SPRINGDALE, Ark. - The Springfield Cardinals scored two runs on bases-loaded walks and another on a wild pitch as they defeated the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 4-0 at Arvest Ballpark on Saturday night.
Springfield got on the board with a run on a bases-loaded walk in the first inning. Naturals starter Sugar Ray Marimon retired the first two batters before allowing a single and three consecutive walks.
Xavier Scruggs led off the fifth inning with a triple for the Cardinals and scored on a one-out Cody Stanley single for a 2-0 advantage.The Naturals had runners on the corners with nobody out in the bottom half of the inning but were unable to score. Springfield added two runs in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk and a wild pitch.
Brett Eibner, Roman Hernandez and Whit Merrifield each had two hits for the Naturals, who finished with nine hits. Merrifield and Mitch Canham each doubled for the Naturals. Both teams struggled to bring home baserunners, as the Naturals were 0-for-9 with runners in Runners In Scoring Position, while Springfield was one-for-nine. The teams combined to strand 23 baserunners.
Tim Cooney earned his fifth Double-A win, holding the Naturals scoreless while allowing seven hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work. Justin Wright and Jose Almarante each allowed one hit in their outings.
The Cardinals and Naturals wrap up their series in Springdale Saturday at 7:30 p.m.