DANVILLE, VA.- The Burlington Royals rallied from a three-run deficit entering the seventh inning, but the Danville Braves walked off on a single from CF Isranel Wilson to win 5-4 in the third game of the clubs' four-game series.
Burlington (5-12) trailed 4-3 into the top of the ninth, but 3B Oliver Nunez led off with a single, followed by an RBI triple from 2B Jose Marquez . The Royals could not push him across, though, and the game headed to the home half of the inning tied at 4-4.
Braves LF Justin Smith drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth, but when 2B Jeremy Fernandez tried to sacrifice him to second, Royals C Sebastian Rivero threw out Smith at second. 1B Griffin Benson promptly walked, and 3B Luis Mejia and Wilson hit consecutive singles, the latter of which walked off the Royals.
LHP Michael Messier had thrown three straight shutout innings prior to the ninth, making the lefty a tough-luck loser in his first relief appearance of the season. RHP Connor Mayes made his first professional start for the Royals, striking out four over five innings.
Wilson had been a thorn in the side of the Royals earlier in the game as well, as his two-RBI triple in the second inning gave Danville a 3-1 lead by scoring Smith and Benson. He later extended the lead to 4-1 with an RBI double to score Mejia in the fifth.
Burlington, who had scored on a sacrifice fly by LF Reed Rohlman in the first, quickly saw their lead slip away in the bottom of the first when C Hagen Owenby hit a sacrifice fly for Danville.
The Royals got the first two runs back in their rally in the seventh, when C Sebastian Rivero and RF Travis Jones hit back-to-back singles to begin the inning, and Nunez walked to load the bases. Marquez lined an RBI single to left to score Rivero, and CF Michael Gigliotti hit into a double play that brought home Jones but quelled a further output.
Marquez was the only Royal to have multiple hits on Sunday, finishing 2-for-4.
The Royals and Braves conclude their series Monday at 7:00 p.m. from Dan Daniel Park. Coverage with Matt Krause begins at 6:45 p.m. on www.burlingtonroyals.com or on the TuneIn app (search "Burlington Royals"). RHP Ismael Maldonado (0-3, 11.25) starts for the Royals against Braves LHP Bruce Zimmermann (0-0, 0.00).
The Royals return home on Wednesday, July 12 to open a three-game series with the Elizabethton Twins at 7:00 p.m. It will be City of Burlington Night - Show your spirit for the City of Burlington as the Royals take on the Twins! For tickets, call (336) 222-0223 or visit www.burlingtonroyals.com.
Danville 5, Burlington 4
WP: Kelvin Rodriguez (3-0)
LP: Michael Messier (0-4)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.