Nothing was going to stop the Kingsport Mets from snapping their seven-game losing streak Thursday night. The Mets overcame bus problems, a late arrival and a long rain delay to down the Royals 8-3 at Burlington Athletic Stadium in the two teams' first meeting in 2010.
The story of the game was the length of the evening. The Mets (24-30) did not arrive in Burlington until 7:45 p.m. because their bus broke down and then traffic slowed them down. After Kingsport scored three times in the first and Burlington (25-31) responded with a single tally, a strong rain shower rolled through central North Carolina, sending the game into a rain delay that lasted almost an hour in a half.
All in all, Burlington and Kingsport played for two hours and 27 minutes and waited during delays for eight minutes shy of three hours.
After the rain delay, both teams failed to score from the second until the seventh. Burlington reliever Robert Penny, who came in after Jonathan Dooley (3-6) worked the first inning, allowed only two base runners over five frames. The righty's earned run average fell to 1.57.
In the eighth, the Mets began to pull away, scoring two unearned runs off Jake Ramsey after a Yunior Figueroa error. Burlington responded with a single-run inning in the bottom half on Ryan Stovall's RBI single, his second RBI of the game, to cut the score to 5-2.
But Kingsport scored three times in the top of the ninth off Claudio Bavera to put the game out of reach. Anthony Howard did club his third homer of the season in the bottom of the ninth, but the Royals would not get any closer.
With the loss, Burlington falls four and a half games behind second-place Danville in the Appalachian League's Eastern Division with 12 games left to play. Danville's game at home against Greeneville was postponed due to rain.
The Royals will look to even the series with Kingsport Friday night at 7, and Crawford Simmons will toe the rubber for Burlington. Tickets are still available by calling (336) 222-0223 or simply coming to Burlington Athletic Stadium. If you cannot make it to the game, catch all of the action right here on burlingtonroyals.com beginning at 6:45.
Brian Boesch is the "Voice of the Royals." You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.