The Northwest Arkansas Naturals took the series finale, 6-2, against the Springfield Cardinals before 6,178 fans at Hammons Field on Sunday night. CF Charlie Tilson went 2×5, extending his hitting streak to 18 games, which matches the Springfield Cardinals all-time record for longest hitting streak in team history.
Rehabbing St. Louis Cardinals RHP Jordan Walden made his second appearance with Springfield, tossing a scoreless seventh inning with a pair of strikeouts.
Northwest Arkansas (11-18, 51-48) seized the early advantage with four runs in the top of the second against RHP Arturo Reyes (L, 6-6). 1B Alex Liddi started the frame with a single, before Reyes battled back with a pop out from DH Hunter Dozier. LF Lane Adams, though, singled Liddi to second base, followed by an RBI base knock from C Parker Morin to crack the scoreless tie. 3B Kenny Diekroeger and SS Gabriel Noriega produced consecutive RBI singles, before Reyes induced a pop out from SS Raul Mondesi for the second out. With two on and two down, CF Bubba Starling capped the rally with an RBI single, opening the early advantage to 4-0.
Reyes responded by striking out the side in the third, before adding two more strikeouts in a scoreless fourth to keep the Naturals at only the four runs while racking up seven strikeouts in his first four innings.
The Cardinals (16-14, 46-54) then broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning against RHP J.C. Sulbaran. With two down and the bases clear, SS Matt Williams launched his second home run in as many days, a solo shot to left field to cut the deficit to 4-1.
Springfield continued to chip away with another long-ball in the bottom of the fifth. With one down and nobody on, 3B Patrick Wisdom crushed a solo home run, his team-leading 13th blast of the season, to bring the Cardinals within two runs, 4-2.
Northwest Arkansas, though, padded the lead back to four runs in the top of the eighth. Facing RHP Chris Perry, DH Hunter Dozier led off with a double. He took third on a bunt single from LF Lane Adams, before scoring on a balk called against Perry. With Adams at second one out later, Diekroeger skipped an RBI single through the middle, scoring Adams for the 6-2 Northwest Arkansas lead.
Naturals RHP Mark Peterson (W, 4-1) wrapped up his 3.0-inning outing with a scoreless bottom of the ninth, closing the 6-2 win for Northwest Arkansas.