Opinion

Christian Binford wins Class AA debut after tossing five no-hit innings

Yep, it’s fair to say Christian Binford’s debut with Class AA Northwest Arkansas was a success.

Binford was promoted from Class A-Advanced Wilmington and in his first start on Saturday, he pitched no-hit ball for five innings before running into a bit of trouble. Nevertheless, he got the victory as the Naturals beat Frisco 7-3.

In seven innings, Binford allowed three runs on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts. He threw 64 of his 90 pitches for strikes. Malcom Culver got his fifth save by allowing one hit in two innings.

After the Roughriders had tied the score in the top of the seventh, shortstop Orlando Calixte hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom half of the frame. An inning later, third baseman Hunter Dozier cracked his first home run for the Naturals.

Other games

**Class AAA Omaha went with a bullpen game and Michael Mariot was lit up in a 5-2 loss to Colorado Springs. After Buddy Baumann, who had made 28 relief appearances, tossed three scoreless innings, Mariot relieved and allowed all five runs on seven hits in 1 1/3 innings. Catcher Francisco Pena hit his 15th homer of the season and had two RBIs.

**Ramon Torres’ bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning scored Bubba Starling with the go-ahead run and Class A-Advanced Wilmington won 3-2 at Winston-Salem. Starling drew a walk to open the ninth and Mark Threlkeld singled. Both runners moved up a base on Michael Antonio’s bunt. Zane Evans walked to load the bases and Torres also drew a free pass. Cody Stubbs hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning. Starter Jonathan Dziedzic allowed one run on four hits in five innings.

**Starter Andrew Edwards allowed four runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings and reliever Jose Miguel Rodriguez gave up four more in three innings as Class A Lexington lost 9-2 at Asheville. Starter Jake Junis gave up six runs on nine hits in five innings. Shortstop Kenny Diekroeger hit a solo homer, while second baseman Carlos Garcia had three hits.

**Right fielder Brawlun Gomez and third baseman Wander Franco each had two hits, but Rookie-Advanced Idaho Falls lost 8-4 to Ogden. Starter Alec Mills gave up four runs on three hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings.

**Meibrys Viloria’s double with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning scored Joshua Banuelos, and Xavier Fernandez added an RBI double that lifted Rookie Burlington to a 5-4 win over Danville. Starter Julio Pinto allowed two runs on seven hits over five innings.

To reach Pete Grathoff, send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/pgrathoff

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