The Johnson City Cardinals have multiple special nights coming up over the next week.
There is a “Tribute to America” night scheduled tonight with the Fourth of July, and they play at ETSU’s Thomas Stadium both next Tuesday and Thursday.
But Thursday night wasn’t one of those special nights.
The Cardinals (8-5) gave up 11 hits and committed four errors in a 7-1 loss to Princeton at Cardinal Park.
After a scoreless first inning, the Rays (8-6) scored five runs in the second inning off a two-run home run by Manny Sanchez and a three-run home run by Hector Montes.
Thomas Milone had a RBI single and Nic Wilson added a RBI ground out in the sixth inning to make it a 7-0 advantage.
Brent Honeywell, the No. 72 pick in the Major League Draft out of Walters State Community College in Morristown, also did his part. He got the start for the Rays and gave up just one hit and one walk with two strikeouts over the first two innings.
The win, however, went to Roel Ramirez who pitched the next five innings for Princeton.
As for the Cardinals, lead-off batter Casey Turgeon had a single in the bottom of the first, but their next hit didn’t come until Oscar Mercado singled in the fourth. Catcher Jose Godoy kept up the trend of a single every three innings, driving the ball to center field in the seventh.
Johnson City finally got a little offensive production in the final inning.
Blake Drake led off with a single to left field and he was advanced to third on single to center field by Chris Rivera. With two outs, Jesus Ustariz prevented the shut out with another single to center field to score Drake.
Johnson City starter Steven Farinaro suffered the loss after giving up six hits and five runs over 1 1/3 innings. He and the other Cardinals’ pitchers -- Jonathan Escudero, Kevin Carlow, Isaac Silva, Anderson Gerdel, Kender Villegas and Ismael Brito -- certainly weren’t helped by the defense which committed four errors.
Riley Unroe led Princeton at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Angel Moreno, Milone and Montes all finished with two hits for the Rays.
Despite the loss, the Cardinals maintained their half-game lead over Elizabethton in the Appalachian League West Division standings. The Twins suffered a 2-0 loss to Bluefield on Thursday night.
Game two of the Princeton at Johnson City series is scheduled tonight with a 7 p.m. start.