Tea(ford) Time on Opening Night
Naturals win home opener for second straight year

By Frank Novak / Northwest Arkansas Naturals
04/08/2010 10:57 PM ET

SPRINGDALE, AR- Naturals left-hander Everett Teaford must have missed the memo. With Aaron Crow, the Kansas City Royals' 2009 first-round selection taking the mound for his first professional regular season start, Teaford stole the show, no-hitting the San Antonio Missions for 4 1/3 innings in relief of Crow en route to a 5-1 victory for Northwest Arkansas on Opening Night at Arvest Ballpark.


That isn't to say Crow pitched badly. He did not, allowing just one unearned run in 4 2/3 innings of work before reaching his prescribed pitch count of 80 pitches and falling one out shy of the five innings required to earn a victory. Crow fanned two, walked three, and allowed four hits.


Northwest Arkansas (1-0) wasted no time getting on the board in support of the right-hander, scoring two runs in the first with the help of two costly errors by the Missions. San Antonio right fielder Sawyer Carroll overthrew the second base bag on Johnny Giavotella's one out double, allowing him to easily take third base. Giavotella scored on Clint Robinson's ensuing RBI single. Robinson himself would move to second on a throwing error by Missions' second baseman Logan Forsythe. He moved to third on a wild pitch from Missions' starter Nathan Culp before scoring on a double by Ernesto Mejia.


Naturals catcher Manny Pina led off the bottom of the second with a solo shot to left, and Northwest Arkansas didn't look back, adding two more in the third on RBI singles from Tim Smith and Pina.


All of the offense was charged to Culp (0-1), the Missions' starter, who was tagged with five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. He walked three and struck out two. Four relievers no-hit the Naturals' lineup the rest of the way.


Teaford (1-0) was making his first relief appearance in a non piggy-back situation since college. He fanned six and walked two, earning his first regular season victory since July 7th of last year.


Manny Pina led the Naturals offense overall with two hits and two RBI, including his second inning homer, while Ernesto Mejia reached base three times, twice via the walk. Cedric Hunter was the lone player to record two hits for San Antonio (0-1).


Friday will feature a match up between Naturals right-hander Mario Santiago against right-hander Simon Castro for the Missions. Santiago spent last season with Class A-Advanced Wilmington where he went 6-13 with a 4.30 ERA. Last season Castro was 10-6 with a 3.33 ERA for Fort Wayne. Castro is ranked as the Padres' second-best prospect by Baseball America.


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. The Naturals have a toll-free ticket hotline (1-877-444-2637) for fans to purchase Naturals tickets. Our website, offers fans the opportunity to purchase tickets online and avoid lines at the ticket windows by printing their tickets at home or at the office.