Powered by a trio of home runs, the Bristol Pirates defeated the Greeneville Reds 5-3 on Saturday night to complete their first series sweep against Greeneville since 2016.
The Pirates fell behind early for the second night in a row, as Reds center fielder Allan Cerda launched a two-run home run in the bottom of the first. Pirates second baseman Aaron Shackelford cut into the deficit by leading off the top of the second with a home run to right, but the Reds pushed their lead back to two on a two-out single in the bottom half of the inning.
Both teams were held scoreless over the next three innings, before Pirates designated hitter Samuel Inoa launched his second home run of the season over the left field fence to make it a 3-2 game. With one out in the top of the eighth, left fielder Jake Wright laced a single to right for his first career hit in his Bristol debut. Shackelford doubled to center field, and on a 3-2 count first baseman Brendt Citta launched a three-run home run over the left field fence to give the Pirates their first lead of the night. Yoelvis Reyes and Oliver Garcia combined to shutout the Reds in the eighth and the ninth to complete the sweep of Greeneville.
Starter Santiago Florez allowed three runs - two earned - on three hits and two walks while striking out a season-high five batters. Reyes struck out three batters over three innings while allowing no hits or walks to earn his first win of the season. After recording a blown save in his last appearance against Kingsport, Garcia surrendered a lead off double before inducing a flyout to center for the first out and back-to-back strikeouts to end the game and pick up his first save of the year.
Shackelford finished a triple short of the cycle, as he went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, one RBI and two runs scored to lead the Pirates in the win. Inoa was 2-for-4 with a home run, while shortstop Jesus Valdez also finished 2-for-4 with a double. After being activated shortly before the game, Wright went 1-for-5 with a run scored in his professional debut. Citta's homer was his only hit of the night, as he finished 1-for-3 with a walk and three RBI.
The Pirates (10-8) return to Bristol tomorrow night to kick off a five-game home stand, beginning with a two-game series against the Pulaski Yankees. Tahnaj Thomas will start for Bristol after allowing three unearned runs on four hits while striking out five over five innings against Kingsport.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.