JOHNSON CITY - The Johnson City Cardinals got a home run from Liam Sabino and RBIs from Chandler Redmond and Jhon Torres but could not overcome the Bristol Pirates Thursday in front of a crowd of 3,069 at TVA Credit Union Ballpark. The Cards fell 4-3. The teams will battle in a rubber match Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Michael YaSenka pitched into the seventh without allowing an earned run. The righty YaSenka (0-1) lowered his ERA to 0.48 but suffered his first Johnson City Cardinals loss. The Cardinal defense finished with a season-high six errors, wasting an otherwise solid start from YaSenka, who struck out seven.
Sabino launched his fourth homer of the season in the second to cut an early 2-0 deficit down to 2-1. Redmond singled home Todd Lott, who led off with a double, to bring the Cardinals within 3-2 in the fourth.
Play was delayed for just over an hour in the seventh due to a heavy rainstorm. The Cardinals left two in scoring position in the eighth. Zach Jackson began the ninth with a double and scored on a two-out double from Torres off the top of the wall in left center. Torres was stranded on second to end the game.
Lott reached for the 11th straight contest. Jackson reached base three times. Each team finished with five hits. The Cards (15-13) got three combined innings of scoreless, one-hit relief from Dylan Pearce and Hector Soto, who debuted for the team with three strikeouts while facing the minimum in the eighth and ninth.
The evening was Strike Out Cancer Night featuring a special appearance by Jason Motte, who threw out the first pitch. The Cardinal legend's Jason Motte Foundation continues to fund research and lead the fight against cancer.
The loss snapped a five-game losing skid for the Pirates (13-16). Alex Roth (2-0) earned the win for the Bucs with two scoreless frames of relief, while Oliver Garcia notched his second save by limiting the Cards to one run in the eighth and ninth.
Johnson City and Bristol will decide the series Friday at 6:30 p.m. RHP Francisco Justo (2-1, 3.95 ERA) will start for the Cardinals vs. RHP Tahnaj Thomas (0-3, 4.41 ERA) for the Pirates. Fans are invited to enjoy postgame fireworks following the rubber match.
The full Cardinal 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.