Pirates move into tie for first with 9-3 win over Yankees

Tahnaj Thomas recorded a career-high seven strikeouts against Pulaski on Sunday night. (Michael Grennell/Bristol Pirates)

By Bristol Pirates | July 7, 2019 11:26 PM

The Bristol Pirates extended their winning streak to five games on Sunday night, as they kicked off a five-game home stand with a 9-3 victory over the Pulaski Yankees.

The win marked their 10th victory in their last 12 games, as they moved into a tie with the Elizabethton Twins for first place in the Appalachian League West Division.

After a scoreless first inning, center fielder Chase Murray opened up the scoring for Bristol with a bases-loaded walk to drive in left fielder Jake Wright. Third baseman Matt Morrow followed the walk with an RBI single to right, and two batters later second baseman Josh Bissonette drove in a pair of runs on a single to left. Pulaski scored in the fourth and fifth innings to cut Bristol's lead in half, but a two-run double by Bissonette in the seventh and a three-run eighth inning put the game out of reach for the Yankees.

Making his first start at home since Opening Day, Tahnaj Thomas allowed two runs on five hits and one walk over 4 2/3 innings against the Yankees. Thomas also set a new career-high with seven strikeouts, as he has now posted a 1.86 ERA over his last two starts. Yordi Rosario improved to 2-0 on the year after allowing two hits over 1 1/3 innings, while Enrique Santana, Alex Roth and Ryan Troutman combined to allow one run on three hits and two walks over three innings to close out the game.

Bissonette led the team at the plate, going 2-for-5 with his first career double and a career-high four RBI. Shortstop Jesus Valdez hit his first triple of the season as he finished 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, while designated hitter Samuel Inoa was 2-for-4 with two runs and a stolen base in the win.

On defense, catcher Eli Wilson threw out two runners from behind the plate to increase his caught-stealing rate to 53 percent for the season. His eight runners caught stealing now leads the Appalachian League.

The Pirates (11-8) will try to extend their winning streak to six games on Monday night in the finale with Pulaski. Luis Ortiz will start for Bristol as they go for their fifth consecutive series win. Ortiz has posted a 3.29 ERA over three starts this season, and in his last start against Kingsport he allowed one run on three hits over five innings.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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