SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Northwest Arkansas (15-9) defeated the Tulsa Drillers (12-12) on Monday afternoon by the score of 7-2 to extend their current winning streak to nine games, the longest winning streak in the Naturals’ existence since moving to Northwest Arkansas in 2008. Northwest Arkansas set the impressive mark with four home runs, including the first of the season for shortstop Dusty Coleman and catcher Anderson De La Rosa.
The Texas League Player of the Month in April, Andy Ferguson improved to 3-0 on the season after allowing only three hits and one earned run in six innings of work with nine strikeouts. He lowers his ERA to 0.69 on the season, while Tulsa start Jeremy Kehrt fell to 1-3 on the season.
After Coleman’s two run shot in the fifth inning gave the Naturals a 2-1 lead, designated hitter Mike Bianucci tied for the team lead in home runs with his fifth of the year in the sixth inning to give the Naturals a 4-1 lead. With the home run, Bianucci extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
First baseman Balbinfo Fuenmayor, recently anointed Texas League Player of the Week, continued his hot hitting with his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot off Tulsa reliever Jorge De Leon in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Naturals a 5-1 lead.
Northwest Arkansas pulled within a half game of first place in the North Division with today’s victory, and will await the final in the Arkansas Travelers game tonight at 7:10 p.m. to see if they will pull into a tie for first place.
The Naturals will return home on Thursday, May 14, against the Springfield Cardinals. The 7:05pm first pitch will begin a stretch of 17 home games in 18 days, including the first Faith and Family Night of the season featuring Moriah Peters on May 15, as well as ThunderChickens night on Friday, May 29.
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