DANVILLE, Va. - The Bluefield Blue Jays evened up the series against the Danville Braves in a long, rain-delayed contest Tuesday night, winning 14-6 after a nine-run fifth inning broke the game open.
Michael Mateja had a career-high four RBI and hit his first home run of the season to lead Danville. His two-run shot in the fourth inning was the team's 11th home run of the season and seventh at home.
Bluefield struck first in the second inning, with a two-run home run from Joseph Reyes putting the Blue Jays up 2-0. Danville tacked on its first run in the bottom half of the inning, as Mitch Calandra's led off the inning with a double before Mateja's two-out RBI single. The D-Braves loaded the bases with a single and a walk but were unable to bring any more runs across.
In the fourth inning, with Victor De Hoyos standing on first and one out on the board, Mateja launched a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall for a 3-2 D-Braves lead.
The lead wouldn't last long however, with 13 Bluefield batters combining for nine runs to take an 11-3 lead the Blue Jays would not relinquish. Danville plated two more in the sixth on an RBI line out by Mateja and an RBI groundout from Charles Reyes and scored in the seventh inning with an RBI single from De Hoyos but would not get any more. Bluefield put one across in the seventh on a wild pitch and also scored two in the ninth on a pair of RBI singles to get the final score to 14-6.
The game was not a clean one defensively, with Bluefield committing four errors and Danville contributing two. The Danville pitching staff also walked 11 batters, a season high.
The game was the first rain delayed contest of the season for the D-Braves, with a delay lasting one hour and 38 minutes. It was also the longest game of the year, lasting three hours and 35 minutes.
The D-Braves and the Blue Jays will conclude the series on Wednesday, with the game scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.