04/27/2010 11:00 PM ET
By Eric Gallo / Northwest Arkansas Naturals

Springfield, MO-The Naturals continued their series with the Springfield Cardinals Tuesday night. The Naturals offense came alive again as they defeated the Cardinals 6-2.

The Naturals (11-7) got on the board first when Nick Van Stratten hit a solo home run over the center field wall. The homer was Van Stratten's first of the year, and it gave the Naturals the early 1-0 advantage.

The Naturals extended their lead even further as they scored four more runs in the top of the fourth. Mike Moustakas led the inning off with a double to right field. A fielding error by the Cardinals then let Clint Robinson reach base, and it advanced Moustakas to third. Van Stratten then scored Moustakas on a base hit to center field. Manny Pina then laid down a bunt, Robinson was out at third, however a throwing error advanced Van Stratten to third while Pina was safe at first. Kurt Mertins and Anthony Seratelli were then both walked, and Van Stratten came home on the Seratelli walk. Chris McConnell then brought Pina home on a base hit to left field. A ground out by Derrick Robinson was enough to bring home Mertins for the Naturals fourth run of the inning. The runs put the Naturals out front 5-0.

The Cardinals (11-7) were held off the board until the fourth inning. Andrew Brown got the Cardinals their first run of the game with a solo home run to right field.

Springfield down four, added another run in the bottom of the fifth on another home run. Steven Hill hit a two out bomb over the wall in left-center field. The run cut the Naturals lead to 5-2.

The Naturals held the Cardinals from adding any more runs while adding one more of their own in the top of the eighth. Clint Robinson who singled earlier in the inning was able to score from third on a wild pitch by Springfield's Chuckie Fick. The miscue extended the Naturals lead to 6-2, and that is where it would stay.

Edgar Osuna (3-1) picked up his third win of the season for the Naturals. Osuna pitched six innings, gave up two earned runs, and struck out six. The earned runs were the first ones given up by Osuna all season. Blaine Hardy came on in relief and pitched the final three innings without giving up a hit. The performance earned Hardy his first save of the season.

Gary Daley (2-1) suffered the loss for the Cardinals. Daley threw four innings, gave up five runs three of which were earned, and struck out three.

The Naturals now find themselves tied for the Northern Division lead with the Cardinals. The tie will be broken, as these two teams will continue their series Wednesday in a day game. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.

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 tickets and group outings with the Naturals by calling (479) 927-4900.

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