This season the bats have generated most of the headlines for the Kingsport Mets, but on Wednesday morning it was the pitching that carried the Mets to a 4-1 victory over the Greeneville Reds at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Starting pitcher Jose Butto has been outstanding all season, allowing just two earned runs in 21.2 innings coming in. However, the Cumana, Venezuela native had been unable to pick up a win for his troubles.
That changed Wednesday, as Butto improved to 1-0 on the season with six very strong innings of work, allowing just one run and six hits, while striking out eight and surrendering no walks.
Dedniel Nunez came out of the pen in the seventh and picked up right where Butto left off. The Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic native breezed through the final three innings, allowing just three hits and no runs, while striking out two and also walking zero.
Nunez was credited with his first professional save for his efforts.
The Mets got on the board early as they scored a pair of runs in the first. Following an error and a single, the Mets had runners on the corners with one out, when the tandem of Guillermo Granadillo and Luis Santana pulled off a daring double steal, with the former stealing home.
On the next pitch, Mark Vientos knocked in Santana with a RBI-single to left to give the Mets the early 2-0 advantage.
The Reds got one back in the second when catcher Hunter Oliver homered to left-center to cut the Met lead to one. Oliver finished 3-4 on the evening, but he was the only one who cracked the duo of Butto and Nunez.
Kingsport ballooned the lead out to three with a solo home run by Gavin Garay in the fourth and a Yoel Romero RBI bunt single in the sixth.
The Mets and the Reds will continue this four-game series tomorrow evening. Game three will also bring up another in the series of Dollar Thursday's here at Hunter Wright Stadium, where fans can partake in $1 hot dogs, sodas, and beer. Game time is set for 6:30 and gates will open at 5:30.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.