford struck out eight in seven innings, but gave up two runs on six hits and fell to 1-2 on the year.