SPRINGDALE, Ark. (MILB.com) - Northwest Arkansas (13-22) scored six times over the first five innings paving the way to back-to-back wins over the Springfield Cardinals (17-18). Lane Adams collected a hit on the evening extending his 2014 team-leading hit streak to eleven games.
Jorge Bonifacio staked the Naturals to an early 1-0 lead driving in Adams on a single to right. Bonifacio had two hits collecting his team-leading 13th multi-hit game of the year. Two innings later, Whit Merrifield continued his magic against the Cardinals this season by smashing his fourth homer of 2014 off of Springfield starter Jonathan Cornelius in the third to put Northwest Arkansas up 3-0.
Justin Trapp then doubled home Mark Threlkeld in the fourth for the Naturals fourth run putting the game out of the reach of Springfield. Chelsor Cuthbert smacked a two-run homer in the fifth to extend Northwest Arkansas' lead to 6-1 at the time, it was his fifth homer of the season matching Threlkeld for the team lead.
Andy Ferguson (2-2, 4.99) turned in a quality start for the Naturals tossing six innings of six-hit baseball. The righty allowed two runs, one earned, and picked up his second win of the year. He fanned seven in the contest for the second time this season, the most strikeouts by a Naturals' starter in a single game.
The Cardinals tried to claw back into the game when James Ramsey hit a solo shot off of lefty Scott Alexander in the eighth to cut the Naturals lead to 6-3, but they would get no closer. Alexander went two innings allowing one run on three hits. RHP Malcom Culver finished the final inning earning his third win of the season, he struck out two.
Southpaw Jonathan Cornelius (2-4, 5.35) suffered the loss allowing six runs on eight hits, including two homers.