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Newcomers spark Twins to win over Cards

Douglas Fritz • Updated Jul 12, 2018 at 10:59 PM

It was a grand opening for a pair of new Twins.

Making their Elizabethton debuts, Tyler Webb and Michael Helman combined for seven hits and helped Elizabethton earn its third straight win over Johnson City. This one was a 7-2 decision Thursday night in an Appalachian League baseball game at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.

The Twins improved to 13-8 and can go for the sweep Friday with first pitch set for 7 p.m. Johnson City fell to 9-12, four games behind the front-running Twins in the West Division.

Elizabethton has crushed Cardinals’ pitching for 32 runs and 49 hits in three games. After hitting eight homers in the first two games, this time the Twins had 15 singles among their 16 hits.

Hit parade

Webb, who was called up after hitting .418 in 17 games for the Twins’ rookie-league team in the Gulf Coast League, totaled four hits in five at-bats and drove in two runs.

“I was hot in the GCL,” said Webb. “Coming up here, I just wanted to keep my same approach at the plate. I guess it worked out for me. It feels good. The confidence is there, so I’m going to keep going with it and ride it out.”

Helman, an 11th-round pick out of Texas A&M who signed late, got his first taste of pro ball and delivered three hits. He had a triple, a stolen base, and three runs scored from the No. 9 spot in the order.

“I was just coming out here, trying to compete,” said Helman. “It has been about a month since I’ve been on the field and seen live pitching. So I was trying to stay relaxed and play my game.”

Other standouts

Alex Robles also authored a three-hit night for Elizabethton, and he drove in a run.

Lean Marrero and Michael Davis each added two hits while Chris Williams drove in a pair of runs.

Breaking loose

It was 1-1 heading to the fifth inning, but the Twins got down to business.

Helman’s one-out triple was followed by Marrero’s RBI single. The Twins loaded the bases, and added to their lead when Marrero scored on a wild pitch. Williams added a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1, and Davis capped the rally with an RBI single to make it 5-1.

Match light

The Twins have proven to be quick starters, and they got it rolling from batter No. 1 again. Marrero led off the game with a roped single to left field, and Webb followed with a single. Those two runners stole second and third base, respectively, and Williams lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center to score Marrero.

Starting strong

Both teams received quality outings from their starting pitchers. For the Twins, Carlos Suniaga (1-0) worked five innings, allowing six hits and one run with no walks and three strikeouts.

Johnson City starter Colin Schmid surfed through four innings, giving up four hits and a run with no walks or strikeouts.

Cards highlights

Kevin Woodall knocked in a run in the fourth inning with a double. He plated Leandro Cedeno, who also doubled.

Woodall and Brandon Riley each had two hits for the Cardinals.

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