Pirates Earn Big Win over Blue Jays
The Bristol Pirates staved off a late comeback attempt by Bluefield on Monday night, as they evened up the series with a 6-5 victory over the Blue Jays.
One night after getting a two-out game-tying hit, first baseman Matt Morrow drove in the first run of the evening on a two-out double to center. Morrow would score two batters later on a two-run double by center fielder Chase Murray to make it a 3-0 lead for the Pirates. Bristol would extend its lead to six runs in the top of the sixth inning when second baseman Josh Bissonette drove in two runs on his 12th double, and he would later score on a bases-loaded walk by shortstop Francisco Acuna.
Bluefield struck for five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Samson Abernathy pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the night and earn his fifth career save.
Starter Adrian Florencio allowed two hits and three walks while striking out two over four scoreless innings against Bluefield. Yoelvis Reyes became the second Pirates pitcher with four wins this year, allowing five runs -- four earned -- on four hits and one walk over 3 1/3 innings, while Enrique Santana threw a perfect 2/3 of an inning of work to earn his third hold of the season. Abernathy allowed one hit while striking out one over one scoreless inning of work to become the first Pirates pitcher with five saves in a season since Jordan Jess in 2016.
Eight of the nine starters for Bristol reached base safely in the win, with five players recording two hits each. Bissonette finished 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, two RBI and a run scored, while Murray was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Acuna was 0-for-2 with three walks, one RBI and a run scored for Bristol, while left fielder Jake Snider extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a 2-for-5 performance against Bluefield.
The Pirates (29-29) remain in second place in the Appalachian League West Division as they continue to sit 1/2 a game behind Johnson City following the Cardinals' extra-inning victory against Pulaski on Monday. Santiago Florez will start for Bristol in the series finale on Tuesday night, as he will try to rebound from his last outing against the Blue Jays in which he earned the loss after surrendering five runs over 4 1/3 innings.
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Appalachian League Stories from August 19, 2019
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