The Johnson City Cardinals remained one of the hottest teams in the Appalachian League thanks to a power surge that gave them a convincing 10-3 decision over West Division leader Greeneville on Tuesday night at Cardinal Park.
Steve Bean, Rowan Wick and Kyle Grieshaber all belt home runs, respectively in the third, fourth and fifth inning for Johnson City. Bean and Wick both had solo blasts while Grieshaber’s was a two-run shot.
The trio all had two hits apiece in the contest. Wick had a double and drew a walk while Grieshaber scored three times with a walk as well. Ronnierd Garcia was 3-for-4 with a triple, double, a run scored and RBI. J.J. Altobelli joined Garcia with three hits as well and he scored twice. Richy Pedroza had a 2-for-2 effort and drew two walks to go with his game-best three RBIs.
“We were fortunate enough to get big blows from Bean, Wick and Grieshaber, but then Richy had a big bases-loaded hit,” Kruzel said about the offense. “It was a total team effort tonight.”
The 10 runs scored ties the season high in a home contest this year while the 17 easily surpasses the season best at Cardinal Park.
Johnson City improved to 27-25 and is 8-3 dating back to August 2, the best mark by any squad in the league during the recent stretch. Combined with a Kingsport loss earlier in the evening, Johnson City is now 31?2 games behind the Mets for second place in the division.
On the mound Johnson City got five innings of work from Dailyn Martinez. He improved to 3-3, scattering five hits that led to three runs, one was earned. Martinez struck out three. Nick Lomascolo followed with four scoreless innings for the save. Lomascolo struck out 10 of the 14 batters he faced with one walk in relief.
“Martinez pitched over some errors early tonight,” Kruzel said. “He kept his composure and kept us in the game to have a chance. When we got the lead he kept throwing strikes.
“He had a lot of run on his balls tonight, he made some pitches when he had to,” Kruzel said about Lomascolo’s effort.
The Cardinals scored in the first, before Greeneville tacked on two second-inning runs. Johnson City answered with a three-run outburst in the home half of the second followed by two runs in the third, fourth and fifth frames.
Johnson City will try to make up more ground in the standings when the Cardinals and Astros play again tonight at 7 p.m. Wednesday’s game will also conclude Johnson City’s six-game homestand.