Three batters combined to drive in 12 runs on Saturday night, as the Bristol Pirates took the series finale with the Kingsport Mets in a 19-5 victory.
It was the highest scoring game for Bristol since July 1, 2010 when the then-Bristol White Sox defeated the then-Greeneville Astros 21-0. Saturday's victory also gave the Pirates the season-series win over Kingsport as they end the year 5-4 against the Mets.
The first run of the night came on a single by designated hitter Jesus Valdez that drove in second baseman Josh Bissonette. After a fielding error loaded the bases, shortstop Francisco Acuna hit a three-run double to left field and would later score on a single by right fielder Jake Wright to make it a 5-0 game. The Pirates struck again in the third inning when they sent 11 batters to the plate and drove in seven runs to make it a 12-0 game. The highlight of that inning would come from center fielder Daniel Rivero, as he launched a 2-1 pitch over the right field fence for a three-run home run - the first of his career.
After being held hitless for the first four innings, the Mets got their first hit in the top of the fifth on a leadoff single by left fielder Jhoander Saez. A single and a two-run home run would give the Mets their first runs of the night as they made it a 12-3 game. The bottom half of the fifth inning saw the Pirates push their lead back to double digits after RBI singles by Wright and first baseman Ernny Ordonez and another RBI double by Acuna. The Mets would score a run in the sixth and a run in the seventh before the Pirates capped off their scoring with three runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Valdez, Acuna and Rivero led the team with four RBI each. Valdez finished 3-for-5 with a double, a walk and three runs scored, while Rivero was 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored. Acuna finished 2-for-6 with two doubles and two runs scored, as he moved into a tie for first place in the Appalachian League with 16 doubles. Morrow reached base five times in the win, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, a walk, a hit by pitch, one RBI and three runs scored.
Starter Jose Maldonado threw four hitless innings for Bristol, allowing no runs on five walks while striking out three. Luis Arrieta improved to 2-1 on the year after allowing four runs on five hits and one walk while striking out three in two innings of relief. Matt Eardensohn earned a three-inning save for the Pirates - his first career save - as he allowed one unearned run on four hits while striking out two.
The Pirates (24-26) moved back into third place in the Appalachian League West Division as they now sit 1/2 a game ahead of Kingsport. After a Twins victory over the Cardinals Saturday, the Pirates are now two games behind Elizabethton for second place and three games behind Johnson City for first. The Pirates will open up a three-game series against the Bluefield Blue Jays on Sunday night at 6, with Dante Mendoza scheduled to take the mound for Bristol. In his last start against Danville, Mendoza allowed three runs on four hits and three walks with three strikeouts over four innings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.