Johnson City Press Tuesday, June 30, 2015

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Cards shut out Bluefield to win series

June 21st, 2014 9:50 pm by Douglas Fritz

Cards shut out Bluefield to win series

Johnson City will debut in front of the home folks with a winning record.

Cardinals’ pitchers Ian McKinney and Anderson Gerdel combined on a three-hit shutout of Bluefield in a 3-0 victory Saturday night. That gave the Cardinals two wins in the season-opening three-game road series.

Today at Cardinal Park, Johnson City (2-1) will play host to Danville (2-1) as part of WCQR’s Faith and Family Night. The Christian band “Unspoken” will perform at 3 p.m. with the Appalachian League baseball game scheduled for 4 p.m.

General admission tickets for entrance to the concert and the game will be $1.

The Cardinals’ players did their part to make sure there was plenty of buzz for the home opener. They whipped Bluefield 13-0 on Thursday before falling 4-1 in Friday’s game.

Then McKinney and Gerdel got a hold of the Blue Jays’ hitters and didn’t budge an inch.

McKinney tossed seven lock-down innings, allowing just two baserunners on a pair of singles. He struck out five, and earned the win.

Gerdel came aboard in the eighth inning and breezed to the save. He allowed just one baserunner, on a single, as the Cardinals’ hurlers went the distance without issuing a walk — normally an Appy League rarity, but Johnson City has surrendered just three free passes in 27 innings this season.

At the plate, Oscar Mercado provided the spark in the top of the first inning and scored the only run his team would need. Mercado singled, stole second, and came home after a Blake Drake single that was booted in right field.

The game remained 1-0 until the top of the seventh inning. A pair of walks got things started, and then Carlos Torres cracked a two-run single to finally give the Cards some breathing room.

Torres, batting ninth in the order, finished with two hits in the game.

Johnson City has already announced its starter for today’s game. Cardinals manager Johnny Rodriguez will go with Dailyn Martinez, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound right-hander from Santiago, Dominican Republic. Martinez was 4-3 with Johnson City last season with an ERA of 2.70.

The game against Danville is the first of a three-game set with games starting at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Then the Cardinals travel to take on Bristol for a three-game series, beginning Wednesday.

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