Thomas earns first win to lead Pirates to series split

(Michael Grennell/Bristol Pirates)

By Bristol Pirates | August 22, 2019 11:44 PM

Tahnaj Thomas threw six innings of one-run ball on Thursday night for his first career win as he led the Bristol Pirates in a 2-1 victory over the Pulaski Yankees.

The Pirates scored first on a two-out home run by designated hitter Jesus Valdez, but the Yankees tied the game in the top of the second on a two-out single to left. It remained a 1-1 game until the bottom of the sixth inning when second baseman Josh Bissonette grounded out to third to drive in Valdez from third. The Pirates allowed only one hit and one walk over the final three innings to earn the series split with the Yankees.

Thomas allowed one run on five hits and one walk over six innings while striking out three to earn the win over Pulaski. Yordi Rosario allowed one hit while striking out two over two scoreless innings of relief to earn his Appalachian League-leading sixth hold of the year. Rosario now has as many holds this year as Burlington, Bluefield and Greeneville's pitching staffs, and he is the first Bristol pitcher with six holds in a season since Keegan Linza in 2011. Samson Abernathy allowed one walk while striking out two in one inning of work to earn his sixth save of the year.

Valdez led the Pirates at the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with a home run, one RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. Third baseman Aaron Shackelford was the only other Pirate with a hit in the win, as he was 1-for-2 with a walk and his first career stolen base.

The Pirates (31-30) remain in second place in the Appalachian League West Division with six games remaining in the regular season. Bristol currently sits 1/2 a game behind first-place Johnson City, and 1 1/2 games ahead of third-place Kingsport. The Pirates will travel to Johnson City on Friday night to begin a critical three-game series that could determine whether or not they reach the playoffs. Jose Maldonado will get the start in Game 1 as he comes off a win at Princeton in which he threw five scoreless innings against the Rays.

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

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