BRISTOL — Steven Farinaro’s curveball felt good from the get-go and the seven-run cushion his Johnson City Cardinals teammates provided through four innings felt even better.
Farinaro allowed no earned runs in 5 2/3 innings and the Cardinals held on for a 7-5 victory against the Bristol Pirates on Thursday at DeVault Stadium.
Johnson City improved to 5-3 in the Appalachian League’s West Division. The Pirates fell to 2-6.
Farinaro, an 18-year-old right-hander from Hayward, California, gave up three unearned runs while evening his record at 1-1. Two of those runs came in the sixth, including one on a two-out Maximo Rivera flare single on Farinaro’s 89th and final pitch.
He gave up five hits, struck out five and walked none.
“It felt good out there,” Farinaro said. “I just kept the fastball down and moved it in and out. The curveball was working well, got some changeups in there.”
Center fielder Carlos Torres two-run triple highlighted the Cards’ five-run second. Torres (3-for-4) finished a home run shy of the cycle and had two runs and two RBIs.
Leadoff batter Casey Turgeon was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and was hit by a pitch. Cole Lankford and Blake Drake each had two hits for the Cardinals, who tallied 11 of their 13 hits while building a 7-0 lead through four innings.
“We got good starting pitching,” Johnson City manager Johnny Rodriguez said. “They’re a good-hitting club. He (Farinaro) got tired there in the sixth and then I thought our relievers did a good job throwing strikes.
“Early on (we hit), but then their bullpen came in and did the job. Their bullpen did the job and our bullpen did the job. We just happened to have a seven-run lead.”
Anderson Gerdel struck out two in 11?3 scoreless innings for his second save.
Trae Albert’s two-out RBI single scored Carlos Ozuna to cut Johnson City’s lead to 7-4 in the seventh and Pablo Reyes led off the seventh with a double and scored on Nick Buckner’s ground-out to get Bristol within two in the eighth.
Cardinals shortstop Oscar Mercado made a difficult hard-charging short-hop play look easy to retire Enyel Vallejo to lead off the ninth, and Gerdel retired the side in order.
“Oscar’s an incredible shortstop,” Farinaro said. “It’s really good to have him play behind you.”
Cardinals catcher Jose Godoy was no worse for wear after taking the worst of a foul tip off Carlos Ozuna’s bat to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Godoy quickly retrieved a pitch that bounced and threw out Albert trying to steal second to end the seventh.
Jonathan Sandfort (1-1) took the loss, allow seven runs on 11 hits in three innings.
Arbet, Vallejo and Rivera each had two hits for the Pirates.
Game three of the series is set for Friday at 7 p.m. in Bristol.comments powered by Disqus