SPRINGDALE, Ar. — RHP Adam Wainwright continue to baffle Texas League batters as he continued his Major League Rehab Assignment with Springfield, but the Northwest Arkansas Naturals edged the Springfield Cardinals, 3-2, before 8,854 fans at Arvest Ballpark on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals (23-34, 56-71) jumped in front right away with a leadoff home run from 2B Andy Young to start the top of the first against RHP Jon Perrin. Young’s ninth blast in Double-A provided the early 1-0 lead for Springfield.
Rehabbing St. Louis Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright kept the one-run lead intact through 3.0 scoreless frames, allowing just a pair of infield singles while striking out three. He used 44 pitches through his three frames, with 29 going for strikes.
RHP Casey Meisner took over for the bottom of the fourth, but the Naturals (28-29, 63-64) pounced into the lead with a pair of RBI doubles from LF Alex Liddi and RF Alfredo Escalera, seizing the 2-1 advantage.
The Cardinals battled it back even in the top of the sixth. 3B Evan Mendoza and C Andrew Knizner connected for consecutive singles, chasing RHP Jon Perrin from the mound. LHP Luis Lugo came in and dealt consecutive wild pitches, moving Mendoza to third with his first wild pitch and allowing Mendoza to score with his second one, tying the game at 2-2.
After the laborious fourth inning, Meisner dug in with nearly perfect work through his next three frames, keeping the game tied through his final inning in the seventh. Meisner finished with just the two runs allowed on two hits while walking a pair and striking out seven.
The Naturals, though, snatched a late lead against RHP Connor Jones (L, 5-5) in the bottom of the eighth. 1B Samir Duenez led off with a double, before moving to third on a bunt single by 3B Kelvin Gutierrez. LF Alex Liddi then knocked into a double play, but it brought home Duenez for the go-ahead run and the 3-2 lead.
Base hits by RF Blake Drake and CF Chase Pinder got Cardinals at the corners in the top of the ninth, but RHP Andres Machado (S, 8) worked out of trouble to post a scoreless stanza and close the 3-2 win for the Naturals.