The Pulaski Mariners (6-7) could find no relief from the struggles which have plagued them over the previous five games. A struggling Bristol Pirates (3-9) entered Calfee Park and routed the Mariners 8-1
With Daniel Missaki (2-0, 0.00 ERA), one of the Appalachian League's hottest arms, on the mound the Mariners appeared primed and ready to snap their four game losing streak, but things did not start on the right foot.
Enyel Vallejo led off the game with a triple-only the second extra-base hit allowed by Missaki. With a runner on third with no outs Missaki bore down, induced a lineout, and struck out two Pirates to escape the first inning without a run.
The Mariners started off strong in the bottom of the first. Pulaski exhibited perfect small ball in the inning to plate one run. Arby Fields laced a leadoff single, and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Jay Baum. After stealing third base on a botched hit-and-run Fields scored on a sacrifice fly by Estarlyn Morales.
In the overall scheme the first inning run was miniscule, but it did represent Pulaski's first lead since the fourth inning of the June 27th game with the Bluefield Blue Jays.
Missaki hung another zero on the scoreboard in the second inning, but the frame would be his last. He would leave the game with an apparent injury after only six outs.
The Pirates capitalized on the early departure of Missaki and jumped on Ugueth Urbina (0-1, 3.68 ERA). Bristol scored one run each in innings three, four, and five-all off Urbina. Pulaski's defense did Urbina no favors. The Mariners committed two errors behind Urbina which led to three unearned runs.
Pulaski remained within striking distance until the eighth inning. Bristol rocked Jarrett Brown in his lone inning of work, and tagged him with five runs-only one was earned. Vallejo broke the Mariners' back with a long grand slam.
Not all went awry for the Mariners. Carlton Tanabe shined both at and behind the plate. Tanabe went two-for-four with a double and a triple. In his third at-bat Tanabe's ball traveled nearly 400 feet yet still found its way into a Pirates' glove.
Tanabe credits a simplified mindset to his success.
"I just tried to put the barrel to the ball and stay quiet" Tanabe said.
Tanabe also put forth a praiseworthy performance defensively. Taking a break from playing first base Tanabe did a good job of keeping balls in front of him. While he does not have many chances to catch, Tanabe still enjoys it as much as ever.
"I'm a lot more comfortable behind the plate" said Tanabe. "Even if I haven't caught in a while I still feel a high level of comfort."
A league wide day of rest awaits Pulaski on Wednesday. They resume their series with the Pirates Thursday night a 7pm.