Greeneville, TN - The Greeneville Astros (26-13) defeated the Burlington Royals (18-21) on Wednesday night at Pioneer Park, 3-1, to win the current three-game series. Combined with their series sweep at Burlington earlier in the season, the Astros finished with a 5-1 overall record against the Royals.
The win for the Astros gave them a 21-8 record in the month of July, breaking the club's previous all-time best mark of 20-9 in July of 2004. Heading into August, the Astros are tied with the Bluefield Blue Jays for the best record in the Appalachian League. In addition, they still maintain a two-game lead over the Kingsport Mets (24-15) in the West Division.
Through the first three innings on Wednesday night, there was no score. Then, in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Astros got a little offense going. With one out and two runners on base from walks, Ariel Ovando hit a ground ball single to right field to bring Brian Holberton home from second. The next batter, Cristian Moronta, was called out on strikes and manager Josh Bonifay was ejected by the home plate umpire after a brief debate. When play resumed, Thomas Lindauer hit another ground ball single for the Astros to score Marc Wik and give the Astros a 2-0 lead.
After a scoreless fifth inning, Cristian Moronta led off the sixth inning for the Astros with a triple off the wall in center field. Thomas Lindauer followed with a walk to put runners at first and third. Then, Tanner Mathis grounded out to the second baseman, but it allowed Moronta in to make the score 3-0 in favor of the Astros.
Two innings later, the Royals led off the eighth inning with a Chris Sweeney solo homer, his first of the year, to cut the Astros' lead to 3-1. Then, a series of events unfolded involving a Royals base runner being called for interference that led to Royals manager Tommy Shields being ejected from the game. From that point on, neither team added another base runner.
Astros' reliever Gonzalo Sanudo (S, 7) pitched the final frame and made it a 1-2-3 inning, earning him his seventh save of the season. Sanudo is now second in the Appalachian League in saves.
The winning pitcher for the Astros was starting right-hander Frederick Tiburcio (W, 2-0). Over five innings of work, Tiburcio gave up two hits, no runs, one walk and struck out two. For the season, Tiburcio leads the league with a 0.95 ERA and a batting average of .160 against him.
The Astros travel to Bristol on Thursday to begin a three-game road series before returning home to Pioneer Park for a single match-up against the Kingsport Mets on Sunday. For more information on the Greeneville Astros, please visit www.greenevilleastros.com or call (423) 638-0411.