JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Johnson City's offense was not detracted by the weather, scoring four runs in the first and nine more in the third en route to a season-high 16 tallies, as the Cardinals bludgeoned the Kingsport Mets, 16-1, in a rain-shortened, six-inning contest in front of 1,256 fans at TVA Credit Union Ballpark on Monday night.
With the win, the Redbirds jumped above the .500 mark for the first time since July 4, as they improved to 23-22 on the season. Kingsport's loss dropped their overall mark to 18-26 on the campaign.
It was the home run ball that ignited the Cardinal offense in the game's opening frame. After a walk to SS Delvin Perez (0-0, R), CF Wadye Ynfante (4-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB) laced the first pitch he saw over the right-center field wall for a two-run dinger. The blast - his seventh of the season - gave Johnson City the early 2-0 lead.
With two out, 1B Luis Bandes (2-4, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SO) struck out but reached on a passed ball. After he scooted to second on another passed ball, 3B Brady Whalen (2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI) cranked a towering two-run blast to right. The long homer - his fourth of the year - put the Cardinals ahead, 4-0.
In the third, Johnson City's offense exploded. The Redbirds had one on and two outs when RF Jonathan Rivera (2-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB) began the scoring barrage. The 20-year-old poked a run-scoring single to right-center, pushing the Cards' advantage to 5-1.
Following the base-hit, 2B Irving Lopez (3-5, 2 R, 3 RBI) drove in another tally on an infield single to first, as Johnson City took a 6-1 lead. The Redbirds would continue to pour it on with a bases-loaded walk to Ynfante, and a pair of two-run doubles by C Julio Rodriguez (1-5, R, 2B, 3 RBI, SO) and Bandes. Ahead 11-1, Whalen capped off the nine-run, six-hit frame with another blast over the right-field fence. The clout - his second of the night and fifth of the campaign - gave Johnson City a season-high 13 runs and a 12-run lead.
The Redbirds added three more to their docket - making it 16-1 - in the fourth. Lopez smashed a two-run single to center and Rodriguez brought home his third RBI of the night on a run-scoring ground out.
Cardinals' starter - RHP Franyel Casadilla (4.2 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 5 SO) - was excellent, but was removed one out short of receiving a win in the contest. RHP Juan Alvarez (1.1 IP, H, 2 BB) recorded the final four outs of the game to earn his first win of the season.
Kingsport's RHP Ronald Sanchez (2.2 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) failed to make it out of the third inning, surrendering eight of the 16 runs, in his third loss of the campaign.
All 10 batters who came to the plate for Johnson City reached base. Ynfante (4-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB) got on board five times and collected a season-high four hits in the win. Lopez (3-5, 2 R, 3 RBI) earned three hits and drove in three runs, while Whalen (2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI) homered twice and brought in a game-best four runs. Bandes (2-4, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SO) and Rivera (2-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB) also added multi-hit games in the rout.
Johnson City will look to sweep their first series of the season on Tuesday, as they are expected to send RHP Evan Guillory (1-1, 3.70 ERA) to the mound in the finale. Kingsport is projected to counter with RHP Carlos Hernandez (2-2, 4.32 ERA).
The Cardinals Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 6:45 p.m. ET, leading up to the 7:00 p.m. ET start at TVA Credit Union Ballpark. Tuesday evening's contest can be heard on NBCSportsTriCities.com, JCCardinals.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
It will be another Tennessee Pride Tuesday at the park presented by Citi. The Cardinals will wear special throwback-style uniforms, while all barbecue sandwiches, Dr. Enuf and locally brewed 16 oz. draft beers will be sold for just two dollars. Fans are encouraged to arrive early as the first 1,000 through the gates will receive a Team Poster Giveaway.
Single-game tickets are still available and can be purchased online at JCCardinals.com or by calling the Cardinals' Ticket Office at (423) 461-4866.
ABOUT THE JOHNSON CITY CARDINALS
The Johnson City Cardinals are the Rookie affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Members of the ten-team Appalachian League, Cardinals baseball has been entertaining families and fans of America's national pastime in the East Tennessee region for 80 years. To learn more about the Johnson City Cardinals, visit www.jccardinals.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.