Opinion

Sunday in the minors: Naturals complete a very long weekend with a loss

Class AA Northwest Arkansas plays eight games in the next eight days, meaning their next day of rest will be on May 21.

That’s noteworthy because the Naturals played a lot of baseball over the weekend in Springfield.

A lot of baseball.

Try 43 innings in 48 hours.

The Naturals were rained out at Springfield on Thursday, so the teams played a doubleheader (both seven-inning games) on Friday, then needed 20 innings before the Naturals prevailed 5-4 on Saturday night.

Saturday’s 20-inning marathon was called by the Naturals’ Steven Davis, who is the son of former Royals announcer Bob Davis.

“My dad never called 20 innings,” Steven Davis wrote in an email. “Not sure what his longest is but I have him bested now.”

The teams turned around and played Sunday afternoon and the Cardinals won 7-4.

Naturals starter Noel Arguelles allowed six runs in two-plus innings on just four hits. It was the eight walks that did him in. Northwest Arkansas scored three in the top of the fourth to close the gap, but they couldn’t get over the hump.

Arguelles is 1-6 on the season with a 6.16 ERA.

Left fielder Roman Hernandez hit a two-run homer for the Naturals and had two hits in the game. Shortstop Alex McClure and second baseman Angel Franco each had two hits.

Class AAA Omaha

The Storm Chasers pounded out 20 hits and routed Colorado Springs 14-4.

Every Omaha player had at least one hit and all but one had an RBI. Seven had two hits or more including, four players who had three.

Right fielder Willy Taveras had three hits, including a triple, scored twice and had two RBIs. First baseman Xavier Nady had three hits, including two doubles, and knocked in a pair of runs. Left fielder David Lough and center fielder Paulo Orlando each had three hits, while designated hitter Chad Tracy hit a solo homer.

The Storm Chasers led 4-0 after two innings, 7-2 after five and 8-4 heading the ninth when they scored six times.

That made for an easy night for Ryan Verdugo, who gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked three. Louis Coleman pitched the last 1 2/3 innings, giving up two hits and striking out two.

Advanced-A Wilmington

Designated hitter Cheslor Cuthbert had three doubles as part of the Blue Rocks’ 15-hit attack as they won 8-2 at Frederick. Five players had two hits, including second baseman Justin Trapp, who also had three RBIs.

Right fielder Jorge Bonifacio was two for four with two runs scored as his average climbed to .325.

Kyle Smith, who allowed one run on five hits in six innings, improved to 2-1 on the season. He had four strikeouts and one walk. His ERA is 1.93.

Class A Lexington

Legends starter Aroni Nina gave up seven hits and walked three in five innings and was hurt by two errors behind him in a 6-2 loss to West Virginia.

Nina allowed four runs, but only two were earned. Left fielder Terrance Gore and Right fielder Ethan Chapman each had two hits, while center fielder Bubba Starling and Chapman each had an RBI.

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