First-Batter Homer All Pirates Get in 2-1 Setback
Despite a leadoff home run to start the evening, the Bristol Pirates dropped the series opener 2-1 to the Johnson City Cardinals on Friday night.
Left fielder Jake Snider drove the second pitch of the game over the left field fence for his first career home run to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. The Pirates would remain in the lead until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Cardinals first baseman Liam Sabino hit a two-run home run to left to put the Cardinals ahead 2-1. The Pirates and the Cardinals would combine for three hits and one walk over the final five innings, as the game lasted only one hour and 58 minutes.
Starter Jose Maldonado suffered the loss despite posting one of his best outings of the season. Maldonado allowed two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out five over a career-high six innings. C.J. Dandeneau tossed two perfect innings of relief for Bristol while striking out one.
Second baseman Josh Bissonette was the only Pirate with two hits, as he finished 2-for-4 in the loss.
Snider's home run was his only hit of the night and the team's only extra-base hit, while catcher Eli Wilson was the only other Pirate to reach base safely as he went 1-for-2 with a walk.
The Pirates (31-31) remain in second place in the Appalachian League West Division with five games left in the regular season. They now sit 1 1/2 games behind first-place Johnson City and they remain 1/2 a game ahead of third-place Kingsport. Dante Mendoza will take the mound for Bristol on Saturday, as he will try to even up the series coming off his last start in which he allowed three runs while striking out four over five innings against Bluefield.
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