Johnson City, TN – The Greeneville Astros lost Thursday night’s game to the Johnson City Cardinals by a score of 7-4. Following the loss, the Astros record stands at 12-10 on the season. They remain in first place in the Appalachian League West division, one game ahead of Johnson City and the Kingsport Mets.
Greeneville’s right-handed pitcher, Makay Nelson, got the start for the Astros in game two of the three-game series in Johnson City, and was accredited the loss. He allowed five hits while striking out one over his two innings of work. Jhonatan Escudero picked up the win for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals got onto the scoreboard first in the bottom half of inning number one. A couple of men singled to get on base with one out and were brought home on a triple from Chris Chinea. Chinea came across to score himself on a single from Eliezer Alvarez, and Johnson City’s lead increased to 3-0.
The Astros responded in the top of the second with a couple of extra base hits to score one and draw within two runs. Brauly Mejia led off the inning with a double to center and then, with two outs, Kevin Martir knocked him in with a double of his own. The doubles were Mejia’s fourth, and Martir’s first, of the season.
Down 5-1, thanks to a two-run homer from Cardinals’ Edmundo Sosa in the bottom of the second inning, the Astros once again were able to produce a couple of runs on offense in the third. Back-to-back fielding errors by the Johnson City infield put Arturo Michelena and Myles Straw on the base paths with nobody out in the top of third. An Osvaldo Duarte fly out, followed by a Connor Goedert groundout, scored Michelena. Then, Brauly Mejia pulled a line drive into left field to score Straw from third and bring the score to 5-3.
Chris Murphy entered the game to pitch for Greeneville in the bottom of the third and was lights out through two innings, allowing only two hits while striking out three. However, Johnson City’s offense put together a couple singles and a double to score two more runs in the bottom of the fifth and bring the score to 7-3.
The Astros were able to put together another run in the top half of the eighth inning, and the score drew to 7-4. Brauly Mejia sent a line drive to right field for a single, his third hit of the game, to lead off the inning. Randy Cesar, who also had a three-hit night, then slapped a groundball base hit to move Mejia to third. Kevin Martir came up next and grounded a ball deep enough in the infield to score Mejia and give the Astros their fourth run.
Andrew Thome and Samil De Los Santos combined to pitch the last three innings of the ballgame and did not allow a run to score. Thome struck out two batters for his third and fourth strikeouts of the season.
The Astros will return to Johnson City on Friday night to decide the series in game three with the Cardinals. They will then return home to Pioneer Park for a three-game weekend series with the Kingsport Mets beginning on Saturday.
BY HUNTER REED