One night after the Kingsport Mets pounded out 14 runs in a blowout victory over the Johnson City Cardinals, the Cards returned the favor. Johnson City tallied that same run total on 18 hits, and preserved a sweep of the four-game series between the two Appalachian League teams with a 14-3 win over the K-Mets Thursday night at Hunter Wright Stadium with New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson in attendance.
Johnson City jumped on Kingsport with three runs in the second inning and not only kept the lead, but added to it over the remainder of the game. Two four-run outbursts and another three-spot in the eighth accounted for all the scoring in this lopsided contest.
Of the Cardinals' 18 hits, 10 went for extra bases, and three of those left the ballpark. Carson Kelly and Mike Knox each hit a two-run home run, while Trevor Martin added a solo shot. Bruce Caldwell and Knox, who hit fourth and fifth in the Johnson City lineup, went a combined 7-for-10 with eight runs scored and five RBIs.
Kingsport's lineup combined for nine hits, but Jon Leroux was the only batter with multiple base knocks. He had an apparent home run called back as a ground-rule double in the bottom of the second, but later scored to account for the K-Mets' first run.
Corey Oswalt (4-3) took the loss for Kingsport, and was chased from the mound after less than three innings as the starter. He allowed seven runs-all earned-on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings of work.
Silfredo Garcia (3-2) went six solid innings to tally the win for the Cardinals.
Kingsport will play its next 11 games on the road, over a span of nine days. That stretch begins with a daunting gantlet of games against the two current first-place teams in the Appy. Kingsport opens a three-game set at Elizabethton, the current West Division leader, on Friday night. Then the K-Mets travel to face East Division leader Burlington to play five games in three nights, as Kingsport makes up two of three games that were cancelled due to rain when Burlington made its one and only trip to Hunter Wright Stadium back in July.
NOTES: It was a rough night for Kingsport reliever Andres Perez, who allowed two home runs in his one inning of work-the eighth-while giving up three total runs on four hits. ... The K-Mets had just three healthy substitute position players available after Jeffrey Diehl took a pitch off the heel during Tuesday's doubleheader with this same Johnson City team. ... Kingsport didn't commit a single error. ... Juan Urbina had his best performance since being sent down from Brooklyn to Kingsport, striking out six batters while giving up a hit and two walks over two "effectively wild" innings.