Greeneville, TN - Jorge Guzman and Juan Robles led the Greeneville Astros (30-32) to 4-0 shutout win over the Danville Braves (29-31) on Friday night. The two pitchers held the Braves to just five hits and totaled 11 strikeouts to win the series two games to one and keep the Astros in the Appalachian League playoff hunt.
Guzman started the game and pitched five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, one walk, and collecting seven strikeouts. It was a season-high for the 20-year-old right-hander in innings pitched and tied a season-high in strikeouts as he earned his first win of the year.
The Astros scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning. Ruben Castro led off with a single and Stijn van der Meer immediately followed with a bunt single to put runners at first and second. Then Frankeny Fernandez attempted a sacrifice bunt and got on with a fielding error, meanwhile, Castro came all the way around from second on the play to give the Astros a 1-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Astros added two more scores to extend their lead to 3-0. Once again, Castro led off with a single. Then Fernandez, who extended his on-base streak to 23 games, followed with a single as well. With runners at first and second, Abraham Toro-Hernandez connected on the Astros' third single of the inning to drive in Castro for a second time while runners advanced to second and third on an error. Finally, to score the second run of the inning, Fernandez came home on a balk with Troy Sieber at the plate.
Robles, who was making his debut with Greeneville after recently joining the team from the Gulf Coast League Astros, entered the game in a relief role in the top of the sixth inning. Over the next four innings, the 18-year-old from Mexico continued to shutdown the Braves as he allowed just four hits and struck out four to earn the save.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Astros added an insurance run to bring the score to 4-0. Sieber led off the inning with a line drive double off the left field wall before Jonathan Arauz singled to put runners at the corners. Then Carlos Machado, who has collected two hits in each of his last four games, had a RBI single on a ground ball to right field.
The Astros finished the night with four runs on 11 hits. Machado, Castro, Toro-Hernandez, and van der Meer each went two-for-four to lead the way.
Astros' manager Josh Bonifay, who became Greeneville's all-time wins leader earlier this season, registered his 100th win as the club's manager. In doing so, he became just the 29th recorded manager in Appalachian League history to reach the 100-win plateau.
Bonifay previously tallied 70 wins over his first two seasons as manager in Greeneville in 2013-14. After a successful stint in which he recorded 88 wins with the Class A Quad Cities River Bandits in 2015, Bonifay returned to Greeneville this season and the team's 30th win of the year got him to the milestone victory.
On Saturday at 6:00pm, the Astros will begin a crucial three-game home series against the Elizabethton Twins (34-28) with left-hander Patrick Sandoval on the mound. Currently, the Astros are trailing the Twins by four games for the final playoff spot in the West Division, but the two teams are set to face each other over each of the last six games of the regular season.
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.