Mendoza's Strong Start, Late Plate Work Lift Pirates
Starter Dante Mendoza tossed five scoreless innings on Saturday night as the Bristol Pirates rallied late in the game to defeat the Johnson City Cardinals 5-4.
At the conclusion of Saturday's games, the Pirates remain in second place in the Appalachian League West Division and sit 1/2 game behind the Cardinals. Bristol maintains a 1/2 game lead over the third-place Kingsport Mets and a one-game lead over the fourth-place Elizabethton Twins with four games remaining in the regular season.
The Pirates struck first on a two-out single by center fielder Daniel Rivero to drive in first baseman Matt Morrow and make it a 1-0 game. Designated hitter Jesus Valdez scored on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh, but Johnson City scored twice in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game. After the Pirates scored three runs in the top of the eighth on a fielding error, Chandler Redmond entered the game as a pinch-hitter and launched a two-run home run to cut the Pirates' lead to one. Alex Roth entered the game in the bottom of the ninth inning and recorded three straight swinging strikeouts to give the Pirates the 5-4 win.
Mendoza allowed two hits and three walks over five innings in the longest scoreless outing of his career. Yoelvis Reyes allowed two runs over 1 2/3 innings, while Saul De La Cruz improved to 2-0 for the year after allowing two runs -- one earned -- on one hit while striking out two over 1 1/3 innings. Roth earned his fourth career save after striking out the side in the ninth, as he now has 23 strikeouts over 18 innings this year.
Eight of the Pirates' nine starters had a hit in the game, as Valdez and third baseman Aaron Shackelford each finished 2-for-5 with a double while Valdez also had a run scored. Rivero was the only other Pirate with two hits, as he was 2-for-4 with the team's only RBI of the night.
The Pirates (32-31) will try for the series win and the season-series win over the Cardinals on Sunday night as Adrian Florencio will get the start for Bristol. In his last start, Florencio threw four scoreless innings against Bluefield where he allowed two hits and three walks while striking out two.
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Appalachian League Stories from August 24, 2019
- G-Reds Shutout Saturday - Greeneville Reds
- Mendoza's Strong Start, Late Plate Work Lift Pirates - Bristol Pirates
- Cardinals Look to Win Rubber Match Sunday vs. Bristol - Johnson City Cardinals
- Yankees Come Back Late to Drop Royals 4-2 - Burlington Royals
- Mets Ride the Longball to Win - Kingsport Mets
- Twins End Back-And Forth Game with 6-5 Walk-Off Win over Braves - Elizabethton Twins
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