The Bristol Pirates rallied to tie the game after a five-run deficit on Thursday night, but a passed ball proved the difference in a 7-6 loss to the Princeton Rays.Designated hitter Jesus Valdez drove in the first run for the Pirates on a single to center in the first inning,
The Bristol Pirates rallied to tie the game after a five-run deficit on Thursday night, but a passed ball proved the difference in a 7-6 loss to the Princeton Rays.
Designated hitter Jesus Valdez drove in the first run for the Pirates on a single to center in the first inning, but the Rays responded by scoring six unanswered runs over four innings. Left fielder Jake Snider drove in a run in the top of the fifth inning, and two batters later Valdez hit a two-run home run to make it a 6-4 game. Snider had another RBI single in the sixth inning to cut the Rays' lead to a run before third baseman Aaron Shackelford tied the game at 6-6 in the seventh inning with his eighth home run of the season. The game would remain tied into extra innings, and after the Pirates were unable to drive in the go-ahead run from third, the Rays got the walk-off win as the winning run scored on a passed ball.
Starter Luis Ortiz allowed six runs on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings. Matt Eardensohn and Saul De La Cruz combined to allow one hit and two walks over 4 1/3 innings while striking out seven, and Samson Abernathy took the loss after allowing one unearned run on no hits and no walks with one strikeout over 1 1/3 innings.
Valdez led the Pirates in the loss, finishing 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and a run scored, and he is now hitting .452 with two home runs and 18 RBI over his last 10 games. Shackelford's home run was his only hit of the night as he has now homered in three of his last four games. Shortstop Francisco Acuna moved into sole possession of first place in the Appalachian League with his 18th double of the year, while Snider had a career-high two RBI while going 2-for-5 at the plate.
The Pirates (26-28) remain in third place in the Appalachian League West Division and remain two games behind Johnson City and one game behind Elizabethton after losses by the Cardinals and Twins on Thursday. Tahnaj Thomas will start for Bristol on Friday night as the Pirates try to even up the series with Princeton.