Elizabethton, TN - The Greeneville Astros (33-34) held the Elizabethton Twins (36-31) scoreless through seven innings before going on to a 6-2 win on a wet and rainy Wednesday night at Joe O'Brien Field. On the season, the Astros now hold a five-games-to-three advantage over the Twins, clinching the season series between the clubs.
Stijn van der Meer got the Astros off to a great start with a leadoff double to begin the game and was moved over to third on a Frankeny Fernandez sacrifice bunt. Then, Abraham Toro-Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to bring in the first score.
Juan Robles, who was making his first start for Greeneville, pitched three scoreless innings and held the Twins to just three hits before rain temporarily delayed the game.
Once play resumed, the Astros extended their lead by three in the fourth inning. It started with Toro-Hernandez and Chaz Pal each getting on base with singles, leaving runners at the corners. Then, Jonathan Arauz hit a sacrifice fly to score one run. Next, Carlos Machado singled and advanced to second on a throwing error, moving Pal to third. Catcher Ruben Castro followed with a two-run single into centerfield to put the Astros up, 4-0.
Jorge Guzman entered the game in relief of Robles in the bottom of the fourth and was forced to play through a second wave of lighter rain. The hard-throwing right-hander would go on to pitch four scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, and striking out five.
For his efforts, Guzman would be awarded the win for the second time in his last two outings. In those two appearances, he has totaled nine scoreless innings and allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out 12.
In the fifth inning, van der Meer was back in action as he got both his second hit and scored his second run of the night. With one out, the second baseman singled to give him his fifth multi-hit night in his last eight games. Fernandez, who extended his on-base streak to 27 games, followed with a RBI triple high off the centerfield wall to give the Astros their biggest lead at 5-0.
The Twins would avoid the shutout by picking up two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, one coming on a throwing error and the other on a wild pitch. However, the Astros would get one of those back in the ninth.
With two outs and Jonathan Matute on first with a single, Castro connected on his first career triple to bring in the final score. For Castro, it also gave him his fifth multi-hit game in his last seven.
It was the third consecutive night the Astros defeated the Twins, and with the last two coming at Joe O'Brien Field, the stage is now set for a season-ending road series sweep. In the season finale on Thursday at 7:00pm, the Astros will send Diogenes Almengo to the mound to face Elizabethton's Jose Martinez.
The Astros are the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. For more information, call (423) 638-0411.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.