Pirates split doubleheader with Kingsport on Thursday

(Michael Grennell/Bristol Pirates)

By Bristol Pirates | August 9, 2019 7:56 AM

The Bristol Pirates opened up a four-game series with the Kingsport Mets with a doubleheader split, as the Pirates fell 4-3 in Game 1 before defeating the Mets 10-2 in Game 2.

In the first game, the Pirates jumped out to a 3-1 lead after three innings on RBI doubles by designated hitter Aaron Shackelford and right fielder Daniel Rivero and an RBI single by first baseman Samuel Inoa. Kingsport scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game before taking the lead in the top of the seventh on a one-out single by designated hitter Brett Baty. The Pirates would get two hits in the bottom half of the inning, but were unable to score the tying run as they dropped Game 1.

Starter Luis Ortiz tied his career-high with six innings pitched against Kingsport, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out three. C.J. Dandeneau suffered the loss for Bristol after allowing one run on two hits with one strikeout in one inning of work.

Third baseman Jesus Valdez was the only Pirate with a multi-hit performance in the loss, as he finished 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Shortstop Francisco Acuna went 1-for-3 at the plate with a run scored and his team-leading 14th double, which moved him into second place in the Appalachian League in the category.

After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the second inning in Game 2, the Pirates tied the game on an RBI double by designated hitter Ethan Goforth before left fielder Jean Eusebio scored the go-ahead run on an error. The Pirates would add three runs in the third inning and four in the fourth before third baseman Matt Morrow drove in the final run for Bristol on a single in the fifth inning.

Making his first start of the season, Yoelvis Reyes earned the win after allowing one unearned run on four hits over five innings while striking out a season-high six batters. Lizardy Dicent and Enrique Santana combined to allow one run on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts over the final two innings of the game.

Goforth led the Pirates with a career-best performance, finishing 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Morrow also went 3-for-4 in the win with one RBI and two runs scored, while Eusebio and shortstop Jesus Valdez each ended the night with a single, a double, two RBI and two runs scored.

The Pirates (23-25) remain in third place in the Appalachian League West Division, and they now sit three games behind Johnson City and two games behind Elizabethton in the standings. Tahnaj Thomas will start for Bristol in Game 3 of this series with Kingsport, as he comes off a career-best performance in his last start in which he allowed one run over five innings while striking out nine against the Twins. A win on Friday would give Bristol its first season-series win over Kingsport since 2010.

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

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