JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Thanks to a stellar performance by RHP Evan Guillory and an early offensive onslaught, Johnson City was able to hold on to sweep Kingsport, as the Cardinals topped the Mets, 8-4, in front of 1,348 fans at TVA Credit Union Ballpark on Tuesday evening.
With the win, the Redbirds collected their first sweep of the season and their first three-game sweep of the K-Mets since June of 2013, improving their overall mark to 24-22. Kingsport's loss is their third in-a-row, as they fell to 18-27.
Johnson City wasted no time in grabbing the lead, scoring two batters into the bottom of the first. On a 1-2 offering, CF Chase Pinder (1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI) hit a missile over the left-field fence for a solo home run. The rocket - his second of the season - gave the Cardinals an early 1-0 lead.
In the third, the Redbirds added four more to their docket. With one on and two outs, LF Wadye Ynfante (1-5, R) kept the inning alive with a single to center. C Julio Rodriguez (1-3, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) followed by smashing a liner down the right-field line. Both runners scored to extend the Redbirds' advantage to 3-0. After a walk to DH Brady Whalen (1-3, 2 R, RBI, BB), 3B Stanley Espinal (1-4, 2B, 2 RBI, SO) ripped a two-run, two-bagger of his own, stretching it to a 5-0 lead.
The Cardinals added another run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly to center by Pinder, putting the Redbirds up, 6-0. The lead increased to 8-0 with run-scoring singles by Whalen and RF Carlos Talavera (2-4, RBI, 2 SO).
Kingsport rallied back in the ninth - bringing the tying run to the plate - but could not complete the comeback. The Mets added runs on an error, a groundout and a RBI single by CF Anthony Dirocie (1-4, RBI, 3 SO).
With the bases loaded and two away, RHP Thomas St. Clair (0.1 IP, BB, SO) struck out SS Hansel Moreno (0-5, 3 SO) swinging to end the game and seal the win.
St. Clair's whiff closed out the victory for Guillory (7.0 IP, 2 H, BB, 8 SO) who was dominant on Tuesday. The Jennings, La. native retired 17-of-the-final-18 batters he faced and struck out a career-high eight batters, earning his second victory of the season.
RHP Carlos Hernandez (4.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) yielded six runs over four innings for Kingsport, suffering his third defeat of 2017.
2B Irving Lopez (2-4, R, 2B, BB, SO), Talavera (2-4, RBI, 2 SO) and 1B Carlos Rodriguez (2-4, 2B, SO) helped ignite the Johnson City offense, collecting six of the team's 11 hits. Pinder (1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI), Julio Rodriguez (1-3, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) and Espinal (1-4, 2B, 2 RBI, SO) each drove in multiple runs, accounting for six of the Cardinals' eight tallies.
Johnson City hits the road on Wednesday, as they take on the Bristol Pirates, the rookie affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, in the opening game of the three-game series. RHP Edwar Ramirez (2-5, 6.64 ERA) is expected to take the hill for the Redbirds in the lid-lifter. Bristol has not yet named their starter for the opener.
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 Boyce Cox Field. Wednesday evening's contest can be heard on JCCardinals.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
After the three-game road trip, the Cardinals will return home to open up a four-game homestand against the Elizabethton Twins, the rookie affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, on Saturday, August 12. Following the game will be the final Postgame Fireworks Show of the season presented by the Washington County Sheriff Litter Control.
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.