JOHNSON CITY, Tenn.- Kingsport's ninth-inning rally Tuesday night fell short as the Johnson City Cardinals completed the three-game sweep over the Mets with a final score of 8-4 at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.
Tuesday's loss to Johnson City (24-22) marked the fourth time this season the K-Mets (18-27) have been swept on the year. The Mets were on pace to be shutout for the second time this season (first since vs. E-Twins on 6/28/17), however the ninth-inning rally that saw four runs score off three hits and two Cardinal errors inhibited that from happening.
Heading into the ninth, Kingsport managed only two hits in the game and were trailing 8-0. The visitors proceeded to send 10 men to the plate in the frame as Raphael Gladu, Rigoberto Terrazas scored on a two-base throwing error from Cardinal short stop, Imeldo Diaz, Juan Uriarte grounded in Dionis Paulino and Anthony Dirocie drove in his 35th run of the season to cap the four-run ninth.
Looking to keep things going, Hansel Moreno came back to the plate for the second time in the inning, but just as the short stop did to begin the frame, Moreno struck out to finally bring the game to an end. Prior to the late inning drama, it was once again the home team utilizing the long ball to strike first.
For the third-consecutive game, Johnson City jumped out in front thanks to a home run in the first inning. Chase Pinder send a 1-2, one-out fastball over the left field fence to hand the Cardinals an early 1-0 lead after one. It was the fourth home runs of the series in inning No. 1.
Johnson City wad at it again in the third inning as both Julio Rodriguez and Stanley Espinal laced two-run doubles with two outs in the frame. The first was down the right field line while the second was down the left field line. In the final two games of the series, the Cardinals sent a total of 20 batters to the plate and scored 13 runs-all with two outs.
In the bottom of the fourth, the home team struck again as Pinder drove in his second run of the ballgame with a sacrifice fly to deep center field. The drive brought in Imeldo Diaz as the sacrifice fly credited the sixth run of the game for Johnson City through the first four inning.
As the game was nearing a shutout, the Red Birds plated two more runs in the last of the seventh inning when Brady Whalen and Carlos Talavera recorded RBI singles up the middle to increase the lead to 8-0 over the Mets through the seventh.
Kingsport then rattled off four runs in the ninth before the comeback fell short with the tying run at the plate. Thomas St. Clair buckled down to retire Moreno on strikes to bring the game to an 8-4 Johnson City final.
Five different players recorded a single on the day for the Mets as Uriarte and Dircoie drove in one run apiece. Johnson City saw Pinder, Espinal and Rodriguez drive in two runs, while Talavera and Lopez recorded multi-hit days.
Picking up the win for the Red Birds was starter Evan Guillory (2-1) as the righty tossed a seven-inning gem while surrendering no runs off only two hits with seven strikeouts and only one walk. Carlos Hernandez (2-3) took home the loss after lasting four runs and surrendering six runs off seven hits.
Guillory retired 14 K-Mets in-a-row from innings two-seven before Terrazas led off the frame with a walk.
Kingsport will return home tomorrow, Wednesday August 9, to begin a three-game series against the Princeton Rays at 4:30 p.m. Joe Cavallaro will make his second start of the season for the Mets as coverage can be found on the Kingsport Mets Baseball Network beginning at 4:15 p.m. with the Braeden's Barbeque Pregame Show.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.