DANVILLE, Va. — Tyler Rahmatulla and Neal Pritchard staked defending Appalachian League champion Johnson City to an early 3-run lead, but the Cards fell apart in the later innings to lose their playoff series opener 6-3 to the Danville Braves on Wednesday night at Legion Field.
Johnson City led 3-0 after leading off the game with three straight singles. Rahmatulla singled in one and Pritchard hit a two-run single.
Cards starter Tyrell Jenkins gave up a run in the bottom of the first, but was nearly untouchable the next four innings allowing just one base runner. Howerver, in the bottom of the sixth, the Braves jumped all over the Cards’ ace, tagging him for three runs on four singles and an error.
Michael Santana came on in relief to get the Cards out of the inning, but Danville plated two more off him in the seventh.
Johnson City and Danville continue the best-of-three playoff series today with a 7 p.m. game at Cardinal Park.