The Kingsport Mets notched double-digit hits for the second straight game, but it couldn't prevent them from dropping a 10-6 decision to the Bristol Sox on Saturday.
The K-Mets had 15 hits but batted 3-for-14 with men in scoring position and left 11 on base. Bristol had 14 hits, five of which came with men in scoring position.
Kingsport is in the midst of its longest homestand of the season at Hunter Wright Stadium, but with two-thirds of those games in the books, the K-Mets have posted a 2-4 record against Bristol and Princeton, the two teams with the worst records in the Appalachian League and the only squads in the league mathematically eliminated from the playoff race.
Kingsport (31-24) is still in second place, with a 1 ½ game lead. The K-Mets have a chance to right the ship with a three-game set against the Burlington Royals that begins Sunday at 6 p.m.
Bristol led from wire to wire. The Sox generated seven straight hits off Persio Reyes to start the game, helped along by a two-base throwing error by Kingsport outfielder Michael Bernal, and took a 5-0 lead before the K-Mets even came to bat.
Kingsport rallied in fairly quick fashion. Jeff Diehl homered to lead off the second inning and get the K-Mets on the board. Kingsport had narrowed the gap to 6-4 by the time three innings were complete, and the two teams had combined for 17 hits at that juncture. Kingsport pulled within 6-5 in the fourth thanks to a double down the line by designated hitter Jon Leroux.
Reyes (4-4) rebounded from his difficult beginning, and threw four straight scoreless innings before Bristol scratched across an insurance run in the seventh inning.
Jon Bengard picked up the win in relief for Bristol. Bengard entered with one out showing in the fouth, and fired 3 2-3 innings of shutout ball, allowing four hits while striking out three Mets hitters.
Thurman Hall had four hits and a run scored out of the top spot in the Sox lineup. Trey Michalczewski had a two-run triple as part of the big first inning as the highlight in his two-hit night.
For Kingsport, Jon Lerouz and Amed Rosario each had three hits. Rosario drove in two runs.
NOTES: These were the final head-to-head meetings of the season between Bristol and Kingsport, and Saturday marked the K-Mets' final game against another West Division team. … Bristol had eight hits in last night;'s 11-4 loss, and eight in the 4-2 win in opener of this series. … Sam Macias robbed Jeff McNeil of at least an extra-base hit in the eighth. McNeil, who was pinch hitting, hit a fly ball to deep right field but Macias chased it down on the warning track with his back to the infield.