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By Frank Novak / Northwest Arkansas Naturals
03/24/2010 8:07 PM ET



SURPRISE, AZ - Aaron Crow ended up with a no-decision, but looked good as Northwest Arkansas plated three runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Frisco RoughRiders 5-4. The RoughRiders are the Texas Rangers' Double-A affiliate in the Texas League.

Likely to be the Naturals' opening night starter, the 23-year old right-hander Crow tossed four innings, allowing five hits and one run. He fanned three and didn't issue a walk, throwing 42 of his 61 pitches for strikes. The Royals' first-round pick in last year's draft, Crow was clocked at up to 96 MPH on the radar gun.

The Naturals were playing short-handed again as the Royals had several minor leaguers in the big league camp for a day-night doubleheader. Nevertheless, they managed to strike fast, plating two runs in the bottom of the first. Lane Adams led off with a single and Johnny Giavotella followed with a base hit of his own. Eddie Prasch followed and ripped a two-run double to score both.

Frisco was able to answer back in the second, getting an RBI single from David Paisano. That was all they'd get against Crow, but the RoughRiders moved ahead when Jose Felix cleared the wall for a two-run homer in the fifth.

That came off of right-hander Jason Godin, who tossed three innings in relief of Crow. Godin fanned four and walked one, allowing three hits. Lefty Adam Bostick pitched the final two frames, allowing Frisco another run in the top of the eighth that put them up 4-2.

The Naturals would storm back in the bottom of the eighth, however. Johnny Giavotella's two-out, two-run triple scored Lane Adams and Eric Shortell, tying the game up at four, and then Giavotella came in on an error by Frisco shortstop Davis Stoneburner.

It was a big day for the 23-year old Shortell, who was 3-for-3 on the afternoon. Shortell spent last summer in rookie ball and benefited from the extra playing time yielded when Naturals regulars Jose Duarte, Clint Robinson, Tim Smith, Derrick Robinson, Manny Pina, and Chris McConnell were spending the day at big league camp participating in the Royals' doubleheader.

The Cactus League record for the Naturals now stands at 4-3. Royals' minor leaguers will have an intrasquad camp day on Thursday, and then get back in action Friday when they face the San Antonio Missions at the Surprise complex. Game time is set for 1 P.M. MST (3 P.M. CDT).

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state of the art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. You can purchase season tickets and group outings with the Naturals by calling (479) 927-4900.




 
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