BLUEFIELD, W.V. -- 2B Jonathan Willems mashed as a three-run home run in the seventh inning, but it was not enough, as the Bluefield Blue Jays topped the Greeneville Reds, 9-5, on Tuesday night at Bowen Field.With the loss, Greeneville drops to 16-29 through 45 total games on the season. Bluefield's victory improved
BLUEFIELD, W.V. -- 2B Jonathan Willems mashed as a three-run home run in the seventh inning, but it was not enough, as the Bluefield Blue Jays topped the Greeneville Reds, 9-5, on Tuesday night at Bowen Field.
With the loss, Greeneville drops to 16-29 through 45 total games on the season. Bluefield's victory improved their overall mark to 28-19.
The Reds trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning. It was in that frame that the Blue Jays created some significant separation. C Gabriel Moreno (2-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI) reached second thanks to a one-out single and a throwing error. After a pair of walks sandwiched a ground out, Bluefield had the bases loaded for SS Luis De Los Santos (2-5, R, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SO). The 20-year-old slapped a double down the left-field line - scoring all three runners - to put the Jays ahead, 6-2.
Following a pitching change and another free pass, Bluefield's offense started up again. LF Cal Stevenson (2-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB) ripped a run-scoring single to left, making it a 7-2 affair. The final tally in the five-run frame came across on a dropped third strike wild pitch on a RF D.J. Neal (0-5, 2 SO) strikeout.
Greeneville refused to back down, as they battled back to pull within three in the seventh. CF Mike Siani (2-5, R) and 3B Claudio Finol (2-5, R, SO) each racked up singles with one out, setting the stage for Willems (2-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, SO). The 19-year-old blasted a liner that bounced off the top of the left-field fence and over for a three-run home run. The shot - his sixth of the year - cut the Reds deficit to 8-5.
That was as close as they would get, however. Bluefield mustered an unearned insurance run in the bottom of the eight. A fielding error, a single from 2B Rafael Lantigua (1-4, R, BB), and a walk loaded the bases, while DH Hagen Danner (1-3, R, RBI, BB, SO) stroked a sacrifice fly to make it 9-5 in favor of the Jays.
RHP Andy McGuire (2.0 IP, H, SO) stayed on after working a perfect eighth. The former Texas Longhorn retired the side in the top of the ninth to seal the win for Bluefield and his second save of his career.
For the second straight night, the Blue Jays scratched a run across in the bottom of the first. Stevenson reached on a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a throwing error. With two outs, Moreno cracked an RBI double to left-center field to put Bluefield in front, 1-0.
In the second, 1B P.K. Morris (1-3, R, 2 BB) walked and Danner to start the frame. Following a strikeout, 3B Davis Schneider (1-4, R, RBI, BB, SO) slapped a single to left - scoring Stevenson - to put the Jays ahead by two.
The Reds managed to tie it up briefly in the top of the fourth. Consecutive singles from Finol and Willems began the attack, while LF Reniel Ozuna (0-3, R, BB, SO) walked to load the bases. After a fielder's choice, DH Justin Bellinger (1-4, RBI, 3 SO) ripped an RBI single through the left side to draw Greeneville to within 2-1. 1B Raul Juarez (2-4, 2B, RBI) would tie it up two batters later on a run-scoring infield single.
Stevenson managed to put Bluefield in front for good in the bottom of the frame. A two-out offering was ripped over the right field wall for a solo home run - his second of the year - to put the Blue Jays ahead at the time, 3-2.
RHP Troy Watson (5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 5 SO) collected his third win of the season for Bluefield, yielding two runs over five innings. RHP Alexis Diaz (4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO) punched out six over four frames yet suffered his first defeat of the year.
The Redlegs will look to salvage the final game the series on Wednesday night, as RHP Ricky Karcher (0-2, 7.97 ERA) is expected to toe the slab. Bluefield is projected to counter with RHP Felipe Castaneda (1-0, 6.17 ERA).
The G-Reds Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 6:50 p.m. ET, leading up to the 7:05 p.m. ET start at Bowen Field. Wednesday evening's contest can be heard on GreenevilleReds.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
Following the six-game road trip, the Redlegs will begin a three-game series against the Elizabethton Twins on Sunday, August 12. It will be a Sunday Funday at the ballpark with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m. ET.
Single-game tickets are still available and can be purchased online at GreenevilleReds.com or by calling the Reds' Ticket Office at (423) 609-7400.