The Kingsport Mets' longest homestand of the season hasn't gone as planned. The Burlington Royals blanked the K-Mets 6-0 on Sunday night, despite getting outhit.
Kingsport, which is in the midst of a nine-game stretch at Hunter Wright Stadium, is now 2-5 on the homestand and 15-15 at home for the season. The K-Mets (31-25) are still second in the Appalachian League's West Division, but both the Johnson City Cardinals and Elizabethton Twins have pulled within striking distance.
While the K-Mets were shut out for the fourth time this season and the second game in a week, Burlington (26-30) got all the offense it would need before the Royals came to bat. Burlington pushed across three runs on three hits, two walks and two batters who were hit by pitches from starter Andrew Massie (1-2), who lasted only 2/3 of an inning before yielding the mound to Martires Arias.
Burlington added insurance runs in the fourth and eighth.
Kingsport lost, but had its chances. The K-Mets stranded nine runners for the game and went 1-for-6 with men in scoring position. Burlington had six hits compared to Kingsport's eight, but three of the Royals' knocks came with men in scoring position.
Arias threw well out of the bullpen in long relief, going six innings and allowing just one run on two hits.
Desmond Henry was the key player for Burlington. Batting leadoff, Henry reached base safely four times, scored three runs, doubled and stole three bases. No player had a multihit game for the Royals.
Yeixon Ruiz and Jeyckol De Leon had two hits each for Kingsport, which is back at it on Monday in the second game of this three-game set against the Royals.
NOTES: Sam Lewis (3-4) got the win for Burlington. He went six shutout innings, and lowered his ERA from 5.96 to 4.83 in the process. … Massie, Arias and Tyler Bashlor combined to hit five Burlington batters with pitches. At one point, that plunk total equaled Kingsport's total of base hits. ... Royals third baseman Nick Cuckovich made a play under duress to end the bottom of the fifth, snaring a pop fly by Champ Stuart that broke Stuart's bat and sent the barrel careening in his direction. … Jake Newberry worked the final three innings for the Royals to log his first professional save.