JOHNSON CITY - Third baseman Malcom Nunez piled up three doubles and reached four times in the the series opener for the Johnson City Cardinals vs. the Princeton Rays. The Cards dropped the contest 7-3.
Nunez now has 10 doubles in less than a month active with Johnson City. Despite playing in just 22 games, he has pulled within six of the Appalachian League lead in the doubles category. He has reached base safely in six straight games.
Nunez cut an early 2-0 Rays lead in half with a two-out RBI double to score Mateo Gil in the third. Gil evened the contest at 2-2 with an RBI base hit to score Ben Baird in the fifth before the Rays tagged Cardinal starter Julio Puello (3-4) for four runs in the sixth to take a lead they would not relinquish.
Gil reached twice in the game, scoring a run and picking up an RBI. Aaron Antonini reached three times and has now reached seven times in the last two games. Tyler Peck limited the Rays to just one run (one earned) of scoreless relief in the sixth and seventh before Dylan Pearce authored back-to-back scoreless innings to wrap the game on the mound for Johnson City.
Bryan Herrera (1-2) earned the win in relief for the Rays, defusing the fifth inning by stranding two in scoring position behind starter Taj Bradley after the Cards tied the score. The Cardinals left 12 baserunners in the game and finished just 2-for-13 with men in scoring position.
The Cardinals (27-24) meet the Rays (24-27) again Monday evening. RHP Jake Sommers is expected to start for Johnson City vs. LHP Jose Lopez for Princeton. The Cardinals remain in first in the Appalachian West by one game ahead of the Elizabethton Twins and two games ahead of the third-place Bristol Bucs.
August 12th will be a Dollar Monday at TVA Credit Union Ballpark presented by Peggy Ann Bakery. Fans are invited to enjoy $1 hot dogs, chips, candy, donuts, popcorn, Dr. Enuf, Pepsi products, and select beer. It will also be VS. Cancer Night. The Johnson City Cardinals are teaming up with VS. Cancer to battle pediatric brain tumors. You can help support the cause by donating to the foundation or bidding on a special team autographed bat that will be up for auction on Monday night.
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.