On Monday, Gerson Garabito almost gave the Naturals a quality start. He pitched 5.2 innings allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three. Garabito took the loss despite the strong start because the Naturals offense could only manage one run. Emilio Ogando and Franco Terrero combined to throw 3.1 scoreless innings in relief.
The Naturals missed a chance to gain a game in the standings on the Travelers to start the week. Khalil Lee and Gabriel Cancel both had two hits. Miebrys Viloria added a double. The Naturals managed just those five hits and struck out 10 times with no walks against the Travelers pitching staff.
Tuesday’s extra innings win against the Travelers presented a different feel at Arvest Ballpark. The game went 13 innings and featured a 9-8 Naturals walk off victory. After the Naturals allowed the international tie-breaker runner on second to score, Angelo Castellano singled in the tying run before scoring the winning run on Lee’s single to right. Both teams had 15 hits in the offensive melee. Nick Heath was one of the offensive stars hitting two home runs. The power burst is unusual for Heath because he is known more for his speed. Heath homered in the bottom of the 1st and again in the bottom of the 9th helping the Naturals force extra innings. Anderson Miller also homered and doubled driving in three helping the Naturals in their victory. Lee and Cancel both posted two-hit games. Viloria hit in the four spot and tallied three hits himself including a double. Kort Peterson also added two hits. Taylor Featherston was the final Natural to add a hit in the high scoring game.
Brady Singer started the slug fest for the Naturals going 6.0 innings allowing five runs, 4 earned, on 12 hits and just one walk. Singer added six strikeouts. He was followed by Tyler Zuber who gave up two runs of his own before Bryan Brickhouse threw 2.0 scoreless innings. Grant Gavin got credit for the win allowing one unearned run to score in the top of the 13th.
The win was a big one for the Naturals over a strong division opponent. The Travelers had won three in a row and were showing signs of complete dominance in the division. The win put the Naturals in a position to win the series which they did on the Wednesday when Andrew Beckwith got credited with the win in relief of JC Cloney.
Franco Terrero earned his seventh save of the season with 1.1 scoreless innings in relief. Ogando added his 5th hold of the season as well. With the Naturals down 5-1 going into the bottom of the 6th, the Naturals offense exploded for five runs and the lead.
Heath had a triple and added two other hits for the Naturals. Heath also stole his 45th base of the season and is still on pace to potentially steal 80 bags this season. Miller was the only Natural starter without a hit but he got on base and contributed to the win with a walk and stolen base. Featherston had a 2-run triple in the game as well.
After taking two of three from the Travelers, the Naturals could set their sights on the Drillers who hosted them for a four game series. This was another important series because the Drillers were ahead of the Naturals in the standings at the beginning of the week. The Naturals started off the series taking the July 4th game by a score of 7-2. Ofriedy Gomez received the win allowing just two runs in 6.0 innings. Gomez gave up five hits, walked three, and struck out six Drillers. Andres Sotillet continued to be a strong reliever for the Naturals providing 2.0 scoreless innings before Brickhouse finished the game.
Cancel smacked his 14th home run and 19th double of the season driving in three runs. Viloria continued his hot ways as well with a double and two RBI. Featherston added two hits for the Naturals as well.