JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - The Cardinals scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to erase a 6-2 deficit, but Burlington answered back with four in the top of the 10th, as the Royals salvaged the final game of the series, defeating Johnson City, 10-6, on Wednesday night in front
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - The Cardinals scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to erase a 6-2 deficit, but Burlington answered back with four in the top of the 10th, as the Royals salvaged the final game of the series, defeating Johnson City, 10-6, on Wednesday night in front of 1,195 fans at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.
The Redbirds had their four-game winning streak snapped in the loss, dropping to 16-18 on the season. With the win, Burlington improved their overall mark to 14-19.
Trailing by four in the ninth, 2B J.D. Murders (2-5, R) started the rally with a one-out single. RF Carlos Talavera (0-5, R, 2 SO) then reached on a fielder's choice plus an error, while SS Imeldo Diaz (2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI) reached on an infield single to load the bases. CF Chase Pinder (0-4, R, RBI, 2 SO) proceeded to hit a ground ball to third, but a throwing error resulted in no outs being made. Murders scored as Johnson City trimmed the lead to 6-3.
The rally did not stop there. 3B Brady Whalen (0-3, R, RBI, 2 BB, SO) drew a bases-loaded walk to cut the deficit to 6-4 and 1B Luis Bandes (0-3, RBI) smacked a sacrifice fly to right, pulling the Cardinals within one. On a 0-2 count, C Alexis Wilson (1-4, RBI, BB, SO) slapped a RBI single to right to even the game up at six.
The contest did not stay tied for very long, as Burlington struck for four runs in the top of the 10th. SS Jeison Guzman (1-3, 2 R, BB) ignited the frame with a single and moved to second, as Johnson City failed to record an out on a sacrifice bunt by C Jesus Atencio (0-3, 2 R, SO). 2B Jose Marquez (1-3, R, 2 RBI, BB) laid down a sac bunt to move the runners up, but the throw went awry. Guzman scored on the errant toss, putting Burlington up, 7-6.
Pinch-hitter Benji Cash (1-1, R, 2 RBI) - with men at second and third - ripped a two-run double to left to stretch the Royals' lead to 9-6. 3B Oliver Nunez (0-4, BB, 2 SO) capped off the scoring with a run-scoring ground out second, giving the visitors a 10-6 advantage.
Johnson City's bottom of the tenth did not last long, as the team was retired in order to end the game.
The Cardinals had initially grabbed the lead, scoring a run on a passed ball in the game's opening frame. Burlington bounced right back, scoring three times in the second on a bases-loaded free pass, a run-scoring double play ball and a single to right by CF Michael Gigliotti (2-4, R, RBI, 2 BB, SO).
Down 3-1, Diaz pulled the Redbirds back within one, clubbing a solo homer over the wall in left. The blast - his first of the season and as a member of the Cardinals' organization - put Johnson City within a run.
Burlington would add a run in the sixth on an infield single by Marquez and two more in the ninth on a throwing error.
Neither starter received a decision on Wednesday. LHP Jacob Schlesener (4.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 7 SO) punched out seven batters and allowed three unearned runs over 4.1 innings for Johnson City. His counterpart - RHP Sal Biasi (5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, ER, 3 BB, 5 SO) - yielded two tallies (one earned) over five innings in his third start for the Royals.
RHP Tyler Zuber (2.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, BB, 2 SO) - who gave up four runs to even the game in the ninth - worked a perfect 10th to earn his first professional victory for Burlington. RHP Thomas St. Clair (1.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R, ER, SO) was taxed for four runs (one earned), suffering his first defeat of the year.
The Cardinals hit the road on Thursday, as they kick start a six-game roadtrip, starting with a three-contest set against the Danville Braves, the rookie affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. RHP Edwar Ramirez (1-4, 7.76 ERA) is expected to take the ball for Johnson City in the lid-lfiter. Danville is projected to counter with LHP Bruce Zimmerman (0-1, 4.50 ERA) in the series opener.
The Cardinals Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 6:45 p.m. ET, leading up to the 7:00 p.m. ET start at Legion Field. Thursday evening's contest can be heard on NBCSportsTriCities.com, JCCardinals.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
Johnson City will return home on Thursday, August 3, as they kick off a six-game homestand with three contests against the Princeton Rays, the rookie affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. It will be a Coors Light Thirsty Thursday at the ballpark with special one, two and three dollar specials on all draft beer. That evening's affair will also be Fanatics 101 Night at the stadium.
Single-game tickets are still available and can be purchased online at JCCardinals.com or by calling the Cardinals' Ticket Office at (423) 461-4866.
ABOUT THE JOHNSON CITY CARDINALS
The Johnson City Cardinals are the Rookie affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Members of the ten-team Appalachian League, Cardinals baseball has been entertaining families and fans of America's national pastime in the East Tennessee region for 80 years. To learn more about the Johnson City Cardinals, visit www.jccardinals.com.