JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - In a game that took two days to finish, the Johnson City Cardinals beat the Kingsport Mets 12-6 at Cardinal Park on Sunday afternoon.
The scoring started on Saturday night as the Kingsport Mets (5-5) struck first with a run in the second inning. Pedro Perez led off the inning by being hit by a pitch. A double from Ivan Wilson moved Perez to third and then was scored on a sacrifice fly from Luis Ortega.
The Cardinals (6-3) answered in the home half of the second by plating two runs. Chris Rivera hit a leadoff single down the right-field line to jumpstart the offense. Jose Godoy drew a walk, but then was out at second when Carlos Torres hit a fielder's choice to shortstop. With runners on the corners, Devante Lacy then hit a groundball to the shortstop but an error on the second basemen trying to turn two allowed Rivera to score while Torres and Lacy were both safe at second and first. Anthony Ray was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Oscar Mercado reached on another fielder's choice ball where the Mets failed to turn the double play, which allowed Torres to score to give Johnson City a 2-1 advantage.
The Cards did not let up in the third inning as rain began to fall Saturday night. Johnson City added six runs to the board on five hits and one Kingsport error. Casey Grayson was a huge help for the Cardinals' offense in the inning, going 2-2 with a single, double, RBI and run scored. Lacy and Mercado also had doubles in the inning, while Godoy added an RBI-single. Torres reached on an error and scored a run, while Cole Lankford and Blake Drake both used walks to reach the base path. Ray grounded out to first base in the inning, but did earn an RBI for the Cardinals before the game was suspended due to rain.
On Sunday afternoon the Cardinals picked up where they left off and added a run in the fourth. Torres reached on a fielder's choice then an error on a pickoff throw to first by James Duff allowed Torres to move into scoring position at third. Lacy picked up his second RBI with a one-out single to left field to push Torres across. An error by the third basemen in the fifth allowed Mercado to reach and Rivera's second single to left meant the Cardinals would another run to and make it 10-1.
Kingsport would not go easy, however. In the sixth the Mets added two with the help of a Zach Mathieu double and two Cardinal errors. In the seventh Kingsport would add three more off a three-run home run to right field by Jean Carlos Rodriguez that also plated Vicente Lupo and Branden Kaupe.
The Cardinals added a run in each the seventh and eighth innings to complete their scoring. Rivera scored Blake Drake, who reached on a walk, with his third hit of the game in the seventh. In the eighth, Mercado scored Ray with his first triple of the season, just the second of the year for the Cardinals as a team.
Ian McKinney started on Saturday night and pitched until the suspension allowing just two hits and one run with three strikeouts in three innings of work, but could not get the victory due to just pitching through three full innings. Juan Perez (2-0) started in relief in the fourth when play resumed on Sunday and earned his second victory of the season.
The Mets and Cardinals will be back on the diamond on Bank of Tennessee Dollar Monday. Due to the second game being postponed due to rain on Sunday, Monday is now scheduled as a doubleheader with first pitch in game one set for 5 p.m. Dailyn Martinez will be on the mound for Johnson City as Andrew Church is set to start for Kingsport.