The Greeneville Astros (29-27) fought back and forth with the Bristol Pirates (12-43) Sunday night in the opener of their three-game series. Bristol took advantage of two multi-run innings late in the game taking game one 6-3.
Bristol jumped ahead early by grabbing a one run lead in the top of the first. Second baseman Melvin Jimenez walked to start the inning and stole his third base of the year after a fly out for the first out. Third baseman Nelson Jorge took advantage of a runner in scoring position with an RBI single on a line drive to right field, but was thrown out trying to advance to second. Designated hitter Matt Diorio recorded Bristol's second hit of the inning, but was thrown out by Martin Figueroa trying to steal second.
The Astros worked their way around the base paths as well in the first inning. Center fielder Wilson Amador singled on a bunt grounder and found himself at third base thanks to a balk and a wild pitch. Left fielder Frankeny Fernandez brought home Amador on a sacrifice fly to center field tying the game at one apiece.
Greeneville starter Jheyson Caraballo settled down after the first inning by holding Bristol scoreless for the next three innings before reliever Johsson Arias made a relief appearance. Caraballo finished the night only surrendering one run, one walk and striking out two.
The Pirates regained their lead in the top of the fifth as Henry Rosario hit his second triple of the season on the second pitch he saw at the plate. Shortstop Luis Perez put the Pirates back on top with a sacrifice fly scoring Rosario from third as he flew out to right field. The Astros once again escaped the inning as Figueroa threw out his second runner of the game.
Keeping the back-and-forth tone of the game, Greeneville answered back in the bottom half of the fifth to take a 3-2 lead. Reiny Beltre reached first base on a fielding error by the pitcher, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt. Amador also reached base on a fielding error, the second of the inning. Fernandez then stepped into the batter's box and singled to right field scoring both Beltre and Amador. Fernandez was caught in a pickle after his single, giving Amador enough time to race home and beat the throw.
Bristol mimicked Greeneville by plating two runs of their own in the top of the sixth for another lead change. After a strike out to start the inning, a single and a double put runners on second and third base with one out. Arias forced a ground out for out number two, but Rosario singled on a ground ball to center bringing home both runners.
The Pirates added on two more insurance runs in the top of the eighth to help seal the victory. With two outs and Kyle Watson on first via a walk, Rosario began the Pirates rally with a single to right putting runners on the corners. With Perez batting, Rosario took off for second base and after the throw to second, Watson started running home and barely snuck in underneath the tag making it a 5-3 game. Perez would go on to hit an RBI single scoring Rosario and giving the Pirates their sixth and final run.
Greeneville plays host to Bristol again tomorrow night for game two of their three game series. Right hander Hansel Paulino (3-1) will take the mound as Greeneville looks to even the series. First pitch is set for 7:00pm.
The Astros are the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. For more information, visit www.greenevilleastros.com or call (423) 638-0411.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.