GREENEVILLE, Tenn.- The Kingsport Mets prolonged their longest losing streak in five seasons as the Greeneville Astros came out victorious in two ballgames Sunday afternoon with a 6-2 win in Game 1 and a 3-1 win in the night cap as over 2,100 fans stormed through the gates of Pioneer Park to catch a two-for-one Appalachian League deal Sunday afternoon.
Game 1: Kingsport 2, Greeneville 6 (9 innings)
The opening-game of the series began on schedule Saturday evening at 6 p.m., but with inclement weather in and around the East Tennessee area, the game was suspended in the top of the second inning with both teams knotted at zero.
When play resumed Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m., Kingsport (3-7) had runners at first and third base with no outs. Grabiel Jimenez was the first to come to the plate and brought in a run from third base on a 3-6-3 double play. The Mets carried the momentum into the second inning as Jeremy Vasquez drove in Rigoberto Terrazas for the second run of the ballgame.
After two innings, Kingsport held a quick 2-0 lead over Greeneville.
From there, Astros (7-4) hurler Leovanny Rodriguez (2-0) strung together consecutive outs to keep the game at a manageable pace for the offense. Twice, the right-hander retired eight K-Mets in a row from the second inning until the eighth.
Rodriguez's final line on the day was seven innings, three hits, one run and one walk.
On the other hand, following six quick outs to begin the day for Kingsport pitcher Garrison Bryant (0-2), the Astros scored in bunches on two separate occasions. Three runs were plated in both the fifth and seventh innings for Greeneville as the 6-2 score held true until game's end.
In the fifth, an RBI double from Oscar Campos, a sacrifice fly from Reiny Beltre and a passed ball allowed the three runs to come across the plate while in the seventh it was a solo home run from Gilberto Celestino and a two-run double from Cody Bohanken.
The two monster innings led to Bryant's line reading of six innings, seven hits, five earned runs and two strikeouts. Both starters, Christian James (Kingsport) and Felipe Tajeda (Greeneville) did not factor into the decision after their efforts on Saturday's rain-shortened outing.
Kingsport was led at the plate by Vasquez with a 2-for-4 effort and an RBI. Wagner Lagrange also tallied two hits at the plate on the day during the loss.
Sunday's Game 1 conclusion was the sixth-consecutive loss or the Kingsport Mets since winning their third-straight game to begin the season a week prior at home against the Johnson City Cardinals on June 25.
Game 2: Kingsport 1, Greeneville 3 (7 innings)
Forced to shuffle around the starting rotation because of the weather over the weekend, Ronald Sanchez (0-1) stepped into the spot start Sunday afternoon for the Kingsport Mets. Prior to the start, Sanchez had not allowed a run in six innings over two appearances, but a wild pitch in the bottom of the first inning brought in the first run of the day as Greeneville shot out to an early advantage.
Still leading 1-0 two innings later, the Astros added with another run in the bottom of the third thanks to a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brody Westmoreland. The run was the lone to reach home plate in the inning despite Greeneville loading the bases with no outs. Sanchez was able to escape further trouble by inducing two strikeouts.
The Mets finally cracked the scoreboard in the top of the fourth when Juan Uriarte singled in Wagner Lagrange from second base. Both Uriarte and Lagrange tallied multi-hit days for a Kingsport club that only managed five hits in game two.
Needing some insurance late in the seven-inning affair, Greeneville's Roman Garcia doubled in Adrian Tovalin in the bottom of the sixth inning, setting the table for Jheyson Caraballo (1-0) to complete the four-inning relief effort to pick up his first win of the season. The pitcher surrendering only three hits over four innings while also striking out a batter.
Sanchez takes the loss for Kingsport after surrendering two early runs over three innings. Aaron Ford was the first K-Met out of the bullpen and pitched two innings of scoreless baseball with four strikeouts. Mac Lozer was the final Met to toss the baseball as the rookie surrendered one run and two hits in one inning.
Kingsport will get back to work Monday night with Game 3 of the series set to begin at 7 p.m. Coverage on the Kingsport Mets Baseball Network begins at 6:45 p.m. with the Braden's Barbeque Pregame Show. Action can be found at kmets.com and on the Tune In app.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.