WICHITA, KS – Despite Tyler Gentry reaching base in all five plate appearances and a late grand slam from Gavin Stupienski, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals fell to the Wichita Wind Surge, 13-7 Friday night.
Just minutes into the game, Gentry put the Naturals ahead with an opposite-field home run, his 16th in Double-A and 21st overall this season. He finished the game 2-for-2, adding a single in the fifth inning while drawing three walks as well, just the second Natural to reach in all five plate appearances in a game this season.
Wichita took a stronghold on the game in the second inning, with a three-run frame, then the Wind Surge stayed ahead the rest of the night. Three more runs scored in the fourth and starter Jon Bowlan was knocked out of the game in the fifth, charged with six runs on nine hits over 4.2 innings.
While left-handed reliever Emilio Márquez stranded a runner in the fifth, the Wind Surge tagged him for five runs in the sixth inning, as Wichita leapt out to an 11-1 lead over the Naturals.
John Rave grounded out to score Diego Hernández in the seventh inning to bring the game a run closer, then brought home another run in the eighth on a bases-loaded infield single with two outs.
Stupienski, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, followed Rave in the eighth and sent a pitch low and away to the opposite field for a grand slam, his first home run of the season and the Naturals’ seven of the season, a new franchise record.
While Stupienski’s slam brought the Naturals within three, Wichita added two more runs of insurance in the eighth against Jonah Dipoto, and the Wind Surge held on to win by six, 13-7.
Northwest Arkansas stranded two runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and fifth innings, then left two more in the seventh, stranding a total of 10 runners on over the nine-inning game.
Outside of a productive day for Gentry, Hernández reached base four times, with three hits and a walk, while scoring twice. Jake Means collected three hits and Rave had two, while Luca Tresh reached twice to extend his on-base streak to 16 straight games.
The Naturals will try and bounce back Saturday at 6:05 p.m. CT, as right-hander Alec Marsh heads to the mound for Northwest Arkansas.
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