BLUEFIELD, Va. - The Johnson City Cardinals scored 13 times from the seventh inning on to run away with a wild 14-3 victory Thursday night in Bluefield. Jhon Torres hit his first two Appalachian League homers late to put exclamation points on the late-frame surge.
The series opener was delayed by 85 minutes due to heavy storms in the Bluefield area. The Cards struggled with the bats once play got underway, posting just one run through six frames vs. Bluefield starter Felipe Castaneda. Down 3-1, the bats sprung to life in the seventh. Diomedes Del Rio scored his first of three runs after entering the game as a substitute on a balk to key the seventh frame rally. The Cards added another run on a wild pitch to tie the game at 3-3. Chandler Redmond then picked up a two-RBI single to put the Cards up 5-3.
An RBI triple from Del Rio spurred a three-run eighth that Torres punctuated with his first homer of the evening. He added another as part of a six-run ninth and finished the evening with two homers, four runs, three hits and three RBIs. Del Rio finished the evening 2 for 2 with a triple, a double and three runs scored after entering halfway through as a substitute for Carlos Soler.
Torres, Del Rio, Redmond, Todd Lott, Victor Garcia and Liam Sabino all finished with multi-hit nights. The 14 runs matched a season-high for the powerful Cardinal attack. The team has now scored 14 runs in three of its first 15 games.
Jake Sommers got the start for the Cards and pitched well over four innings, allowing just one run while striking out two. Will Guay entered in the fifth with the score tied 1-1 and allowed a pair of runs but stranded the bases loaded in the fifth. Two boarded vs. Guay in the sixth before John Witkowski (1-0) entered. The righty from Boston College stranded both the runners and went on to earn his professional win.
Walker Robbins entered with two in scoring position in the seventh and the score at 5-3. The lefty reliever left both and went on to finish the game on the mound for Johnson City. He earned his second save in unconventional fashion, limiting the Blue Jays to two hits and no runs as his offense ran away with the game. Gaudy Ramirez (1-1) suffered the loss after allowing four runs (four earned) in 1.1 innings of relief.
The Cardinals (10-5) have now won four straight series openers. RHP Jose Moreno (1-1, 9.28 ERA) will start as Johnson City looks to keep its momentum rolling. The Cards have won six of their last seven overall. RHP Alejandro Melean (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is expected to start for the Blue Jays. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. ET.
The Cardinals return home July 8 for a matchup with the Elizabethton Twins. The full Johnson City Cardinals schedule for this season and season ticket information can be found 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 over 50 years. To learn more about the Johnson City Cardinals, visit www.jccardinals.com.
[STORY PHOTO BY ROBERT KELL]
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.