DANVILLE, Va. - The Danville Braves started off their second series this season against the Bluefield Blue Jays the same way they opened their previous one - with a win.
Charles Reyes hit his first home run of the season with a grand slam as part of an explosive five-run fourth inning to break open what had been a scoreless tie, and the D-Braves pitching staff did their job to help the first-place D-Braves get the victory.
The D-Braves advanced a runner to third in the third inning after Garrett Saunders led off the inning with a walk, getting hit by a pitch and then advancing on a pair of groundouts, but were unable to score him. The first hit of the day for the home side came an inning later, when Willie Carter doubled with one out on the board. Bryce Ball, who led the Appalachian League in RBI entering the evening, drove Carter home with an RBI single to put the first run on the board.
The D-Braves were able to load the bases, aided in part by a costly Bluefield fielding error on a grounder to shortstop that allowed Mitch Calandra to reach first and continue the inning. Three batters later with the bases loaded and two outs, Reyes launched one to left field to make it 5-0 Danville. The D-Braves threatened to add more with two consecutive walks but were unable to tack on any more.
Bluefield answered in the fifth inning with two runs coming on a two-out, two-run single from PK Morris, but Danville pitcher Mitch Stallings got Leonardo Jimenez to pop out to end the inning immediately afterwards.
The D-Braves tacked on an insurance run they ultimately didn't need in the seventh inning, with Carter smacking his fourth double of the year to score Michael Mateja and extend the lead to 6-2, which would remain on the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.
Danville had just five hits compared to Bluefield's nine, but drew eight walks. Stallings came into the game in the third inning and pitched five innings to earn his second win of the year. He was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week prior to the start of the game and hadn't given up any runs yet this season entering the day.
The D-Braves and the Blue Jays will continue the series on Tuesday, 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.