PULASKI, VA.- The Burlington Royals returned to their winning ways with a 7-0 triumph over the Pulaski Yankees on Saturday night at Calfee Park in Pulaski.
With the win, the Royals improve to 38-24, while the Yankees fall to 26-35. Burlington had a chance to clinch a playoff spot on Saturday, but with the Princeton Rays' 3-0 win over the Bristol Pirates, the Royals have yet to officially wrap up a postseason bid.
The Royals raced out to a 6-0 lead after the first four innings and never looked back en route to Saturday's win. SS Nicky Lopez hit a triple, his fourth of the season, to lead off the game. Two batters later, 1B Chris DeVito doubled him home to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.
Burlington broke the game open in the third with four runs. Lopez and 2B Gabriel Cancel hit back-to-back singles to begin the frame, and RF Kort Peterson reached on an error to load the bases. DeVito cleared the bases with a three-RBI double, putting the Royals up 4-0. He made his way to third on a groundout by LF Boo Vazquez, and 3B Emmanuel Rivera hit a sacrifice fly to score DeVito.
Another run scored in the fourth. Cancel reached on a two-out error, and Peterson doubled him home.
The offense was more than enough of a cushion for RHP Geoffrey Bramblett. He picked up his sixth win of the season with five solid shutout innings. Bramblett allowed just two hits and walk, and struck out three in the effort.
RHP Alex Massey took over, and struck out four in three shutout innings, allowing just one hit without walking a batter.
In the top of the ninth, the Royals added one last run. Lopez drew a leadoff walk, and scored on Cancel's 18th double of the season.
RHP Walker Sheller locked down the win with a scoreless bottom of the ninth. He worked around a hit, striking out a batter.
- Cancel is now second in the league with his 18 doubles. Matt Fielder of Johnson City had 20 entering the night.
- Lopez, Cancel and DeVito had two hits apiece, accounting for six of the Royals' nine hits.
- Bramblett's sixth win ties him for second in the league. He is now tied with LHP Garrett Davila for the team lead.
- The Royals are 7-0 against Pulaski in 2016.
The series continues Sunday at 5:00 p.m. at Calfee Park. RHP Travis Eckert (3-1, 3.86) starts for Burlington. The game can be heard live and for free at www.pulaskiyankees.net.
Burlington Royals playoff tickets go on sale Monday, August 29. For tickets, call (336) 222-0223.
Burlington 7, Pulaski 0
WP: Geoffrey Bramblett (6-1)
LP: Abel Duarte (1-5)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.