Kenny Peoples-Walls went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and highlighted a seven-run first inning with an inside-the-park home run as the Johnson City Cardinals defeated Bristol, 9-2, in rain-shortened 5 1/2-inning game Sunday at Cardinal Park.
The victory moved Johnson City (30-27) within a game and a half of Kingsport and four games behind Greeneville in the Appalachian League’s West Division. The Elizabethton Twins (30-27) are in the tight race, too.
The Cardinals’ first seven players all scored in the opening frame, an inning that lasted more than 25 minutes. In all, 11 players stepped to the plate in an inning that included seven hits.
Peoples-Walls’ unconventional round-tripper came when he lined a ball off the center field fence. The speedy shortstop circled the bases for his sixth home run of the season. He’s hit safely in seven of his last eight games.
Justin Ringo (3-for-4, two runs) opened the game with three straight singles, stretching a streak to hits in eight straight at-bats (all singles) before being retired in his final plate appearance. Ringo, who raised his from .279 to .304 in the past two games, also stole his second base of the season.
J.J. Altobelli was 2-for-3 with a double and a run, and Frankie Rodriquez had an RBI double.
Overall, the Cardinals were 5-for-13 with runners in the scoring position.
Left-hander Stalyn Lopez pitched three innings of scoreless relief for his first victory of the season. He struck out five while allowing three hits and one walk.
Luis Perdomo was the starter giving up two hits and two runs in two innings.
Nolan Early and Patrick Palmeiro each had two of the five hits for Bristol (15-40).
Tyler Barnette (1-4) suffered the loss for the White Sox. He didn’t record a single out and gave up six hits and seven runs, all earned in the first inning.
Yelmision Peralta pitched the rest of the first inning before Devin Moore gave up five hits and two runs in three innings of action.
While Johnson City had a lot of offensive production, the Kingsport Mets were unable to get anything going in a 6-0 loss to Burlington.
Elizabethton further muddied the pennant race with a 5-2 victory over Greeneville in a game shortened to eight innings.
Johnson City and the White Sox will continue their series tonight at 7.
Joe McClain, who pitched at Science Hill and with the Johnson City Cardinals before pitching with the Washington Senators, will throw out the first pitch and be available for a meet and greet from 6-8 p.m.