KINGSPORT, Tenn. (June 20, 2014) - An eighth-inning rally fell just short as the Kingsport Mets dropped a 7-2 decision to the Danville Braves on Friday night at Hunter Wright Stadium.
The K-Mets (0-2) look to prevent a sweep by the Braves as this series concludes on Saturday. A fireworks display is scheduled for after the game.
Vicente Lupo had some fireworks of his own during the pivotal eighth, blasting his first home run of the season over the left-field wall. Lupo's dinger sparked a rally by Kingsport, which loaded the bases on a single, a Danville error and a hit-by-pitch before Braves reliever Luis Miranda escaped the jam.
Danville (2-0) got some fantastic pitching for much of the game, holding Kingsport scoreless and without a hit until a sixth-inning double by Branden Kaupe broke up both the no-hitter and the shutout, scoring Luis Guillorme from first base.
The Braves did most of their damage offensively in the first three innings, touching K-Mets starter Gaby Almonte for four runs on five hits and three walks. Almonte did face the minimum in his final two innings of work.
Kingsport benefited from some fantastic defensive plays, two of them by Wuilmer Becerra in right field. Becerra made a diving catch in the third inning to rob Danville's Keith Curcio of what looked to be an extra-base hit, then threw out Codey McElroy at the plate in the sixth inning. Jean Carlos Rodriguez, inserted as a defensive replacement at third base in the eighth, made a diving grab of Bryan De La Rosa's line drive.
Danville generated 13 hits, with only five players contributing to the total. McElroy went 4-for-5 with three RBIs. Cody Livesay had three singles and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot in the lineup. Mike Dodig also had three hits.
K-METRICS: Kaupe, a fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft playing his third season of professional ball, came into the game with just two extra-base hits for his career before driving his double to the gap against Danville.
NOTES: Carlos Salazar (1-0) picked up the win in relief for Danville. Starting pitcher Andrew Waszak looked sharp during his four innings on the mound, tallying three strikeouts and facing one batter over the minimum without allowing a hit or a walk. … Eudor Garcia, the Mets' fourth-round pick in this year's draft, reached base twice due to errors by the Braves. … K-Mets relief pitcher Ty Williams recorded two pickoffs during his 2 2-3 inning stint on the mound. … Kingsport left eight men on base, stranding five of those in the final two frames. … For the second straight night, a Danville player reached base on a catcher's interference ruling.