BRISTOL, Va.-What began as a pitcher's duel Sunday night at Boyce Cox Field ended with the Pirates exploding for nine late runs to take down Kingsport 13-5 in Game 2 of the final road series of the season for the Mets.
Kingsport (28-34) is now 6-2 against the Pirates (15-47) on the season as Bristol snapped a five-game winning streak of the Mets in the series. The victory for Bristol was also the fifth of the season at home.
Both Christian James (Kingsport) and Max Kranick (Bristol) brought their A-game to the ballpark on the evening, but following the departure of the two starters, the game witnessed another tie and two more lead changes before the Pirates exploded in their final two at-bats to secure the win.
Bristol scored first for the first time in the series when Jason Delay grounded in Edison Lantigua from third base on an out to the short stop. Kingsport answered immediately in the top of the second when Anthoy Dirocie tripled in Dionis Paulino to tie the game at 1-1.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the sixth when Bristol scraped across two runs off three hits to take a 3-1 lead. Consecutive RBI singles form Melvin Jimenez and Lantigua brought in both Matt Diorio and Luis Perez to finally get through Kingsport's James.
The fifth was the end of the line for James as the right-handed pitcher tossed five innings of three-run baseball with nine strikeouts and only one walk. The nine strikeouts tied a season-high for punch outs in a start for James as the hurler allowed only six hits in the outing.
Two outs into the top of the sixth inning, the day was called quits for Bristol's Kranick as the starter allowed only one runs off five hits with five strikeouts and a walk. Both starters did not counter into the decisions Sunday night.
Out of nowhere, the Mets retook the lead in the top of the seventh inning after plating four runs off a three-run triple from Angel Manzanarez and an RBI double from Hansel Moreno. Kingsport tallied three hits in the inning and left 5-4 at stretch time at Boyce Cox Field.
Bristol put forth a rally of their own in the bottom of the frame to grab the lead back after plating five runs off two hits. Jason Day's RBI double and Diorio's three-run single sandwiched a bases-loaded walk from Johan DeJesus to credit the five runs.
In all, the seventh inning saw a combined nine runs off only five hits between the two squads.
Still feeding off the momentum in the inning prior, the Pirates brought in four more runs in the eighth thanks to another two-run double from Diorio, another bases-loaded walk from DeJesus and a sacrifice fly from Purefoy.
Bristol combined in innings seven and eight to plate nine runs off only four hits to go from trailing by a run to leading by eight heading to the top of the ninth inning.
Picking up the loss in relief for the Mets was Joshua Payne (0-1) after the righty surrendered four runs in 1 1/3 inning with three strikeouts and three walks. The winning pitcher on the night for the home team was Miguel Hernandez (1-4) after tossing a scoreless 2/3 of an inning with a strikeout.
Both Diorio and Lantigua tallied three hits on the night for Bristol while the former drove in four runs on the night. DeJesus, Delay and Purefoy all drove in two runs during the Pirate victory as well. For Kingsport, Manzanarez tallied three hits with three RBIs on the night while Dirocie had a multi-hit day a part of a one-RBI and one-run scoring day at the office.
The series finale and the final road game of the season for Kingsport is set to begin Monday evening at 7 p.m. Carlos Hernandez will be on the mound for the K-Mets as the Barbeque's Pregame Show airs at 6:46 p.m. on the Kingsport Mets Baseball Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.