After dropping a 12-inning decision to Princeton on Saturday night, the Cards scored five runs in the first inning en route to a 7-2 win over the Kingsport Mets on Sunday.
Luis Bandes continued his hot streak with a three-run shot in the first inning, his seventh homer of the season, to help power Johnson City (22-22) past Kingsport (18-25) in the first game of their three-game set.
The Cards batted around in the first inning, sending 10 batters to the plate while taking command of the contest. In addition to Bandes’ blast, Carlos Talavera had a run-scoring single and J.D. Murders brought home Carlos Rodriguez with a sac fly.
Johnson City added another run in the bottom of the second when Stanley Espinal singled to center to bring in Julio Rodriguez.
The Cards capped their scoring in the bottom of the fifth when Chase Pinder drew a walk with the bases loaded that scored Talavera.
While Johnson City piled up the runs, Zach Prendergast put together a solid but brief start.
Prendergast scattered six hits across four innings of work. The 6-foot-2 righty struck out seven batters, issued two walks and allowed one run, but didn’t stick around long enough to figure in the decision.
Jake Dahlberg (2-0) came on in the fifth inning and earned the win, striking out four batters in three hitless innings.
Things didn’t go as well for Kingsport starter Christian James (1-3), who was shelled in his two innings of work. James gave up seven runs on six hits with one walk, and he didn’t record a strikeout.
The Mets finally got on the board in the top of the third when Dionis Paulino hit an RBI single back up the middle to make the score 6-1. The Mets added one more run in the ninth on an RBI double by Hansel Moreno to round out the scoring. It was Moreno’s sixth double of the season.
Talevera finished the night 3-for-4 to lead the Cards, who piled up 11 hits as a team. Bandes, Espinal, Walker Robbins and Julio Rodriguez had two hits apiece for Johnson City.
Moreno and Paulino had two hits each to lead Kingsport.
Johnson City and Kingsport will continue their three-game set Monday night at TVA Credit Union Ballpark. Franyel Casadilla will take the hill for the Cards. Casadilla enters the game with a 1-3 record and a 7.94 ERA.
Kingsport will counter with Ronald Sanchez, who is 0-2 with a 6.33 ERA. Monday will by Dollar Night at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.