The Johnson City Cardinals lost their second game in a row to the Princeton Rays on Wednesday, falling 5-3 at Hunnicutt Field.
The Cards still hold the Appalachian League’s best record at 20-9. The losses are only the second time this season a team has beaten Johnson City twice in a row. The Bluefield Orioles beat the Cards 6-4 and 9-3 on July 6 and 7.
Princeton plated three runs in the sixth and fended of a Cards’ rally for the win. Up 2-0, Ryan Brett stole home to extend the Rays’ lead. Drew Vettleson hit a sacrifice fly and Jake DePew hit an RBI single to make it 5-0. Deshun Dixon hit a homer in the third and drove in another run on single in the fifth.
Princeton’s Jeff Ames kept the Cards’ bats quiet through the first five innings. He didn’t allow a baserunner through the first four innings. Anthony Garcia drew a walk to lead off the fifth, before Ames shut the Cards down again. Ames didn’t allow any hits, struck out six and walked one.
Johnson City only managed three hits in the game, all coming off reliever Jose Molina. Garcia drove in a run on a triple in the seventh, and Steven Ramos hit a two-run homer in the eighth. Roberto De La Cruz singled in the sixth for the Cards’ only other hit.
Cards’ starter Jose Pasen was saddled with the loss after allowing five earned runs on seven hits over 51â„3 innings.
Johnson City plays the Kingsport Mets at Hunter-Wright Stadium Thursday at 7 p.m.