Despite a late rally that tied the game in the eighth inning, the Bristol Pirates dropped their series opener with the Bluefield Blue Jays in a walk-off 4-3 defeat.The Pirates jumped ahead early on a two-run single by center fielder Daniel Rivero in the second inning, but a three-run outburst
Despite a late rally that tied the game in the eighth inning, the Bristol Pirates dropped their series opener with the Bluefield Blue Jays in a walk-off 4-3 defeat.
The Pirates jumped ahead early on a two-run single by center fielder Daniel Rivero in the second inning, but a three-run outburst in the fourth inning by Bluefield would make it a 3-2 game. It would remain at that score until the top of the eighth inning, when third baseman Matt Morrow hit a two-out single to right to tie the game at 3-3. The Pirates were retired in order in the top of the ninth, and an infield single by designated hitter PK Morris would give the Blue Jays the walk-off victory.
Starter Dante Mendoza pitched a season-high five innings while allowing three runs and striking out four. The outing marked the fifth time in his last seven starts Mendoza recorded four or more strikeouts. Matt Eardensohn and Alex Roth combined to allow one unearned run on three hits and one walk over the final three innings of the night as Roth dropped to 1-2 on the year.
Rivero, Morrow and designated hitter Yoyner Fajardo each finished 2-for-4 in the loss, with Rivero recording two RBI while Morrow had one RBI and a run scored. Shortstop Francisco Acuna was 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored, as he moved back into sole possession of first place in the Appalachian League with his 19th double of the season.
The Pirates (28-29) remain in second place in the Appalachian League West Division and sit one game behind Johnson City as of the completion of the first game of the Cardinals' doubleheader at Pulaski. Adrian Florencio will get the start for Bristol on Monday night after allowing two runs with four strikeouts over four innings in his last outing against the Blue Jays.